Story

July 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

I came across some interesting thoughts this evening whilst reading my love a story or two out of the Jesus Story Book Bible (a seeming simple and silly place for inspiration), the chief of which is this. All of the Bible is a story. We’ve talked about this much I think in times past but it struck me as particularly potent this evening. I think over the Bible often times as story, often with the exception of Leviticus, Deuteronomy and often much of the New Testament past Acts and up to Revelation.

But why do I do that? Exempt certain books from the story?

So many times we hear objections to Christianity or the Bible as a system/book of rules, and often times we make that excuse for those books I’ve listed above. “Oh, it’s not a list of rules, it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship. It’s a story… Except for these five books.” Yet I think that is a mischaracterization of what the Bible is doing, that to exempt any of the books from the idea of “telling a story” of what God created in this microcosm called life on earth, is a mistake. I realized that all of the Bible is told in a context of a people in the setting of time, going through events that are shaping what God has either foretold or is actively acting out. Thinking of the Law, it was given to a people at a specific time for a period of time to give direction, to give guidance, to set them apart from the rest of the world for a reason. It’s part of a narrative. It can be damn boring and not often read, but it is set in narrative to a people God is using for a purpose. Jesus comes along in the New Testament as part of a new chapter of that same story: “Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”” Luke 4:21. Often the writers of the New Testament look back to the early story to show how Jesus came to fulfill, to carry on, to push the story onwards. With Jesus, the old story does not change, God does not become different, he does not become someone new. He simply continues on with the Story he’s been telling the world for centuries. The writers of many of the teachings of the New Testament, ones we so often take to build elaborate doctrines and weighty theologies around, they were not trying to give material to theologians in our time to build doctrine around, they are trying to explain the story to us. They so often look backwards at what God did, they tell of the recent past, at what Jesus did. They look deeply into how those events apply and shape how the people of their time ought to have been living out the story and lastly they look far forward to the time when God would resolve all that has happened and not simply end the story with paradise, but open a new chapter in the coming Kingdom on earth.

And IN all that story lies the story for us to continue in our own time and place. There is much to glean from how the Apostles and authors of the Bible taught their own generations to how we live today. It might not be in rules, regulations, perfectly structured doctrine, but rather in a story told of how God has worked in the world in times past, in who God has been to the people in times past, what he has done for the people in times past and to apply all those things to how God works in our lives now, who God is to us now, and to what he is doing in our lives every day now. Not to say that how He has acted in the past governs how He will act now, but I think we will not find Him so much different from all that the Bible illustrates when it tells the story of God. For the Bible is not the story of us. It is not the story of the world and it’s history. It is the story of God, of who He is, of His character, of what He has done in the world and His promises of what is to come. He is the only figure who exists from the first word of the story until the last. The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End… who has no beginning or end. Without Him, there would be no story.

Oh Snap… We’re Back

April 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, this is awkward. Really? After all those notices saying, “Hey, imma write again. Really.” Going to try again, huh?

Yes.

Because something hit me. Are you ready for it? Here it is:

I have things to say when I read.

Reading is something I love(ed). And honestly, since college, I haven’t take the time to read new things, beyond my usual tech blogs. Which I still do, but you can read about that over here. but I’ve started finding edges of time for other reading too. And now I want a space to write about what I’m reading, learning and, as always, disagreeing with. My current reading list looks like this, so you know what to expect:

THE BIBLE, YO
Mark Driscoll’s Vintage Church
Rob Bell’s Love Wins
The Economist

And much more to come…



Stay tuned for posts!

Well well well…

March 2, 2010 § 2 Comments

Been so long. But we’re coming along. Who knew real life could be so busy :)

I’ll be trying to jump back in here from time to time. For now, I wanted to post the past month in music. Some new artists, some old. And as always, only the best.

Top Artists

Count

Count per Week

Time

1 Jack Conte
168
41.4
0:08:36:18
2 Jack Johnson
120
29.6
0:06:30:48
3 The Beatles
97
23.9
0:04:38:12
4 Vampire Weekend
81
19.9
0:04:41:09
5 Rage Against The Machine
70
17.2
0:05:07:28
6 Lovedrug
48
11.8
0:03:32:50
7 Various
28
6.9
0:01:46:05
8 Fleet Foxes
22
5.4
0:01:20:48
9 Dr. Dog
21
5.2
0:01:23:27
10 Radiohead
19
4.7
0:01:22:31

Nuke

May 26, 2009 § 6 Comments

200905262122.jpgSo what do you do when a sovereign nation goes against what an international community forbids it to do?

