Saturday, January 30, 2010

You Can't Just Say Nothing

While the concept has been met with a good deal of hesitancy and criticism, especially in the Christian realm, I don't mind being labeled as 'postmodern.' Postmodernism, in reaction to the 500 previous years of Modernism, has ushered in the beginnings of a new way of being in the world, a posture less consumed with having all the answers and more interested in conversation and mutuality with others. Postmodernism assumes that 'we' (this can be any group 'I' am a part of, including Christianity) do not have a stranglehold on the truth and that there is much to be learned from 'them.'

The problem with postmodernism, however, can come in how it is often unwilling to make ANY sort of truth claims. This can seem so wishy-washy, like the postmodern thinker has no real thoughts of their own. The postmodern thinker must find a balance between seeking truth and make truth claims without appearing to have every answer and closing themselves off to learning from others. For a much more intelligent and lengthy conversation on this topic, please check out Richard Dahlstrom's blog post on the subject HERE. Richard is a pastor here in Seattle and is brilliant. His way of talking about the pros and cons of postmodernism are fascinating and very helpful. I strongly encourage you to read his thoughts on this subject and others (great thoughts recently on the Supreme Court decision that corporations should be afforded 1st Amendment rights) at HIS BLOG.

HT: Richard Dahlstrom

Friday, January 29, 2010

A New Gig

Since beginning as a student at Mars Hill Graduate School I have been interested in finding my niche at the school, the place where my interests and abilities can best serve and be utilized by the school. There are plenty of ways to be involved in areas like student council, but that has never really interested me.

Recently, however, a great opportunity finally arose. I was contacted by the editor of our school's blog and asked if I would volunteer my time as a co-editor of the site. He had seen my own blog and had asked me to write a post for the school's site once before, and was interested in my services in this role. I jumped at the opportunity.

My responsibilities in this role will be to write posts for the site (maybe once every week or 2) and find other students and faculty to write for the site. Already I have become more aware of the things people are saying and writing in classes, asking them to write posts for me based on their thoughts. Many of the posts I write for the MHGS site will also be included here on this blog, but please visit this other blog HERE.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Great Thought from Anne Lamott

"You can tell you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."
~Anne Lamott

Monday, January 25, 2010

Harsh Words Against Passive Faith

I debated about whether to post this picture on here because of its more personal nature. I'm not one who typically supports the belittling of others, especially other pastors, and this cartoon would be especially controversial here in Seattle because Mark Discoll happens to pastor here. While I do agree with the cartoon, one could easily substitute 'Driscoll' with most Christians, as most of us claim to want to help but usually fail to offer any real support. I hope this cartoon serves less as a criticism of one individual and more of a critique of Christianity as a whole.

HT: ASBO Jesus

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thoughts on Health & Peace

We are talking about war tomorrow in my 'Essential Community' class and were required to read a chapter of a book by Craig Rennebohm called Souls in the Hands of a Tender God. This quote stuck out to me as being vitally important for working toward health and peace in this world.

"Health and peace begin each day, in every community, with how we treat one another. How we act on the larger stage of human affairs is rooted in the ways we have practiced at home and on the sidewalks and street corners of our communities. We cannot ignore our sister or brother's suffering, we cannot turn away from the stranger in need before us and expect that we will somehow have the knowledge and skills we need to create well-being and lasting security on the national or global level. A peaceful world grows only on the foundation of compassionate community, laid down as generations of humans cultivate and spread the practices of companionship, the art of hospitality, the gift of listening, and the capacity to walk with one another--and especially the stranger--toward a shared well-being."
~Craig Rennebohm

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Confession & Hope for Community

The following piece was a writing assignment for one of my classes this semester called "Essential Community." We were instructed to think & write for 15 minutes about our 'confession and hope for community.' I thought I would share my writings with you. Enjoy.
Community has always been a gathering of people who get along, who are like-minded. If difference arises, eventually one or both parties will check out and escape to more like-minded groups. It has been a place of trite, surface conversation, where no one really knows anyone and "how are you?" means "hello." Community has been just connected enough to talk about the struggles of those close to you, but not connected enough to talk about your own struggles. My confession is that community has never had anything to do with confession, because that would be far too intimate, risky, and vulnerable.

I would hope more for community. I would hope it to be people who really know each other, who share life, who share things, who share food, who share space, who share tears, who share trials and tribulations, who share joys and celebrations. I would hope it to be ongoing and lasting, not temporary and situational. I would hope it to be full of diversity, where regardless of difference, people can set aside that which divides and sing and dance and laugh and cry and eat and drink and live and love. I need that. The world needs that.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Creative Kind of Hotel

Would be a sweet place to stay!

Welcome to Das Park Hotel in Linz, Austria. This unique hotel has transformed standard concrete sewer pipes into hotel rooms, simply by giving them a back wall and large front door, and drilling a window in the side for a little bit of natural light.

HT: Hilary Golden

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Compelling Picture

I recently came across this image on the blog of Eugene Cho, a pastor here in Seattle. The picture is of Jesus carrying the gear of a Nazi soldier. I love art that asks you to think hard, that doesn't allow you to just pass by without deep contemplation. I wonder what you think about this picture.

HT: Eugene Cho