I wondered why Christianity had not typically embedded itself into these festivals, why we weren’t among the leaders of new cultural developments and wildly creative thought. Certainly God is wildly creative – enough to find his way into human hearts in other cultures around the world. But at these festivals, and in the newly developing cultures of postmodernity, there seemed to be so few people of Jesus.
Category Archives: Worldview
Just something to think about….
Those who have a heart for morality, believe God’s heart centers on morality.
Those who have a heart for orphans, believer that God’s heart centers on orphans.
Those who have a heart for America, believe that God’s heart centers on America.
Those who have a heart for prayer, believer that God’s heart centers on prayer.
Those who have a heart for the church, believe that God’s heart centers on the church.
Those who have a heart for missions, believe that God’s heart centers is for missions.
Those who have a heart for individuals, believe that God’s heart centers on the individual.
Those who have a heart for families, believe that God’s heart centers on families.
Those who have a heart for the Bible, believe that God’s heart centers on the Bible.
And on it goes…
If nothing else, school teaches that is an answer to every question; only in the real world do young people discover that many aspects of life are uncertain, mysterious, and even unknowable. If you have a chance to play in nature, if you are sprayed by a beetle, if the color of a butterfly wing comes off on your fingers, if you watch a caterpillar spin its cocoon—you come away with a sense of mystery and uncertainty. The more you watch, the more mysterious the natural world becomes, and the more you realize how little you know. Along with its beauty, you may also come to experience its fecundity, its wastefulness, aggressiveness, ruthlessness, parasitism, and its violence. These qualities are not well-conveyed in textbooks.
Evil is not minimized, but it is put in its place, bracketed between Christ and prayer. There is a detail listing of evil and a courageous facing of evil, but no explanation of it. Nowhere in the Bible is there any attempt to answer the question, “Why does a good God permit evil?” Evil is a fact. The Bible spends a good deal of space insisting that certain facts are evil, and not minor blemishes on the surface of existence. But the Bible does not provide an explanation of evil – rather, it defines a context: all evil takes place in an historical arena bounded by Christ and prayer. Evil is not explained but surrounded. The Revelation summarizes the context: admit evil and do not fear it – for “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4); endure evil, for you are already triumphant over it – “ I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). The Revelation expands the apostolic and dominical words into visions. By putting evil in its place and enumerating it accurately in the precise part of the story where it belongs, it is seen as finite episode and not a total triumph.
I was talking to a homeless man at a laundry mat recently, and he said that when we reduce Christian spirituality to math we defile the Holy. I thought that was very beautiful and comforting because I have never been good at math. Many of our attempts to understand Christian faith have only cheapened it. I can no more understand the totality of God than the pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me. The little we do understand, that grain of sand our minds are capable of grasping, those ideas such as God is good, God feels, God loves, God knows all, are enough to keep our hearts dwelling on His majesty and otherness forever.
Discovering the hidden way technology shapes us is a bit like being the victim of a prank: We feel humiliated and trapped. When I first began studying media influence, I felt like the fish oblivious to the hook inside the worm. Fortunately, however, nothing is inevitable. There is not some predetermined and unstoppable effect of all media. In fact, the chair will continue to be pulled out from under us only if we remain unthinking. Our lack of awareness is what empowers the media to bully us.
Terry Storch gave a talk at MinistryCOM 2007 entitled “Communication Revolution.” In this talk he highlights how our culture is slamming into the traditional ideas of the way churches operate. He list the top five impact points as:
1) One Way Communication vs. Participatory Conversation – No longer is the expectation that you will tell me what I need to know. I want to be part of discovering what I need to know.
2) Service Times vs. On-Demand Content – Our world will not wait for us. They want the content when they want it. We need to provide access so that can interact with content at point-of-need.
3) Walls vs. People – We have tended to think about church inside the building. We need to move the practice of church out into the community.
4) Going to Communities vs.Being in Communities – The way we think about missions and outreach needs change. We need to change from going to communities to becoming involved in the communities we want to reach with the Gospel.
5) Asking People to Just Invite One vs. The Power of One Inviting Everyone – Addition through just bringing one friend is not overcoming the attrition churches are experiencing. We live in age when one person can invite so many more to experience Christ. We need to find and equip those people.
The adage that computers do not impose their ways upon their users is misleading, because it hides an imposing destiny in a guise of instrumental neutrality. By reassuring ourselves that the computer does not impose its ways upon us, we have already succumbed to the imposition of its destiny. The computer, for example, promises greater freedom in creating and organizing data in accordance with our goals and purposes. Yet computers can only be used in a limited number of ways for creating, storing and classifying this information, thereby forming the goals and purposes that it purportedly serves in an instrumental manner. The resulting ‘freedom’ is illusory, because the computer, like any technology, constrains the range of choices its users can make within the limited parameters of its imposed destiny. More broadly, particular technological developments and application permit certain forms of civil society and political community while excluding others.
The communal character of the sacrament means that the communion is with each other as well as with God. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus bids us be reconciled with each other before we bring our gifts to the altar (5:23)….What role then to the gifts of the bread and wine have in all this? They are surely of great importance, but not in a manner that is detachable from the totality of what is going on. It seems to me of great significance that the bread and wine are not only gifts of created nature in that they derive from wheat and grapes, but are also the products of human labor. In liturgical words that are often used at the Offertory, the gifts are ‘what earth has given and human hands have made.’ They represent the drawing together, in the action of the Eucharist, of the fruits of nature and the fruits of human work and skill in the offering of creation.