Monday, August 24, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Maybe I'll spend some time thinking about writing one thing a week, rather than writing several small ones a day like apparently 'true' bloggers such as Scot McKnight (who I like reading).
Anyhows, I guess I'd better stop procrastinating from my assignment, and get back to it. Wonder what I should write about this week....its Tuesday already :s
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
"When a stranger is lost in darkness, God makes his face to shine upon the face of the stranger; when the stranger is endangered by the desert heat, God leads him into the shelter and shade of his loving care. The self is already turned to God, who has in turn turned the self to the stranger, deflected it in a certain way, ordered and commanded the self to the stranger, who bears God's trace and seal. Being turned to the other means a devotion to God that responds without desire for reciprocity, in a love without eros, in a relation without correlation and reciprocity, like the non-reciprocity, the interruption of the symmetry and commensurability that constitutes the gift, or death itself. A-Dieu, to-God, to-the-infinite,to-the-tout autre, who is a positive infinity, an infinite yes, an unlimited oui, an event. To respond to the event is to say yes to what seperates itself, to welcome and greet what seperates itself, whose departure is not different from its coming, and this "deference" is the breath of the a-Dieu."
What he says here reminds me that God has created, or is, an infinite yes. An ever influentially present yes to and in life. Life that encompasses humanity, creation and the cosmos. A yes to life that was manifested through Jesus. When we respond to the yes, then a relationship is transformed. And as Caputo suggests, one of the foundations for such a transformed relationship in non-reciprocity. We love God in a selfless, honest, way that comes to expect nothing back from that which we give to. But in turn, as God loves us even more, he gives - not in return nor reciprocity - to us. Just as he gave us redemption, we have to realize it's present yes and accept it - the gift. I wonder how many people don't not think about spirituality, their relationship, to God reciprocally?
P.S. I think this has something to say about a doctrine of prosperity as well. E.g. Creflo Dollar; be debt free and God will bless you - is this not a relationship based on reciprocity? Does it undermine love? How can we come to expect prosperity from God? Perhaps this is something I will look into.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
However this also brings up images of church, christian social groups, small groups, and church life. I'm not really into that either. I wonder if it's cause it takes more time to be involved in stuff like that than it does to build friendships with other non-christians? I mean I like church, and I go to church. But should we be spending more time in church than with non-believers? Christian religion can often become a comfortable ghetto. The cheesiness of christian religion reeks of complacency, and it is this that I guess I react to. Perhaps I react too strongly though and don't give some areas of christian religion enough time to prove itself. Most of the time though I'm just thinking about how there is still more good to be done in the world. Especially in some sermons. But then, unavoidably, I am a hypocrite.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Could someone render Jesus speechless? What is there that someone could say? What is there that someone can do? Is it possible? I think so. But there is something necessary to understand first. You see, Briar (my wife) can be an all or nothing chick - which is great (especially in photography). Things get done really well. So, for example, when the house gets a clean, it's not a simple vacuum and dishes wash. Nope, the house gets something just short of a makeover. Everything gets done. When a photo is getting taken, it gets taken perfect. When a fish is getting filleted, every last piece of flesh is utilised. When a tree is chainsawed, she will get it done perfect. From the place of cut, to the place the tree lands, to the size of the wood to be carried - each piece cut to the specifications of the carrier. This is my wife.
So can something make Jesus speechless? Well I was thinking the other day, I could see him speechless. In fact, this was the closest scenario I could think of. Imagine that Jesus has come back, and has been back for sometime. Forget a complete rapture of the saved. Rather, a world-wide protection by God from Satan and his minions. What has been going on is an epic battle between good and evil. One much anticipated for all history. I mean, when Jesus died on the cross, that was him throwing the gloves on the floor, looking Satan in the eye and saying "I'll give you an hour to gather your best team and let's take this outside." The hour is up, and the fight is in full swing. Not just for humans, but for all of God's good creation. This fight is global, from NZ to America to Scots Base. But there are two arch-enemies dueling it out on Mt Zion. It's Jesus vs. Satan and Satan is getting the beat down. No one else, angels nor demons, are fighting. But all are transfixed on this fight. Finally with Satan lying on the ground prostrate, absolutely beaten and his sword metres away, Jesus holds back the historically expected killing strike, blowing the minds of everyone watching. And instead he stands there and takes in the moments he has as he prepares himself to show Satan and the world a love and grace that only God can, and does harbour. And when all are silent, and an atmosphere of anticipation is present, from out of no where leaps Briar. She scoops up Satan's sword, and in the flash of an eye drives it through his throat dealing a killing blow. Stands up, brushes her fiery red hair back, looks Jesus in the eye and says "Look, like I tell my husband, no half measures! Either do it properly, or don't do it at all!" And with that, I think Jesus would be flabagasted. The most anticipated moment in all of history, one that makes Jesus' redemptive death look a miniscule blip in the life of it all, taken by my wife Briar.
I know I'd be shocked.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
So as most people within the Western world, we are in a market-wealth crisis, otherwise known as the recession. For the rich people it means a possible bad mark on their records, a lower performance pay out and a good dose of despise. For the lower-rich it means their identity is messed with as they have to pucker up their life style, adapt to a [s]lower income and perhaps deal with a bit more despise than those above them due to their closer relations with those below them. For middle class and down it means possible unemployment, hard times, and hopefully general, mutual sympathy between ourselves. For the poor, destitute, homeless, bums and the like (can never think of a nice PC word for this class) it's just life as normal, and perhaps suffer a bit more ignorance as those above them become more concerned with their own families, lifestyles and financial issues.
I'd like to draw a point or two out of this. Firstly, I think that if we want to move through this time easier we, particularly the middle-class down patrons, have to resist the urge to think for ourselves and look for more ways to support each other. As the larger portion of society I believe we have the potential to pull through this pretty well if we look after each other rather than just 'numero uno.' I can't do much about the powers that be and what they decide to do e.g. Job Summits. But I can look out for those around me and be aware of not just their financial circumstances, but them as people. Comradery, I'd like to think, will be one of the winning elements of the day.
And another slightly different point. The government should subsidize comedian shows and/or comedy events. For example, a subsidy for those in financial hardship so that they are able to go to the likes of Billy Connolly. It's easy enough to get worn down in life and end up in the dumps. It's much harder to keep an optimistic attitude and maintain a higher morale in seemingly desperate situations. I think that spending the night out and having a good laugh can do worlds of wonders for people and their morale. While it wouldn't improve financial situations, I would argue that it would help improve a persons well-being as well as their relationships with others.
So in one sentence comradery, optimism, high morale and comedy.