Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - June 30

Situated in giveness is where we find ourselves. Giveness is under us, over us, and all around us. That which is given precedes ontology (human nature) and epistemology (human knowledge). Both these characteristics and features of humanity are second order discourse and neither is capable of being primary because they are already located in and preceded by the given. Take a moment to reflect on this and the possible implications it has for a theology of gift.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Living Spiritual Rhythms - June 29

When it comes to the creation and evolution debate, those who claim to be the most biblical among us are often more interested in dogmatically protecting their particular literal interpretations, than carefully studying, contemplating, and being open to a new dialogue between the theological and scientific informers. Whatever the text means to me is what it means has widespread influence today, and this lack of critical understanding can and does create serious problems for any viable questioning of one’s presuppositions. If there is no willingness to engage with and learn from the scientific informer and no interest in developing good biblical reading skills, then we’ve lost the path towards what’s true and real.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Reflection for the Week - June 27

For a long time now I’ve been doing research on the complex debate about God and the world, better known in some circles as pantheism, panentheism, and classical theism. Here’s an ultra-brief summary of a few of my present reflections. God is giveness. God is personal and relational. God creates the world as a free choice and the world is related to and distinct from God. The world is in God and God is in the world, yet God is infinitely bigger than the world. God is engaged by the world and creatures in it, but is not dependent on them to exist. The Divine is not emerging, nor in the process of becoming. The world is not necessary for the Creator, but through creating the world it becomes a necessity for God, if God is going to bring about something better through it. Thus, God does not require the world as an essential dimension of God’s Godness, though God is shaped by it and for it. God is not dialectical in the sense that God is good and evil, free and determined, fullness and emptiness, but God is dialogical in that communicative action and passionate love are the theological heartbeat of who the giving of the world God is.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Musings - June 24

Earthy everyday life is made up of our waking and sleeping, eating and drinking, going out and

coming in, work and play. Sharing hardship and joy, success and failure, birth and death, traces our lives with deep lines, which identify us and pierce into the marrow of our existence. Being in communion with God and each other is an everyday affair, not a once a week ritual. In the spiritual rhythms of life we are challenged to open the door to God consciousness in that which we think, feel, do, and say, as we go through and participate in all the activities that shape and contribute to sharing a moment by moment life together. 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday Thoughts – June 23

Total self-independence or total God dependence are not realistic options for life. Totalities are just out of the question. We lack access. Rather, it seems to me that God challenges us to be “dependently independent.” This blended configuration has to be worked out, but it gives us an opportunity to be the “in tension” creatures we’re intended to be, instead of violating ourselves, others, or God through totalizing illusions.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Living Spiritual Rhythms - June 22

Christian culture is all too often rooted in the dominating sub-text of false guilt, fear, and shame. There’s no room in this space for love, which is squeezed out by the imposition of powerful and manipulating forces that are far from the gospel. Christians, in these contexts, are drastically deprived from being shaped and informed by the real. Impoverishment is the lamentable result. Creating time and space for skillful and loving action is essential for engaging, challenging, and then going beyond the sub-text. Such efforts will bring to light fresh insights and new possibilities of redemption, grace, and freedom.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Reading Early Genesis - Creation - Evolution?

If you’re looking for a compelling hermeneutical path between false options in the creation – evolution debate, and viable understandings of Genesis 1-3 for today, you might want to check out our book From Evolution to Eden.  


Creation- Evolution?

Some excellent insights from Pete Enns. 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Musings - June 17

Who am I? I am a human being who exists in time and story. I am a creature. I love and am loved. I am knower and known. I am limited. I am finite. I am sinful. I am not self-sufficient. I am not ultimate authority. I do not have the capacity to exclusively self-determine what actions I am free to do, nor what actions I am constrained from doing. I need Divine sources and referents to give wisdom as to how to be and be with others. Being human is subjectively objective – both inside of I and outside of I have a role in telling me who I am, but they don’t have the same degree of say so. Being human is to practice a hermeneutics of trust and suspicion across the whole of life, including my own I am. It simply won’t do to trust I and be suspicious of everyone and everything else. I cannot bear the weight without pretending and cheating. But who will see; who will invite me to a genuine integrity? Questioning my own perspectives of what I trust and what I suspect in light of a greater calling is an essential part of being human and it begins to respond to who I really am.      


Thursday Thoughts - June 16

The debate about God being influenced or affected by humanity is well-known today. My wager is that God is not changed by humanity, but that God communicatively acts out of covenant trajectory for the whole world. This does not mean, on my account, that God does not relate to humanity contextually; God does, though God is not ultimately contextual. That is, God is already, within his covenantal being God, a God who has, is, and will take the context of humanity into consideration when communicatively acting. God’s character and actions remain related and distinct, yet God comprises them both in the One who is.  


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Living Spiritual Rhythms - June 15

It seems to me our culture is increasingly one of dislocation and fragmentation. Modernist notions of stability and permanence are rightly being shattered, as they were rooted in deception. In its place postmodern nomads now wander from here to there - to nowhere, but this is not merely a physical or geographical phenomenon, it pertains to the way folks live. False certainty has been replaced by false uncertainty. Flitting from this to that and back again is so common today. Many attempt to re-invent themselves by the hour. No home, no boundaries, no commitments – wandering. These powerful, persuasive, and misleading images are often peddled by our culture and embraced by the crowd. They leave us destitute and floundering. Such forms of the postmodern turn now need to be replaced by a God turn, where true images of what’s creationally and redemptively real abound and offer a safe space to be.