Lets take North Korea for example. An independent nation that has, in some senses, been very hostile internationally and domestically. First lets address the question, are we allowed to tell North Korea it cannot develop nuclear weapons? Not just us as the United States, but the world at large? I see a few problems with this. First, we do. Most of the major nations in the world who get to make the major calls on international weapons policy are also stockpiling nuclear weapons. Anyone say hypocrisy? Arguments can and have been made that its necessary to maintain global stability, “you nuke us, we nuke you” response, but by that argument, North Korea, Iran, anyone has every right to develop nuclear weapons. You can argue that they are more likely to do something rash with said weapons. It might be argued that the North Korean government will act more irresponsibly and could fire off nukes haphazardly, retreat into their bunkers and only its citizens receive the retribution. Our own possession of nuclear weapons and the retaliatory use of force therefore should become irrelevant to how we would respond to an attack from North Korea. Nuclear weapons would then fail to punish those responsible. It would only serve to harm innocence. Why then do we possess these weapons? To make a point? Would we nuke another nation who did that to us? Should we? This leads into how I feel how the last two wars the US has conducted have turned out: In the destruction of innocence rather than actually providing justice for the people. This happens easily when those responsible are such a small fraction of the whole. Iraqi government, arguably just the men in absolute power of the nation (i.e. Saddam) were the only ones necessary to remove to remove a threat.

So back to North Korea, were they to use nuclear weapons, or even in the presupposition that they will (another “preemptive war”), what would that accomplish?

Now international community is an interesting dynamic. I think that the international community, at least as a whole, is calling for Korea to cease its testing/development of nuclear weapons is a good thing. I don’t think it will influence them, but I think the agreement found there is what is needed. But, in order for their call to lay down arms, I still believe there must be reciprocity practiced by all the nations involved.

Thoughts?  

Commenting on us

May 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

Short post time.

Saw an interesting comment somewhere along the way of my usual reading and interacting with the world. As one of my earlier posts indicated, I’ve been reading up on a lot of the former Nobel Peace Prize winners and what they have accomplished. There have been some really fantastic people and causes around the world, Christ followers and not alike. There has been a lot of discussion, here and elsewhere, that my generation is the one that is super-concerned with social justice and seeking to improve the quality of life around the world. What is interesting, though, is that most of these “kids” are still in college, are still subsisting off of their parents income, are not yet being placed into a position to have to give up some of their own income or potential quality of life for the sake of others. Some are, most are perhaps not. I have no stats to back this up, but in general, most of the people in college who are yelling the loudest about social change, are those with the least ability to be able to do it, at least as far as resources go. My advisor, Dr. Gallagher has told me more than once that age will cure my irreconcilable “liberal” outlook on life. I laugh, but at the same time, I wonder, when its my turn to foot the bill for social change and justice, will I sacrifice of myself and what I have for others or will I continue to look to others to be those supporting the commune (which is why “commune”-ism fails).

So the big question is: Will I and my peers continue to seek change when it is our turn to be the change-makers? Only God and time will tell.

Nob(el) Peace

May 22, 2009 § 2 Comments

From the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize lecture given by Rae McGrath on behalf of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

“Freedom is so often the justification for war. But where is the sense in fighting for the freedom of a people employing a weapon which will deny those same people, in peacetime, freedom to live without fear, freedom to farm their land, freedom to merely walk in safety from place to place — deny them the freedom to let their children play without being torn apart by a landmine? That is no freedom.”

I think its really important to realize that it is next to impossible to justify war on the basis of granting freedom. Not just on the basis of the horrific consequences of landmine use, but because war, on any front, is denying freedom to someone, enemy as well as civilian bystanders. I think more recently, limiting the use of cluster bombs has become the new but similar issue (Human Rights Watch, Cluster Bomb Ban in US).

It is no moral excuse to wring your hands and cry, “but I never knew” — if you never asked to know.

Really enjoying reading through the Nobel Peace Prize lectures. Fascinating stuff.

For all your computing needs…

May 21, 2009 § 2 Comments

For all my non-tech-savvy readers…

If you haven’t tried out the new Mathmatica based site, Wolfram|Alpha

Play with it. You’ll be there for hours figuring out what it can do. We never had toys like this when I was in school.

gdp france canada usa - Wolfram|Alpha.jpg

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