Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ambigram

I got a classic movie for Christmas:























I was pretty excited for the movie in and of itself, and then my mom blew my mind by flipping the case over. 























My mom claims to have bought the movie solely because of the packaging design. 

Then I stumbled across this online:




















Which naturally got me interested in this graphical oddity.

Of course, wikipedia has an entry with all the details, history, trivia, and references to fill your hearts desire.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Feed Your Family For a Week

I did some digging and was not able to pull up a study that was attached to this photo set. I don't know if this is meant to accurately reflect the regions average food consumption to cost ratio or if it is just a random sampling. Based on the meticulous detail in the pictures (notice the American set even includes food purchased at fast food restaurants) it appears a lot of effort was put into the study.

Regardless, it is an intriguing photo set to reflect on:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Engaging Youth: Cross Cultural Understanding

If you have not already, read:
Intro to Thoughts on Engaging Youth
Engaging Youth: Theology of Missions

Over the last year I have had the opportunity to delve into the Russian Church in Portland. It has been a fascinating journey across cultural lines, experiencing the unique and diverse interpretation of the Church. I have also had the opportunity to see this interpretation of the Church through Elena's eyes and past experiences.

Elena explains there exists a "certain feeling within the Russian Christian community, primarily the adult Russian conservative Christian community. This feeling is generally spread amongst the older generation, those who experienced something excellent in their native country, in their native land. The ones who have a strong connection to the Russian they grew up in, the culture they lived in. Those times, for them, were very sacred - oftentimes they suffered persecution for their faith and saw many great things happen.

Then they came to America and their kids started speaking English. Their kids started taking on this foreign culture, leaving behind the culture of their parents - taking on new ideas, learning new words, and expressing themselves differently. America had more freedom for them, and things which were outlawed for their parents became the norm for them. This was uncomfortable and foreign for the parents, so they resisted. They could not understand how something that was so real to them in Russia (their faith), could get lost in translation or could look differently."

It is here we need to stop and reflect on the framework I laid in the Theology of Missions post. Many of the Russian Christian immigrants were unaware that they were embarking on an overseas missions trip as they boarded the plane. However, in this unique context, the target of ministry was not first and foremost the indigenous population, but their very own children.

Russian Christian parents found themselves secluded in a church, isolated, detached from an understanding, much less an engagement with the new culture they found themselves in the midst of. "Instead of learning about the new culture, the parents rejected it and labeled it pagan. They encouraged their children to keep the Russian language and the old way of life. Anything else, was not of God."

If you refer back to Leslie Newbigins triangle, the Russian parents encountered the Gospel in Russian. The Gospel spoke through specific windows of redemption (the Good News) in that context. This contextualized Gospel formed a unique interpretation of the Church. However, when they arrived in America (a new context) and failed to revisit the Gospel. They became religious/sectarian/separated from the people - which, devestatingly enough in this case, is their very own children who are growing up in America.

Elena, having grown up in a Russian Christian church in American remembers "wrestling with the elders who thought the more Americanized you got, the less Christian you were. I remember when pants were shunned, and when speaking in English was as bad as saying a cuss word. Okay, so maybe the last part was a bit of exaggeration, but it may as well have been that."

The following is a story Elena wrote of our experience encountering this very issue.

"The other day, David and I visited a church where the sermon was about understanding the language of God. This sermon was very intricate and had many fine details and thoughts attached to it. It started off intriguing.. It seemed like it was going to be about communicating love to God and understanding his love for us. That we need to understand His language. What it turned out to be, was that we need to understand our native language, which is Russian. If we are not understanding or reading the word in Russian, we are in grave danger of missing our salvation.

I am not joking.

I was very surprised that this was spoken from the pulpit. I have heard this philosophy for a long time, but never was it that bluntly spoken, in front of the congregation, when the youth is leading the service. They probably didn't understand it. They speak mostly English.

It was very sad, but it raises something that I am most passionate about. Church is NOT the place to learn a language or retain a culture. The gospel is not designed to be nationalistic, nor is that Christ's intention. The gospel is beyond culture and beyond any language. In fact, Christ commands us to go from our own town to the ends of the earth, proclaiming the gospel. Only speaking our native language will make it difficult to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. The church is not a place to be ethnocentric and push culture. It is a place to break free of culture and experience freedom, redemption, love, and all good things beyond what culture offers. It should be trans-national. Not nationalistic."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas (With conviction courtesy of J.I. Packer)

Besides the 6 mile hikes in snowshoes to see my amazing fiancée, this crazy weather has given me the opportunity to do something I haven't had time for in months - crack open a good book; correction: a GREAT book (Knowing God)!

