Friday, September 28, 2007

A guy who tried to "live" every rule in the Bible

Don't know if you read/heard about this, but a guy does these year-long "experiments" where he immerses himself into something (I think round 1 was the Encyclopedia) for a year and then writes about the experience. While excessively fascinating from a philosophy/cultural point-of-view, it's kind'of fun.

Read the article to see how he viewed his time. Pretty good!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Definition of "Health"

"We are coming to understand health not as the absence of disease, but rather as the process by which individuals maintain their sense of coherence (i.e. sense that life is comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful) and ability to function in the face of changes in themselves and their relationships with their environment." - Dr. Aaron Antonovsky

Monday, September 10, 2007

Did this REALLY happen?

In 1 Samuel 17:37 David says that God Himself was involved with David's killing (rescue) of a lion and a bear as David was protecting sheep.

Does God really get involved with that? Or is it possible that David took God's protection too far. I am NOT arguing against being heavily involved with Goliath's death.

Is it possible that God was NOT involved with the bear or lion and that David was mistaken?

What do YOU think?

Friday, September 07, 2007

More on metaphors: by Tony Miles

My blog-friend Tony Miles has a GREAT line in his latest (as of this post) blog: don't call me Veronica: reviewing sabbath: a beautiful mess

In it he writes:

Truth is both poetic and rational . . . Unfortunately, to hold truth (or anything for that matter) in tension means that we loose control over it.
(emphasis added)

I love how he makes the connection between tension (in this context, "tension" parallel to "metaphor" in that a metaphor is an incomplete [tense] picture) and control.

And this is why I read Tony Miles ;-)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The metaphor of "Salvation"

Some of the Emergent Church ('emergent village' to be precise) folks, at least around 2001, were making a pretty interesting rumbling about the use of metaphors. What was uncovered for me was how many of my thoughts about God and God+life (i.e. my theologies) were actually based on metaphors. Including "salvation," "son," even the word/idea "trinity."

My first reaction was to say, "No!" Not metaphor but rather real.

Then I came to believe that the reason for metaphors was to express something fully on my human level while pointing to (?) something greater than I could understand. The beauty of using a metaphor is that it often has more "levels" allowing my increased understanding and experiences with God to enlighten more levels - the metaphor doesn't contain ALL there is to grasp but allows me entry into the idea; often allowing more doors to be opened inside the metaphor itself since the metaphor is pointing to, explaining, something so grand.

The point . . . the idea of being "saved" (in a non-Biblical, non-Christian-specific way) usually means to be removed from a situation - saved from something. I read N.T. Wright write about God allowing bad things ("the theodicy problem"). Good article. It got me thinking about how unique our Salvation is compared to the typical use of the word. Our Salvation does not remove us from the location of the problem (sin, imperfection, distance from God, no-relation to God, unable to live as a subject of the King, etc.).

But perhaps this metaphor has been tainted by our common use of "salvation." Is it possible that part of what has happened in Western theology is that we use the Salvation metaphor so much (I would propose it is the primary metaphor, eclipsing all other metaphors combined) that we have accidentally let it focus our attention on the "out of here" nature of the word? God through Jesus didn't come to save me out (off) of this planet. But the metaphor reinforces this kind of thinking, I think.

N.T. wrote his article using a more "healing" than "saving" metaphor. Really, picking up the "redemption" metaphor more than the "salvation" one. Healing vs. Fixing. Living in this new metaphor, on purpose, for a while might change my view on people, my disobedient kids, my awful parenting, my neighbors, my thought-life, etc. I tend to like shiny, new things. What if I have to "recycle" everything (sorry, a bit of my Washington home coming through here!)? My assumptions about the innate evil-ness have to be replaced if something is redeemable. [Like our last house - some saw it as evil and needing to be destroyed, Tara saw it as redeemable]

I'd rather be fixed - the Bible stories-out healing. I'd rather be saved, God seems to choose redemption (buying back, re-owning, re-valuing).