Wednesday, February 15, 2006

mid-morning time waster

is your boss sequestered in her office? struggling through the hours between coffee and a high-calorie lunch? then you need a break!

why don't you seize this opportunity to go hunting with dick cheney?
out of context

while playing hurry-up-and-wait before an interview this week, i read marilyn chandler mcentyre's intriguing article let us proclaim the mystery of our faith in weavings journal.* in this article she explores the mysterious beauty of revelation in a most intriguing way. here are a few quotes.

"one of the most troubling bumper stickers i've seen among the many i pass in my travels about town bears this message: "the bible said it. i believe it. that settles it. i am troubled by this blunt little message in part because of its belligerent, non-invitational tone - something like the sound of a door slamming. more importantly, i'm troubled by the simplistic, literalistic understanding of scripture it seems to advocate. i've been tempted a number of times to print a couple of bumper stickers of my own (similarly belligerent, i fear) - 'if you can't handle paradox, get out of the pulpit.' or perhaps, 'if you can't handle metaphor, get out of the ministry" (volume XXI:I, pg. 6).

"it may be that the difficulties the Bible presents to the rational, literal, law-making mind - the part of us that is fearful and craves certainty and control - serves to protect the truth it offers from being finally co-opted and abused" (ibid, 9).

"any linguist who has pondered languages that have no tenses as we know them, or forty-seven words for snow, or single words with several radically different meanings, will testify to the insistently playful, contingent, slippery character of language itself - useful and usable, but never completely manageable, and never an adequate vehicle of 'whole truth'" (ibid, 11).

in this passage, she is suggesting that our hermeneutic should not be characterized by a demand for certainty, but by the "wild freedom of trust."
"trust liberates us to let things be, to take our questions one at a time, to ponder them peacefully, knowing ourselves all the time to be held in a loving and secure embrace of one who, despite not providing all the answers we want, supplies all our needs. trust liberates us to live joyfully in the midst of mystery, delighting in the play of the mind, the poetic dimensions of mind and tongue, the rich possibilities of meaning available in a single story, and the safety we can experience against all rational odds in the presence of the God who is both the unimaginable Lord of the Universe and closer to us than our very breath" (ibid).

wow. that's the best musing on revelation that i've read since i picked up tom harrison's senior seminar paper on inspiration in the spring of 2000. i think tom is one of the most insightful sojourners that i've ever met. i wish he would endow us with his insights by picking up a pen. hell, i simply wish i could connect with him once again. do any of you lcc folk know what became of him?

*weavings is a fantastic monthly journal which explores the Christian spiritual life. uncle Neal gave kellie and i a gift subscription when we got married. although i don't read it as often as i would like, i always find the topics (i.e., mystery, perseverance, compassion) intriguing and the writing spot-on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


i was reading ryan bolger's why emerging churches are non-violent on next-wave when it hit me. adherents to the stone-campbell tradition (for the uninitiated that's the Christian Churches, Churches of Christ/Church of Christ Acappella/Disciples of Christ crew that i am a part of), who readily claim a primitivist desire to re-create the first century church, should be pacifists by definition. from my perspective, if campbellites choose to embrace the "just war" (has a more tragic oxymoron ever been coined?) tradition - that did not develop until the fifth or sixth century - they are willfullly ignoring the original impetus of our rich tradition.

of course, by this logic southern baptists should be the last folks who are interested in breaching the wall of separation between church and state, but still...