Just in time from Christmas, I came across these timeless words from J.I. Packer. These words gives us a grueling challenge against the values and dreams of this world. These words are as piercing as the icy wind, cutting through any thinly veiled facades of an empty faith.

"The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity - hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory - because at the Father's will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, or will hear. We talk glibly of the "Christmas spirit," rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity on a family basis. But what we have said makes it clear that the phrase should in fact carry tremendous weight of meaning. It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas. And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all the year around.

It is our shame and disgrace today that so many Christians - I will be more specific: so many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians - go through this world in the spirit of the priest and the Levite in our Lord's parable, seeing human needs all around them, but (after a pious wish, and perhaps a prayer, that God might meet these needs) averting their eyes and passing by on the other side. That is not the Christmas spirit. Nor is it the spirit of those Christians - alas, they are many - whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle -class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christian friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave the submiddle-class sections of the community, Christians and non-Christian, to get on by themselves.

The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob. For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor - spending and being spent - to enrich their fellow humans, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others - and not just their own friends - in whatever way there seems need.

There are not as many who show this spirit as there should be. If God in mercy revives us, one of the things he will do will be to work more of this spirit in our hearts and lives. If we desire spiritual quickening for ourselves individually, one step we should take is to seek to cultivate this spirit. "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" (2 Cor 8:9). "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" (Phil 2:5). "I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart" (Ps 119"32 KJV)." (Pg 63 in Knowing God)

May you know know and experience the joy and peace of the Christmas spirit fully this Christmas day, and everyday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Engaged!

This is an exciting time to live. So much change, so many struggles, so much brokenness, so many opportunities for God's love to be poured, and I can't imagine anyone I would rather join with on this journey of life.

Since our first date at Habibi's in downtown Portland I have been in awe of this young womans heart for God, my heart has beat twice as many times because of her beauty, and I have never laughed so much in my life! I have never imagined such a love as that between Elena and I.

It's a beautiful thing.

If you are interested, Elena wrote all the juicy details about the proposal on the blog documenting what we have come to refer to as our Galactic Explosion.

Note: I'm well aware of my goofy face in the picture. I don't have the slightest idea how my face came to be in that composure; might have had something to do with me being in the midst of the most exciting moment of my life. Anyhow, Elena is stunning, that's why I'm posting it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Link-O-Rama 12/14/08

There seems to be an abundance of fascinating items swirling around on the Internet as of late. So much so to warrant a second Link-O-Rama a mere 4 days after the last.

Seems Appropriate on This Lazy Sunday



I'm snowed in at my apartment trying to make the best of it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Link-O-Rama 12/10/08

Finals are over. First order of business: Clean up the slew of tabs that are bursting out of my browser.
  • Some kids in my apartments were selling smallish green peppers (a bundle of 15+ for a buck!) for their family. I figured they were spicy, but I unwittingly sliced up a whole one into my burrito. Turns out they are Serrano Peppers. 5x hotter then Jalepenos (according to the official Scoville Units of Heat).
  • Are you telling me Snow Leopard could bring new life to my aging laptop? My Tiger (OS 10.4) built MacBook handled the upgrade to Leopard (OS 10.5) beautifully (And I still haven't upgraded my RAM from 1GB to 2GB). The idea that I could upgrade across 3 releases of an operating system and actually see performance increase completely confounds me having been raised on Windows (In my old lexicon, New Operating System = Hardware Obsolete.)
  • Over half adults play video games. The most intruiging/sad/scary quotes from the article: "She plays every day, sometimes past midnight, to escape and relax and feel a sense of accomplishment." and "Real life can suck, and games are designed not to," she said. "That's why it's important for most people."
  • Ever wonder what the life of a cat looks like through their eyes? Enter Cat Cam. Some of the photos in the gallery are just hilarious.
  • Eiry and slightly depressing photo set: The Remains of Detroit.
  • Pirates are kick ass. Pirate history is even better. Read up on the latest findings on the adventures of Blackbeard.
  • During my old cubicle days at LSI Logic/On Semiconductor the joints in my hands would always ache from typing on cold days. Enter USB powered cute bear gloves. Problem solved. If I still worked in a cubicle, I would totally sport these bad boys.
  • Oil executives predict $1 gas in 2009. I plead with you, do not let this lull you into a apathetic complacency. We must continue restructing our society to be more sustainable. Lets do it when we have the luxury of not being in utter desperation. I don't have a lifetime of wisdom under my belt yet, but I know enough about humanity to know it is way to easy to act destructively and irrationaly in times of desperation.
  • The neck arteries of obese children and teens look more like those of 45-year-olds, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2008. (ScienceDaily.com). Kids better get jumping the rope! ...sidenote: I just added Science Daily to my RSS feed. Great site!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Best Top Gear Clip EVER

Impossible, Clarkson and gang have outdone themselves...and with a Ford Fiesta!!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Building a Bridge to the 18th Century

I am reading Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future by Neil Postman for my Sociology Community and Urbanization class. I am having trouble getting started on the essay. My hope is that if I type up all of the quotes that I tagged it would jump start my brain.

