Friday, November 30, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
“From Stettin in the Baltic to
Both sides feared the other was seeking world domination. Soviets saw the Marshal plan as an attempt by the
Most historians today agree that neither side had aims of world domination in mind, it was the fear of the “other” that pushed them to close off themselves and create and live in a caricaturized society in which personal liberty was suffocated on both sides and the resources of the respective governments were implemented to create mass arsenals of weapons which would never be used.
In an age of religious extremist and with western civilization shifting into a post-Christian society those of us who find themselves within the confines of a Christian tradition can sometimes be frightened by all the changes in the world today. It often seems as if civilization has embarked upon a slippery slope in which the values many Christians hold will no longer be the norm of the society around them.
In response to this the church has begun a cold war of its own. It’s created sanctions on culture, and has tried to create alternatives of every element of pop-culture. It spans from pop divas and punk rock, to romance novels. It seems that no matter what you’re into God has a version of his own with its own slant that espouses some form of Christian doctrine.
The Church has even created its own versions of science, history, and politics.
The problem with this world is it reflects a reality that just isn’t there, and diminishes the ability of the Christian consumer to communicate with the outside world.
I just watched a video of Haggard and Dawkins talking about the issues of Evolution, and it seemed to me that Haggard had no idea what was actually going on in the world of science, but had only been in contact with many of the Christian sources that many of you are undoubtedly familiar with.
I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus holds the key to making this world a better place, and that a life in him is the only kind of life I want to live, but we can’t really talk about Jesus to the world in an effective way if we are completely outside of it.
In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul states,
“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
Should we not follow his example? The Cold War is widening the Gap between Christ and the World. If we want to bring God’s kingdom here today, we need to be here today facing the real issues of the world.
The church has no power as long as it insists on plunging its head into the sand and pretending that all the scary liberals will go away.
The World has changed and we must learn to move forward with them. By promoting ignorance instead of attentiveness we emasculate ourselves. If the church really wants to be a force in this world we need to begin to listen to the reasons why things are shifting. Western Civilization isn’t trying to bring down the church they’ve simply been let down by the church.
Jesus death tore the curtain that separated God from the world. Why have we created our own “Iron Curtain” to keep God away from the world again? It needs to come down. The people in our communities are not our enemies, they are simply people just like us and I know I want to be a part of their lives, it’s there that I can let the love of Christ shine through me.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
As many of you know I have a bit of an obsession with Coffee. There are few things I find as spiritual an experience as making an espresso drink. The thick sweet espresso created with meticulous systematic artisanship is a thing of true beauty.
I will be working at the common cup on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM
If you want to come in and talk theology, music, coffee, or just shoot the breeze I will be there mostly just hanging out.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?" "Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?" Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."
In the gospels Jesus talks about the “
This idea can be terrifying to a lot of people. So often when the idea of a “kingdom of God” is brought up the first thought people have is some sort of religious state along the lines of an islamofascist régime, or the kind of legislated morality often touted by those of the so called “Moral Majority” and the religious right in general.
Over the centuries since Christ first spoke of the
There has to be a better way to handle this term.
So what is the
The problem I see isn’t really in the ideas of a coming future kingdom, or a heavenly realm, but in the way that the term is used to describe life in the here and now.
When Jesus teaches us to pray that God’s kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10), or when Jesus says the kingdom of God is among you (or within you being an alternate translation, Luke 17:20-21) there is an implicit indication that there is some way that the kingdom of God is more then a distant location, or subject reserved exclusively for those with a thing for all things eschatological.
The teachings of Jesus are about HERE TODAY, just as much as they’re about “some glad morning, when this life is over.”
However, this by no means gives anyone permission to associate the “
There has been a tendency by both Democrats and Republicans to attempt to hijack the church for their own purposes. This is no different then the strategies invoked by despots throughout history who have manipulated the message of the laity to solidify their power and justify their actions. This has far too often been successful.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Then I ran into a panel discussion where she used the word again in the following statement.
“The Anglicans have this notion of Orthonomy the following of the law in order to make the music. Most of the world is divided between Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy.”
(General Session 2—Thursday March 11, 2004—Phyllis Tickle etc... Found Here)
Then I was reading an old LA Times Article and the word Orthoparadoxy came up.
As we stumble butts out into the future it seems there is an increasing implementation and invention of new terms to describe the way people understand the proper methods and philosophies used to be a person or people of faith.
It all used to be so simple…
Orthodoxy was when what you believed was what was most important.
Orthopraxy was when what you did was most important.
For example in the pre-Christian western world a person’s theology wasn’t important. What really mattered was if they offered the proper sacrifices to the proper gods.
Then when Christianity hit the scene there was a new emphasis in believing the right thing that naturally came along with a monotheistic, more exclusive religion. If there was only one God you’d better get him right. The notion of grace also helped the west to shift to a more orthodoxy based approach to God. With Christ even a lifelong murder/ rapist could be saved if he only put his faith in Jesus at the end of his life.
Of course Orthopraxy still played a major role in many peoples religious lives, and still maintained a major role in non-western religions, the largest of which would be Islam, which still has a very strong focus on practices.
So now what do we have.
From what I can tell Orthonomy refers to a right harmony/relationship in something, and Orthoparadoxy is the art of dissolving dichotomies.
These ideas seem very ambiguous and confusing as all get out.
What on earth does that mean?! How do you implement that in your religious life?
Tony Jones, with whom the word Orthoparodoxy seems most closely associated, wrote the following:
“You have heard it said that the emergent church values orthopraxy over
orthodoxy, but I say to you, if orthodoxy is an event, then another veil has been torn.
There is no difference between the two. .Orthoparadoxy,. as my friend Dwight Friesen
calls it, is the dialectical tension in which these two poles stand. Let me put it more
boldly: there is no orthodoxy without orthopraxy. It doesn.t exist. People may talk about
it, but they also talk about unicorns.
There is no song until it.s sung.it.s just words and notes on paper. There is no
strike until it.s called by the ump..It ain.t nothing till I call it.. And there is no
orthodoxy until it.s lived. It is an event that happens when we gather to worship, when
we change a diaper, when we read a book, when we present a paper.
You have heard it said that the emergent church vaunts experience at the expense
of rational knowledge, but I say to you that all human endeavors, including theology, are
experiential. If one knows anything about phenomenology, it is obvious that what human
beings do is experience and interpret those experiences. Walking a labyrinth is
experiential, and so is reading a theology textbook. Praying is experiential, as is listening
to a sermon. There.s no such thing as a human endeavor that is not .experiential..we
are experiential beings, and our faith practices, be they cerebral or kinesthetic,
propositional or narrative, are thus necessarily experiential, too.”
(you can read the whole presentation here)
So if I read him right it’s more about a synthesis of the two rather then a real third idea. Holding them both together in tension letting them dance around somehow in your life being both a contrasting in definition, and natural outgrowth of one another. But I might be reading into it a little.
So what then is Orthonomy?
According to Tickle, “The new authority is the beauty of the thing,” she said. Under orthonomy, people will choose those ideas that contribute to music, poetry, and beauty.
This almost reminds me of some of the Ideas of Robert M. Pirsig. Except instead of harmony he talked about quality. Well Whatever your Ortho might be (even if it’s your Orthodontist) have a great day!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Let me know what you think.
mp3 File located HERE
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Here it is:
It has music from my friends in Psalters who have much more to say on the issue then me. The words were spoken by Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and Dr. Martin Luther King jr. There is also music by Caribou. I think that gives everyone their fair dues. (photos are not mine either... but documenting that is something I don't feel up for today. I hope the artists can forgive me).
and Tell me what you think!