Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Today, Chavez has gotten pretty much a dictatorship in Venezula. Amid cries of socialism, he is creating an empire based on hate. Much of the social governments of the past 500 years (especially within the last 100 years) have been based on hate. These include Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. This has created an understanding of socialism that equates it with hate.
Conversely, much of the world that is trying to live by a Christian standard has tried to base a government on what it is for. I admit the American Revolution was against something, but maybe it was more for freedom than it was against anything. Democratic countries are not innocent; they are not the new heaven and new earth, but if you were a visitor from another country - where would you choose to live? In a just society (at least generally) or next door to a guy like Chavez (or Kim-Jong, Castro, Gueverra, Stalin, etc.)?
Democracy is not Jesus' goal in the Scriptures, but love is. Salvation is!
May we be agents of love no matter the socio-political situation we are in.
The book works as a text book, as a resource for papers, but don't expect to be inspired. It is a tedious survey of every scripture that even faintly leans into holiness theology. There are lots of block quotes, making a 230 page book out of a 150-er. However, wordiness is next to godliness when you have to write a ten page paper on holiness.
And now, here are some wonderful quotes and insights from the book:
>p.16 on Bonhoeffer, He "spoke out against any form of 'cheap grace' which promises forgiveness without calling for the living of a new life."
> I think there is something about the way that holiness and fire equally induce a reaction of awe. This needs to be investigated...my thoughts
>p.26 "He who sanctifies others must himself be holy"
----what are the implications of this statement on holiness and marriage?
This chapter is so essential for youth ministers for a couple of reasons:
1. Youth ministers are looked up to and watched by students
2. Youth ministers must consider their methods in light of the students they are ministering to. What worked for a particular group/generation may not work for the following group/generation.
3. Youth ministers must be kind to those that are receptive and have the wisdom to recognize rebellion and pride in the students they lead. This is a hard thing for sure, as it is not a fun job to be able to confront anyone about their attitude. Church people tend to talk a lot behind the minister's back and when it gets back to the minister it hurts like a knife in the back. This is why I, personally, try to spend my time with Christians and not with church people. In this chapter the Abbot is actually instructed to use physical harm to chastise the proud and disobedient. Could you imagine a youth pastor doing that today? Or even an Abbot?
4. To whom much has been trusted much will be expected. Today's church is being influenced by youth pastors. This is why I think churches are dumb for hiring untrained, unexperienced, unteachable youth pastors - and being surprised when the church is paying for it 10-20 years later. Perhaps the un-whatever pastors should take care of the oldest, most steady, people and eventually be able to move downwards in age-specific ministry. This is part of the reason I think this chapter on the role of the Abbot is for youth ministers more than any other minister (senior, family, associate, music, etc.)
Above all other things, the Abbot is responsible for the souls of those under his care. May God strengthen those souls and lead the Abbot in the most holy ways as the Lord gives an increase in a worthy fold.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Anyway - it's a kainos week and we'll see new posts shortly!!
Monday, January 22, 2007
> The largest prime number under 100,000 is 99,991
> You cannot fake creativity or competency. You can try, but those who are creative and/or competent will see through you.
> Douglas Coupland has become the anti-icon in generation x. This is mainly because he gave the non-x a definition of the generation who strongly desires to be defined by a resistance to definition.
(For the canadian readers, he ends the book with an absolutely hillarious little paragraph - it's plain rad. however, the american readers may think he's swearing. So, canucks, check it out. amercians, read more dan brown and wonder who jesus' girlfriend was.....)
There is a new edition out, which I link to in the title slide. My edition came out in the 80's so the information on AIDS is pretty dated. It was a lot like reading a world war II propaganda pamphlet. Funny, but sad.
Anyways - it's a long book, but it's a good book.
1. Cenobites - those who live under a rule and an Abbot.
2. Hermits - those who have developed exceptionally well in the Cenobite stages and are ready for individual life of prayer and battle against the devil.
3. Sarabites - no rule, no Abbot. They live in smaller groups and treat holiness like a cafeteria, choosing what they fancy to be good or evil.
4. Landlopers - sensual monks who travel about and live freely with no inhibitions or contribution.
The rule calls the Cenobites the most valiant way, and tracks that way for the rest of the chapters. The Sarabites seem to have descendents today - and more and more appearing in what they claim to be the emerging church. I wonder at what point these people, who deny historical orthodoxy, cease to be a part of the church. It is not for me to judge, but it is a dangerous path when a small group of people make judgements for themselves in isolation from the current and historical Christian commuinty. The Landlopers are probably akin to the modern day evangelistic movement that puffs up statistics in order to gain monetary support. Those who know these organizations, know what it looks like - and it is U-G-L-Y ugly. You can go to Mike Kings' blog (in the roll-out) for a stellar couple of posts on this stuff.