On Technology:

"We learned how to invent things, and the question of why receded in importance. The idea that if something could be done, it should be done was born in the nineteenth century. And along with it there developed a profound belief in all the principles through which invention succeeds: objectivity, efficiency, expertise, standardization, measurement, a market economy, and, of course, faith in progress" (Pg 39)

"Think, for example, of how the word 'community' is employed by those who use the Internet. I have the impression that 'community' is now used to mean, simply, people with similar interests, a considerable change from an older meaning: A community is made up of people who may not have similar interests but who must negotiate and resolve their differences for the sake of social harmony." (Pg 53)

On Language:

"You can 'deconstruct' Mein Kampf until doomsday and it will not occur to you that the text is a paean of praise to the Jewish people. Unless, of course, you want to claim that the text can be read as irony, that Hitler is spoofing anti-Semitism. No one can stop you from doing this." (Pg 78)

"There are hose who have taken the act of postmodern reading and writing to the edge of absurdity, as in the case of The grea Postmodern Spoof of 1997. Alan Sokal, a physicist at New York University, submitted a long essay the the journal Social Text, noted for its commitment to postmodern thought. After the essay was published, Sokal revealed that it was complete gibberish from beginning to end. Not error-laden, not overstated, not even an exercise in fantasy. Gibberish." (Pg 80)

He argues in the academic world we should be reading the likes of "Voltaire, Rousseau, Swift, Madison, Condorcet, or many of the writers of the Enlightenment period who believed that, for all of the difficulties in mastering language, it is possible to say what you mean, to mean what you say, and to be silent when you have nothing to say." (Pg 80)

On Information:

In 1690 "One did not give infromation to make another 'informed'. One gave information to make another do something or feel something, and the doing and feeling were themselves part of a larger idea. Information was, in short, a rhetorical instrument, and this idea did not greatly change until the mid-nineteenth century." (Pg 87)

"Storyless information is an inheritance of the nineteenth century, not of the eighteenth. It emerged as a consequence of an extraordinarily succesful effort to solve the problem of limitation in the speed with which information could be moved...The problem addressed in the nineteenth centruy was how to get more information to more people, fater, and in more diverse forms. For 150 years, humanity has worked with stunning ingenuity to solve this problem. The good news is that we have. The bad news is that, in solving it, we have created another problem, never before experienced: information glut, information as garbage, information divorced from purpose and even meaning." (Pg 89)

"Facts are transformed into information only when we take note of them and speak of them, or, in the case of newspapers, write about them. By definition, facts cannot be wrong. They are what they are. Statements about facts - that is, information - can be wrong, and often are. Thus, to say that we live in an unprecendented age of information is merely to say that we have available more statements about the world than we have ever had. This means, among other things, that we have available more erroneous statements than we have ever had. Has anyone been discussing the matter of how we can distinguish between what is true and what is false? Aside from schools, which are supposed to attend to the matter but largely ignore it, is there any institution or medium that is concerned with the problem of misinformation?" (Pg 92)

The worst thins about television or radio news is "that there is no reason offered for why the information is there; no background; no connectedness to anything else; no point of view; no sense of what the audience is supposed to do with the information. It is as if the word "because" is entirely absent from the grammar of broadcast journalism." (Pg 94)

Useing cloning as an example; "Science can only tell us how it works. What can tell us whether or not we should be happy or sad about this? What can tell us if there are policies that need to be developed to control such a process? What can tell us if this is progress or regress? To begin to think about such questions, we would have to be referred to the body of knowledge we call religion, or the body of knowledge we call politics, or the body of knowledge we call sociology. Knowledge cannot judge itself. Knowledge must be judged by other knowledge, and thein lies the essence of wisdom." (Pg 95)

Taking this idea of bodies of knowledge judging other bodies of knowledge he uses the example of journalist interviewing solely military experts concerning matters war. "Is war the business only of military experts? Is what they have to say about war the only perspective citizens need to have? I should think that weapons systems experts would be the last people to be interviewed on the matter of war. Perhaps the absence of any others may be accounted for by saying the first casualty of war is wisdom." (Pg 97)

All of the talk about information really got me thinking about the need for the reoganization of the Internet. I wonder what such a feat would even look like.

