Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Living Spiritual Rhythms - December 28

A soft glow drifts over the open sky and points to the horizons of far off worlds. In these distant and mysterious lands, light is tethered to the gentle breeze that flows through the deep. This appears to be like a tender whisper from beyond the savage pulse of the long night of conflict and rage. There are no perfect pictures of illumination, or anything else for that matter. Given pictures are partially opaque, yet relevantly clear, as the sufficiency of this world morphs into possible worlds that present new ways of being, seeing, and living. 


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - December 22

The New Testament gospels are excellent examples of plot making. These stories are not chronological accounts of daily routines and events, but creative imitations of action that are imaginatively reconstructed to stake a claim that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and therefore the world. Imagination is not only a feature of their composition, but also a necessity for their interpretation, appropriation, and living out into the world.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Only 2 left. Now just 2.26 pounds = around $3 on!


That pesky serpent in the Genesis Garden outwits humans. Indeed, this even looks like a set-up. They didn’t have a chance. As if that weren’t enough, the veracity of evolution challenges literal readings of the Eden story. If you’re interested in our take on all this, check out From Evolution to Eden. Making Sense of Early Genesis.


Living Spiritual Rhythms - December 21

The systems we set up to meet our own standards never work for establishing a healthy identity. They are insufficient and potentially corrosive. Our hope of achieving an “OK” self if we “did that” and therefore “do this” will fail. True, there may be a place for standards in life, but they can’t be the ground of who we perceive ourselves to be. The problem is that the “did that” and “do this” won’t give us what we long for – an ability to accept ourselves because of who we are and in spite of who we’re not. If we are to avoid a collapse into a vicious circle of self-affirmation or condemnation, we need to embrace the living tension between freedom and responsibility founded on several informers, including: nature, humanity, and the biblical text, which all promote the view that our value, dignity, and worth are “already there” and thus not something that we earn by measuring up to self-made standards.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Reflection for the Week - December 19

Being captive to the ideologies of certainty or uncertainty is like being pulled into a vortex that leads nowhere. Certainty aims to insure us that we have it all together and that everything is straight forward, while uncertainty attempts to illustrate that we don’t have anything together and that nothing is clear. We can become so addicted to polarizations, that moving into the middle seems highly unsatisfactory. Letting go of poles may be extremely difficult. Yet, we must be willing to go through the necessary and sometimes painful withdrawal symptoms as we uncover that which leads us astray, deeply entrenched, as it were, in every perspective and dimension of our identities. Release gradually comes from learning to follow in the footsteps of Christ, which is not least to begin to discover the false ideological trends and currents in our lives, and in so doing, to open us up to the possibility of a refigured destiny, culminating in transformation.


The Apostle Paul. Culture & Theology

There is a fair amount of discussion going on today about the apostle Paul and the various cultural and theological influences being discovered in his letters. I’m pleased to have reviewed Paul’s Graeco-Roman Context – Peeters: 2015, Breytenbach, ed., which addresses several of the key issues. Outstanding contribution. Brilliant book!