Friday, February 29, 2008

Quoting Theology: Martin Luther King Jr.

"A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man's social conditions. Religion deals with both earth and heaven, both time and eternity. Religion operates not only on the vertical plane but also on the horizontal. It seeks not only to integrate men with God, but to integrate men with men and each man with himself. This means, at bottom, that the Christian gospel is a two-way road. On the one hand, it seeks to change the souls of men and thereby unite them with God; on the other hand, it seeks to change the environmental conditions of men so that the soul will have a chance after it is changed. Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion. Such a religion is the kind the Marxists like to see--an opiate of the people."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Family: Da-da Da-da Da-da Da-da!

I'm a bit off schedule, but I'll do a family post today and a "Quoting Theology" post on Friday.

So, the girls have been down visiting family for a couple of weeks. I stayed behind until after Winterfest, and then I drove down to Birmingham to visit for a few days and then I brought them home.

So, here's the deal. Whenever I'm away from my daughters for a few days, I feel like they grow and mature about a years worth while we're apart. This time was no different. I feel like Emma is talking like a 25 year old, and Chloe made some quantum leaps in development. I was a little sad until the second day...when Chloe started saying Da-da (and sometimes even Daddy)...even Dana admits that she knows what she's saying (when she's not denying it just to mess with me). I walk into a the room and Chloe just beams and starts chanting "da-da-da-da-da-da..." I hear that, and I can take on the world. Oh, and I won this one. She said Da-da first!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Quoting Theology: Moltmann on Hope

" It is only in following the Christ who was raised from suffering, from a god-forsaken death and from the grave that [faith] gains an open prospect in which there is nothing more to oppress us, a view of the realm of freedom and of joy. Where the bounds that mark the end of all human hopes are broken through in the raising of the crucified one, there faith can and must expand into hope...There its hope becomes a 'passion for what is possible' (Kierkegaard), because it can be a passion for what has been made possible."
-Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Ends & The Means

I'm noticing a disturbing trend...again. I keep seeing/hearing Christians (many of whom I know personally, love and respect), who are suspending their ethics for what they perceive as a "greater good". I see it when they participate in character assassination because a preacher, or simply another Christian holds a belief that they disagree with. I've been seeing it mostly these days as many Christians (whom I love and respect) are engaging in the political process. I see it when they circulate information (through emails, word of mouth, etc.) that is misleading at best, and blatantly false at worst. I see it when the ridiculously-easy-to-find evidence to the contrary is presented, and my believing friends say something to the effect of "I know, but I'm just so scared of what might happen."

It bothers me, because of the lack of faith it implies. It bothers me because it seems to assume that the "Way of life" that Jesus calls us to can and should be suspended when the cause is presumably righteous enough. It seems to accept Jesus for his "saving power" but dismisses His Way as hopelessly naive. It claims that "when the stakes are this high, the ends justify the means."

Here's my problem: When I read the words of Jesus...when I look at the life of Jesus, it becomes crystal clear to me that this approach makes no sense to Him at all. For Jesus, the ends never justify the means, because for Him the ends and the means are one and the same thing: LOVE.

No, I'm not worried. I think Jesus knows what He's talking about. I believe that we should live the Way of Jesus...that we live lives of faith, hope and love regardless of the circumstances and challenges. I believe that we trust God. I believe that we should voice and indeed vote our convictions, but I believe that we should do even that in the Way of Jesus. I don't think we should fear that darkness will overtake us if we insist on adhering to the standards and values of the Light. I think we have much to fear if we allow our Light to be extinguished by employing dark tactics in the fight against the darkness.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Family: 10 things I am learning from being a Dad

As most of you know, I have 2 daughters: Emma, age 4 and Chloe, age 5 months. Here are 10 random things I am learning from being a Dad.
  1. I will do the goofiest, most self-deprecating things just to get them to smile.
  2. A 4-year-old can say some of the wisest things in the world , if we will only listen.
  3. I am learning the words to every song from every Disney Princess and every Barbie Movie ever made. (seriously, I am. Please don't make me prove this to you).
  4. I have to make decisions now based on the kind of people I want them to be when they grow up.
  5. Parenting isn't an equation.
  6. One of the greatest blessing that God ever gave to my girls and to me, was Dana.
  7. I have excellent mouth-closing reflexes. (I learned this when Emma was a baby and I was holding her up in the air, over my face. A large amount of spit-up hit me square in the face...but my mouth closed just in time)
  8. I desperately want to become the person that my daughters see in me.
  9. I am learning that "playing with Barbies" can be really enjoyable...if you play with the right people.
  10. I am learing that if God is our Father, there is more love and more grace than any of us ever dared to dream.
I'm going to tag Dana (as a Mom), Phil Wilson, Tony Griffies, Jason Bybee, and Brandon Thomas. Let's see your lists

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Bad Blogger Offers Links as Penance...

I've been a bad blogger this week, or possibly this was a bad blogging week for me. I'll be back on schedule next week. Please accept these links as my apology...

  • CLICK HERE for Dana's post featuring a 5-month picture of Chloe and a pic of Chloe and Emma together in matching P.J.'s.
I sincerely hope you enjoy these links...and that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me for my bad blogging habits ;)