Monday, March 31, 2014

Reflection for the Week–March 31

The Phenomenon of Quitting church is reaching epidemic proportions. Caught in the vice between those who exchange the gospel for a social code and those who market it as a consumer product, streams of people are flowing out of churches. From what I can tell, many of them long for God, love, truth, credibility, justice, and redemption, but are disappointed with what the church is offering. Bagels and coffee, and promises of health and wealth, are limited and breaking down. Thus, today’s pseudo–gospel is having less and less traction, and for this we should rejoice. Yet, the fallout is serious, in that the legitimate questions people are asking are not being addressed, nor are these folk being provided with a place to dwell, which has more to do with spirituality, than merely a geographical home. Rich and diverse gospel-centered communities are essential to the renewal of the faith and will contribute to the demise of what has been known as church for far too long.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Musings – March 28

Unless the church confronts the greed of the world, instead of participating in it, a Christ centered concern for the voice of the poor and oppressed will be gagged and the exploitation of the weak and disenfranchised will continue unabated. If ever there was a time for the church to be reading Scripture not merely for itself, but against itself, it is now. Join this reading against itself community and start having an impact on the world.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Thoughts – March 27

Guilt trips and manipulative practices imposed on others are expressions of unconscious Christianity. “But please Lord don’t make me aware Lord. I’d like to continue to have it my way, to be in control, and to get others to do what I want them to do, for my name’s sake.” While it’s true that conscious Christianity can also indulge in destructive actions, in contrast to unconscious Christianity, there would at least be a deep recognition that relating in these ways is to be challenged and transformed.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Living Spiritual Rhythms–March 26

Unconscious Christianity.

“Oh no, don’t tell me that I have to be concerned about what I believe and how I act. Never crossed my mind. You know, I mean, I just treat others the way I see fit. Furthermore, I pay no attention to how my beliefs are entirely incongruent and don’t really have to make sufficient sense. After all, I’m humble, broken, and sinful. I’m so impoverished that I have no sense of responsibility. God will take care of everything for me. That’s certain. Just read your Bible. I actually have little knowledge, but I can tell you exactly what God is doing in my life and should be doing in yours. Hey, I’m really in this for heaven. Aren’t you?”


Monday, March 24, 2014

Reflection for the Week–March 24

As readers of the scriptural story today we are foreigners to the text and its ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman context, yet we are not excluded from its time, narration, drama, and spherical refraction. The possibility remains for us to be grafted into the revelatory story of God’s creation and redemptive outpouring of love in Christ, which offers us a place on the stage of the cosmic drama of life. Renewing people and the earth is part of God’s majestic story. Fortunately, we’re invited to participate.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Musings – March 21

Images in words give wings to imagination.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday Thought - March 20

The challenging and diminishing of the massive problem of self-deception is an essential task if we are to have a better understanding of ourselves, God, and others.


Living Spiritual Rhythms–March 20

It is important to challenge both reason and emotions as having the final say about truth and love. Neither is to be assumed trustworthy and therefore must engage with other informers to find the path to life. We need to be suspicious of anything that is too open to the power of self-deception, be it rationalism or emotivism, because truth and love matter.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Reflection for the Week–March 17

Neuroscience is showing that we know more now, than ever before, about how much we don’t consciously know about what we do. This confirms that we are not in complete control of many dimensions of who we are or the world in which we live. We still, however, have a measure of sufficient knowledge and control, which enable us to continue to understand ourselves as making choices and having responsibilities.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Musings–March 14

The inertia of disappointment and the fear of betrayal often produce a discourse that desecrates the beauty of a gorgeous spring flower in bloom.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday Thought – March 13

In-between truths for in-between times will be more or less applicable to life. Sufficient degrees of truthfulness can sometimes be fitting across the board, without making them universal truths, while at other times, they’ll be pertinent only for a particular context and circumstance that has to be part of a much bigger picture.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Living Spiritual Rhythms–March 12

In today’s harsh reality of selfishness and greed, some say there is no such thing as a gift. Giving is always with motive or interest and that disqualifies it. I would argue that while motive or interest will always be with us in giving, it need not necessarily abolish gift, as this would seem to depend on what the motive or interest are. Let’s say a canceling of gift might be the case if one gave it with the motive of receiving something in return, but if one gifts with a motive to satisfy or please the other and requires nothing in return, then the gift character of giving would not be nullified. That is, other interest wins—over a perverse self-interest—and preserves the possibility of true gift.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Reflection for the Week–March 10

In Revelation 3:14-22, Christ wishes that the Christians in Laodicea were either hot or cold. It is often assumed that hot means ‘on fire for the Lord’ or a full commitment, while cold means, ‘no fire for the Lord’ or no commitment. If this is the case, the question we’re faced with is why Christ would approve of no commitment at all. That doesn’t make sense. Hot and cold, therefore, are not to be taken as positive and negative descriptions, but both are positive in regard to what the church’s actions should be. Steaming hot or refreshingly cold – either gets a thumbs up. The real problem then is being lukewarm, which seems to identify all too many churches today. We need to learn, just as the Laodiceans did, that lukewarm is not an option. If you’d be interested in reading more about this legendary recounting of the end of the world, check out my book Living Apocalypse.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Musings – March 7

Statement: Feelings and experience show me there is no absolute truth. Response: If this is the case, feelings and experience are functioning as an absolute - with me at the center. What appears to cancel absolute truth becomes it.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday Thought – March 6

Giving a gift is intentional, receiving a gift need not be.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Living Spiritual Rhythms–March 5

There are at least two types of giving: obligation and desire. These are not mutually exclusive, but the latter is less duty orientated than the former. On the one hand, when we go to the store and buy something, we are obliged to give in order to receive – this is called exchange. On the other hand, when we desire to give, we do so without receiving – this is called gift. We can say, therefore, that there are two economies – the economy of exchange and the economy of gift. Life, generally, and relationships specifically, are a radical negotiation between exchange and gift.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Reflection for the Week – March 3

“Brink of Disaster”

  “Suicide Bombing”


      “Terrorist attack”

   “High Risk Clashes”

“Crimes Against Humanity” 

“Vertiginous Debt”

       “Starvation hits new record

“Church to Build a Ten Million Dollar Bowling Alley for Members Only”

No commentary …………………………….