Friday, January 25, 2008

Quoting Theology: Caputo

"But if laws are universals, justice is sensitive to the singularity of the situation, to the idiosyncrasies and differences, and it is positively mad over these singularities. Once again, the biblical resonance is plain: laws have to do with the ninety-nine, but justice has to do with the one lost sheep, the one lost coin, with the widow, the orphan, and the stranger."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Family: Emma As Barbie As The Island Princess

Emma woke up sick yesterday. She spent most of the day resting. However, at dinner last night...out of nowhere...she belted out a song from Barbie as The Island Princess (one of her all time favorite movies). It was great. We had her sit down in front of my computer so that we could record it to share with you. Enjoy:


Monday, January 21, 2008

The Timeless Prophetic Brilliance of MLK

I'm shuffling things around a bit this week. As today is Martin Luther King Jr. day, I wanted to post something in honor of him. (I'll do a family post tomorrow and Theology on Thursday. I suppose this is technically a "Quoting Theology" post.) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. possessed a theological depth and brilliance that is frequently overlooked. This is certainly to our shame. With the help of Youtube, I am posting two of his "speeches". May they feed and challenge your soul as they have mine.

First, I wanted to share MLK's lesser known sermon on the Vietnam War:

Next I can't help but post his Historic "I Have A Dream Speech". Don't let familiarity rob you of seeing its theological depth and prophetic call that still has power today:


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quoting Theology: Justo Gonzalez

"In the field of theology, it is now abundantly clear that what we once took for normative, universal theology was to a great extent the particular theology of North American white males who, because they were dominant, could convince themselves, and convince others, that their views were indeed universal. As a result, the dominant theologies in the West, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, suffered from a typically modern form of myopia."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Adjunct Again

Well, I'm teaching Bible again at OVU. This time it's BIB 107: Acts thru Revelation. (you read that right, Acts thru Revelation). That might seem like a lot, but the last class I taught was Introduction to the Bible, where I covered the entire Bible in one semester (so, this time I get to "take my time" ;) ).

My required texts are a Study Bible (I'm fine with any translation except KJV...and I'll still allow even that), and Scot McKnight's Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us. I decided to include McKnight's book to encourage theological reflection on the text. There are also quite a few non-required texts, from which I will be using smaller selections.

There are 30 students in the class from various religious (though mostly Christian) backgrounds. One student is a Sikh from Canada. I really enjoy this stuff.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chloe Loves Her Jumper

We bought this baby bouncer before Chloe was born. Man, did that ever pay off! She loves it. Here's a clip of our bouncing baby girl.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Quoting Theology: Caputo

"What matters is that if the account I have given is right, then the old boundaries and high walls that modernity tried to build around reason, science, and philosophy have come down. If that is so, then the language of faith has reacquired respectability, and if faith has been restored to its rightful place among the virtues, that gives theology, which turns on faith, a new opening. But by faith I do not mean faith as opposed to reason...By faith I mean faith as opposed to cynicism, to a cynical disbelief, a cynical refusal to believe that there is anything out there to command our respect, anything before whose majesty and beauty we are brought up short, any surpassing quality in things that leaves us wide-eyed and breathless."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Inbreaking Dream

Note: I got confused on my new schedule this week, so I'll do a post today, then "Quoting Theology" tomorrow. Next week I'll post on my intended schedule (Mon, Tue, Thurs)

The Inbreaking Dream
In some ways I think that being a Christian is like having this recurring dream. The dream is a vivid and exciting reality of joy and harmony. When you first began to have the dream, it was fleeting and consisted simply of brief glimpses and faint feelings. As time goes on and the dream recurs, it becomes more detailed and elaborate. Slowly, you become aware of the stark contrast between the dream and your waking reality, which begins to seem drab and meaningless by comparison. Honestly, this is a bit depressing at first, and sometimes you wish that you could stop having the dream, so that you wouldn't be so troubled by the disparity. But then, the craziest thing happens. You begin to catch glimpses of the dream in your waking reality. "What if..." you wonder, "What if, its true...or rather it can be true?"

At this point, you have a few choices:
a) You can choose despair. You can choose to focus on the disparity between this world and the world of the dream. You would then naturally long for escape from your waking reality into your dream reality through sleep and possibly even through death. You'd wish you could spend all of your time sleeping. You'd buy sleeping'd put dark curtains on all of your'd soundproof your'd try to avoid all outside distractions, in the pursuit of spending as much time sleeping as you could, basking in the joy and pleasure of the dream.
b) You could convince yourself that the dream is just a silly fantasy, and do everything in your power to rid yourself of it. You could try to domesticate the dream so that is down to earth and "sensible".
c) You can pursue the inbreaking of the dream into reality You can pour your time and energy into bringing the joy, the harmony, the colors and the LIFE into your waking world.

This metaphor is imperfect. For one thing it is far too individualistic. Further, the accusation can be made that I seem to be describing a type of mental illness (though I would further argue that true followers of the Way of Jesus will live in a way that is at odds with what is considered normal or even "sane" in the world). At the same time, I think it is quite appropriate and maybe even useful for illustrating the situation we find ourselves in...both as "Christians" and as churches. I am weary beyond my ability to describe, of choices A and B, or any combination of the two, popular though they may be. As for me, I choose C...I choose hope.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Family: My Girls

Note: See Dana's Blog for some great pics from the holidays of my family.

  • Chloe--Chloe is the smiliest (is that a word?) baby in the entire world. I am really enjoying her. She's becoming more aware every day, and she's really becoming more vocal...including some really cute giggling.
  • Emma--Emma has been wanting one of us to sleep in the bed with her for months. a few weeks ago, she asked me to sleep in her bed. I told her I couldn't do that. She looked up at me with that "melt your heart" look that she has and said, "how about just for 1 minute?" Who could say no to that? I made her a deal that I would lay down for one minute if she would lay down and go to sleep with no complaining after that by herself. Since then, she's asked for the deal every night and given us almost no trouble about bedtime. Tonight she asked for the deal, and then asked, "so I can't call out for you or mom unless its an emergency?" I said, "yeah, because that would be breaking your deal." She said "Is that like tearing paper?" I laughed and said, "No, its kind of like breaking a promise." "It's not just LIKE breaking a promise," she said, "it IS breaking a promise." I promised her a minute and gave her four. She's sleeping like a baby.
  • Dana--OK, I'm just going to lay this out there: Dana leaves things open. I can't count the time I've tried to pick up the peanut butter jar by the lid...and just picked up a lid. The toothpaste never has a cap on it. To be honest, ever time I see it, I break into a smile. You see, its not just peanut butter and toothpaste that she refuses to close. Though she would deny it, she is patient in a way that verges on the miraculous. When those of us around her give her every reason to give up on us...when we fail her and disappoint her, she refuses to close the door. She focuses on the possible. She clings to hope. You see, Dana leaves things open...and it makes all the difference in the world.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Quoting Theology

"If the word believing seems too soft a strategy for confronting global crises, I would reply that believing seems like a soft or weak thing only when it is a domesticated belief. Tame believing for and within the dominant system may be easy, but wild believing against and beyond it turns normal people into heroes and history changers. Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Galileo, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Saint Francis...they all showed this heroic courage to believe against and beyond the dominant systems of their day."