This was enough to get me started on my essay. I'll type up quotes from the last half of the book (on Narratives, Children, Democracy, and Education) if I get the chance. Commenting in favor of doing such an act will greatly increase the likely hood of it actually occurring. :)

www.BTemplates.com

Just finished rummaging through all the blogger templates on BTemplates.

Some of my favorites (though not necessarily all my style):

Red Pepper
Communist
Notepad Chaos
Notepad
Concrete
Outono
Classico
Clean

And lastly, the template which found it's home on Perpetual Anticipation:

The Journalist

Monday, December 01, 2008

Hitler and the Emergent Church.

Over the years there have been many hilarious mashups of this scene from Downfall floating around the tubes of the internet. (See Somebody Stole Hitlers Car and this TimesOnline article with more links). But I can't say I ever expected one based around emergent church culture.



Really, I'm just surprised I got every reference!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Engaging Youth: Theology of Missions

Before I dive into either of my case studies I stated in the introduction, I first need to share a piece of knowledge that is foundational to understanding my further thoughts. If you have a issue in later posts, it might come down to a disagreement on this basic theory, so understand this is the current framework I am working in.

At the end of this summer I had the opportunity to attend a one week intensive school of theology hosted by Good Shepherd (and friends). Rick McKinley laid out Leslie Newbigins theology of missions (enough name dropping). I strongly believe this is the single best nugget in understanding of how the Gospel is to be effectively proclaimed to all peoples in all times and in all places.

You can get the basics from the following bulleted points and the (sweet) graphic (I scrounged from a google image search):
  • The Gospel goes into the Culture and speaks through windows of redemption specific to that culture (Good News) as well as windows of opposition (things that clash).
  • This contextualized Gospel forms the Church.
  • The Church needs to go back to the Gospel before going back to other cultures.
  • The Gospel to be proclaimed is a tightrope between culture and church
  • One one side: This is why religious people anger Jesus. You become sectarian, on the side of the church, separated from the people
  • On the other: You are being absorbed by culture, and you are just like them. Not distinction. You are not an ambassador to anything. You become syncristic
  • Falling off either side are sin, how do we live on the tightrope/vertical axis (Takes discernment - which unfortunately we don't teach... ever. We teach black and white)
There you have it. I believe a strong theology of missions is necessary and is relevant not only to your average missionary in Africa, but to many people (read: every single confessing Christian).

I started this series in the midst of finals ramping up (not smart), so I am taking it slow and easy. Check back in the next week or so.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Intro to Thoughts on Engaging Youth

This is a big subject that I have been wrestling through for months (and alluded to a week ago). Slowly puzzle pieces have aligned as I have had one small "ah-ha" moment after another. Sometimes sitting in class or church, frequently reflecting on the last 5 years of my life, and other times talking with Elena in the car or on a run. I am going to try and pound through putting some of these construed ideas into logical words for the first time.

How one engages youth in a meaningful dialog concerning ones faith (which I believe is holistic, concerning every nook and cranny of ones live) is an essential subject to discuss if there is any desire for the faith to endure, not to mention vibrantly flourish from one generation to the next.

I will dissect this topic from two angles.

The first case study will be a cross cultural example (Russian/American); which I believe merely magnifies the same issues that are relevant within what is typically viewed as a single culture (i.e. "American"). I will look at the struggle between youth who have grown up in a culture that is utterly foreign to the adults in their community.

The second case study will use a story I heard of one individual young college student; a story that I believe will seem all to familiar to many. This example will zero in on the form of dialog used between youth and adults.

My hope is this can provide material for healthy discussion about an issue that causes much pain and burden in the lives of both youth and adults. And even worse, an issue that distorts and hinders the sweet melody of the Gospel from being heard.

So please, hang on for the ride, leave comments, and invite others into the conversation!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coldplay to Split in 09?

Sad day.

I think I will listen to some melancholy Coldplay to sooth my aching heart...

"Let me Google that for you"

For all those times that people ask you a question that they could just as easily Google themselves:

Let me Google that for you

Monday, November 17, 2008

Star Trek Trailer...


...in HD! Even Better!

"Know Your Native Language"

Check out this amazing post which provides fascinating insight into the local Russian Church. It would behoove you to read it now, because I will be referring back to it later as a case study for a post I am writing on how adults (don't) engage youth.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Better Days

I was jamming out to the Coldplay station on Pandora while doing some Linguistics homework when one particular song caught my ear. I caught a couple words and asked Elena how a Christian worship song got in the Coldplay station. We laughed when we discovered it was Goo Goo Dolls. I listened to a couple more lines and said "I don't care, I'd worship to that!"

