Tag Archives: spirituality

What OTHERS think of the Theology Books We Write {with thanks to T.E. Hanna & Peter Enns}

I borrow once again from T.E. Hanna’s great Of Dust and Kings blog who, in turn, borrowed from Peter Enns’ blog over on Patheos.  I think it’s a funny, poignant turn on what God thinks of the theology books we write (and can be extrapolated to pretty much any theological writing in my humble opinion).  As I was reading the following “exchange” though, a few thoughts came to mind which I’ll share later.  But, we begin with Peter Enns’ work:

What we think of the theology books we write:

Well, I’ve worked for years on this, and I have to say I think I nailed it. It’s not perfect, but I am sure this will be a lasting contribution to thinking Christians everywhere. It’s a thoughtful piece that raises many pressing, indeed, perennial issues, that have not been addressed quite as clearly as I do here.

You’re welcome.

What God thinks (as told through dramatic metaphor):

Five year old: Daddy, do you like my picture?

Father: [Dear God, if there is a God, have mercy on me and tell me what this random series–if series is even the right word–of lines and squiggles is supposed to be. Please. Help. Me.] Ah….woooooow! That’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Five Year Old: Can you tell what it is? [no clue what’s happening]

Father: [Merciful and Almighty God. I do not know what this is. Either tell me or make it stop. I will promise you anything.] Of COURSE. Yeah. It’s a cccaaaa….

Five Year Old: [slightly puzzled but not discouraged] It’s a reindeer in a boat.

Father: [Capricious God, was I asking too much? A little help. Still, not too bad. Damage control time.] Sure. Here are the antlers…and look…it’s nose…and there is the outboard motor…..and that’s the water, right?

Five Year Old: That’s the sail.

Father: [A sail? Why didn’t you warn me to leave well enough alone?] Oh, riiiight.. The sail.

Five Year Old: Isn’t that a great picture, Dad.

Father: It’s beAUTiful. I love it. And everyone else who sees it will love it, too. Let’s hang it up on the fridge to make sure everyone sees it. Everyone needs to see this picture of a …reindeer…in a boat….

Five Year Old: ….with a sail.

+++++

Sounds about right, don’t you think (especially to those of us who’ve lived through five-year-olds).  Eerily accurate from God’s perspective too, if I may venture.  But I was thinking as I’m reading this, “what would another five-year-old think of the picture?” After all, that’s their peers, their brothers, their “audience”.   So I made up my own metaphor to illustrate: Continue reading What OTHERS think of the Theology Books We Write {with thanks to T.E. Hanna & Peter Enns}

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“Church”

My brother-in-law asked an intriguing philosophical question the last time he was here.  “Do you have to go to church in order to go to be saved?”

I thought it was a great question.  Of course, the pizzas were just coming out of the oven, and the Kansas/Ohio State game was just getting underway, so it never did get explored in any detail.  Never really got answered at all, honestly.  But I still thought it was a great question nonetheless.

It actually got me thinking of another one, ironically while I was sitting in church this past Sunday: “What exactly IS ‘church’?”

Is it that place we (who actually go) spend our hour+ each weekend so we can say with self-righteous authority, “We’re Christians!!”?  (Sorry, the cynical side of me had to get that one out.)  Is it a place we go to get fellowship, give worship, submit to Lordship?  Is it a building?  A meeting of fellow “believers” (Acts 2, anybody?)

What exactly is this thing called “church”?

Well, I have an answer . . . Continue reading “Church”

Elephants, Stumbling Blocks & Mushrooms

This morning I read an excellent article by a fellow blogger; Chief of the Least (read it here).  In brief, he talks about the “vile invisible elephant” in the room—that there are many believers addicted to porn.

What intrigued me was not so much the blog article, succinct and well-written as it was, so much as the commentary that followed: many in support and a few that wondered what such a “trash magazine” topic would be doing in a so-called Christian inspirational blog.  And I had a thought on this . . . Continue reading Elephants, Stumbling Blocks & Mushrooms

Our Golden Calves

Aahh, Exodus!  A vengeful and angry God.  A rebellious and “stiff necked” people.  Plagues.  Death.  And a Golden Calf.

Most people pass off the story of the golden calf as just another example of idol worship or chasing false gods; something we as modern, literate and civilized people would never do.  So, the story is skimmed over at best; any hint of relevance shrugged off.  Yet, in the middle of a conversation with a friend of a friend who was going through some difficulty in his marriage where an emotional affair had resulted, something was said that gave me pause.  My friend said, “this guy’s golden calf was in the words of affirmation he was getting from another woman“.

I thought, what an amazingly appropriate description!

But, let’s recall the story first . . . Continue reading Our Golden Calves