What kind of a monk am I becoming? That is the question this chapter asks me.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Youth ministry as a profession may cease. But this is a long way off - there will be many churches that hold on to modernistic structures for a very long time, so if your in college getting a degree in youth ministry - don't worry...but focus your training on leadership (hope), Scripture (faith) and loving people (love)...these three are foundational for any ministry.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I am against torture, yet I am against terrorism. I am against extended detention without trial, yet I am against freedom through judicial loop-holes.
In any case, we must continue to pray for our leaders because they have to make decisions, sometimes, where there is no right choice...only a choice of which wrong is worse...
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The Trinity becomes absolutely essential to Christian doctrine because, in the very least from a phenomenal view, God, in order to always exist, must always be experientiable. So when the one God of the Christians exists in three peersonalities, He is given to Himself to experience. God is given to observe Himself because He is multiple. One would argue that God could observe Himself if He was not multiple. However, because God is omnipresent, there is no possibility of oberving Himself outside of Himself or in comparison of Himself beyond the existence of another (a creation of His). So, God can be observed to exist eternally because He is more than one.
Therefore, a short allowance towards phonomenology rationally gives that God must be multiple (and it can likely be brought forth that God must be more than two, but a single blog post can only do so much...).
There are immediate applications of this philosophy in systematic and rationalistic theologies and apologetics. Systematics, if they are willing to allow a larger base of evidence than just the Sricptures, can give base to the necessary existence of the Trinity. Rationalists can pose that God is eternally observable, and, thus, eternally existant. Apologists gain a foothold in a postmodern philosophy that lends itself into God's trinitarian existence. All three of these are quick showings that postmodernity is not the enemy (it is not even an enemy system of thought). Rather, postmodernity will allow for a different set of allowances for Christianity that will causally affect the evangelistic impulse of the church for several centuries to come.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Donald Miller also makes a couple guest appearances - providing a little fuel to the "burn-dobson-at-the-stake fire. I thought it was rather silly how much time was devoted to slamming Dobson. I aggreed with most of it, even, but am surprised that people are paying for a book to hear things that I'll just tell them for free (taking tongue out of check...).
A couple of quotes that struck me and a couple questions I have...
p.64 "To love hurting people is exhausting, and I could not ignore the way Papa's gaze saddened when we talked about his three years of depression. We are frail human beings. Working for God does not make us invincible - it only makes our failures more painful."
>> How do we, as a denomination, as a church, as individuals, care for pastors who have/are painfully failed?
p. 163 "As a pastor, it would be a great thing to be involved in an interracial marriage because you would make so many more connections."
>> This is true, it has happened for me and Heather, especially living in the South for a few years were racism is a bigger issue. What is the history of racism in the pacific northwest? Last night the sandwhich artist at Subway asked me if we were celebrating MLK jr's birthday or death - she had no idea he was murdered...racism here exists, but it is ignorance against hispanics and asians - not from a history of slavery. (At least here we don't call taking advantage of hispanic workers slavery...) So - when will the American chruch get over racism? My best guess will be when a white-run America ceases to be the dominant world power. When America finally has to ask for help, the pride of racism will need to either stop - or it will destroy this country. I know that sounds alarmist, but you can blame Dobson for that... :)
Monday, January 15, 2007
Prologue: Many would assume that the monastic way is less active - more still and "do-nothing"; in the prologue that is argued against. The monks are to pray in earnest and not waste time away sleeping and "do-nothing-ing". Rather, they seek the Lord and earnestly try to tune into His voice. The rule, then, is not to create a false spirituality through aceticism, but is to guide the monk into the rythyms of the voice of the Lord. May we, more and more, move in the rythyms of the Spirit of God.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
1. On the Holy Rule of St. Benedict - in my efforts to better understand and live in a monastic rythym.
2. On my reading - I managed about 23 books last year. Not horrible, but will be increasing.
3. On theology - specifically on emerging theologies and giving my thoughts and learning here. These will be the posts that get no comments.
4. On youth ministry - ours and in general.
5. On youtube - I will limit my youtubia to one a week, a sort of prize to myself for finishing well.
There may also be other posts as I feel like it since it is my blog and I hate the rules!