After checking out the lyrics I realized this would make a perfect promo song for Advent Conspiracy. Give it a listen, check out the lyrics, and post your thoughts.



Better Days
By Goo Goo Dolls

And you asked me what I want this year
and I try to make this kind and clear
just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
'cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
and designer love and empty things
just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
'cause everyone is forgiven now
'cause tonight's the night the world begins again

I need some place simple where we could live
and something only you can give
and that's faith and trust and peace while we're alive
and the one poor child who saved this world
and there's ten million more who probably could
if we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

So take these words and sing out loud
'cause everyone is forgiven now
'cause tonight's the night the world begins again

I wish everyone was loved tonight
and somehow stop this endless fight
just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
'cause everyone is forgiven now
'cause tonight's the night the world begins again

'cause tonight's the night the world begins again

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beautiful HDR's and Star Trek!

Two quick links:

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Living their values"

I forgot to post this Oregonian Article that was published a month ago. The whole article is good, but the end of the article is about us.
"...Knepprath will be joined by Tyrone Wing, Josh Guisinger, Sean Hughes and Hughes' 5-year-old son. Ultimately, they want to bring in local churches and help connect residents with social-service providers.

But they're trying to spend the first several months with their ears open and their mouths shut.

"We're not coming in with these big expectations and programs because we assume we know them and their needs and we can fix them," Knepprath says.

Instead, they're coming in with hot dogs, mustard and maybe some chips. Knepprath and his roommates figure the easiest way to meet their neighbors is a barbecue. Soon, they'll fire up the grill, load the cooler with ice and break bread with their new friends.

Who knows where things might lead from there?"

If your curious, find out for yourself at our blog: Barberrian Villagers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jesus Wants to Save Christians

Honestly, I was quite disappointed by Sex God.

Consequently, I was very unenthusiastic about Rob Bells latest.

However, A good friend perked my ears to it.

By chance, today my roommate set it down on the coffee table after swinging by Borders.

So here I am, sitting on my couch reading - Jesus Wants to Save Christians.

I am less then a chapter into the book and I can tell you this book is the climatic break though to years of struggles and frustrations for me. I have been eagerly taking on challenges from competing world views at Portland State University. This has been the catalyst of much personal growth in my faith. But tonight, puzzle pieces are being placed in order. So many questions being answered and so much knowledge being laid in order. Some of you who know me better, this is my "Surprised by Hope" for 2009!

I have also been working on a couple blog posts of real substance. I know I have been diluting you with youtube videos recently. My blogging quality directly correlates with my level of excitement in life.

It has been an exciting fall for me.

So much growth in so many areas of my life! Thanks for hanging in there and reading my blog. :P

Monday, November 10, 2008

Halloween Interview

This is probably a little bit immature and juvenile, but because I laughed so hard that it brought me to the point of tears I had to share it:

God of Justice

This is another song I heard at Clear Creek for the first time. This is the original version but they tweaked the words a little bit.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

"Is There an Echo in This Starbucks?"

When I was waiting for my MAX at pioneer square I decided to stop in the Starbucks and get a little pick me up to get me through the rest of my long day (class, work, class from 9:00am-9:00pm).

I was standing at the register ordering my standard "tall Americano light room" and giving my name when I had this eerie sense of an echo. Lo and behold standing at the register right by my side was a man ordering a "tall Americano light room" giving the name David. This caused slight confusion for the Starbucks baristas but made for some big smiles and a few chuckles.

God of This City

I keep thinking of this song after hearing it for the first time at Clear Creek.

Enjoy:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

SNL - Fix It!



Russian/American Election Party

I went to an election party with a grip of Elena's extended family last night. It as a blast! First off, it is interesting to note this group (as a whole) of Russians was way more engaged in the issues then any group of American peers I know. Second, it was such an encouragement to be with a group that has such a heart for God and was so eager to discuss things of God.

At the end of the night we read Titus 3:1-11 and spent some time in prayer for our new president, the nation, and our role as the Body of Christ on earth.

"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient,
to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and
considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and
enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy,
being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our
Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but
because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by
the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our
Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs
having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to
stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to
devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and
profitable for everyone.

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and
quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a
divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing
to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is
self-condemned."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

Today I am taking advantage of this opportunity as an United Stated of America citizen and claiming in on my right... to receive a free cup of coffee from Starbucks.



The style of this Starbucks clip reminds me of the Advent Conspiracy video (watch it now if you haven't already!) I posted...though Starbucks doesn't quite reach the bar. :)

And just to be clear, I did vote (there were some really important state measures) in case anyone got lost in my sarcasm. :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Supercar Drag Race

Here's reason to drool...this time of the automotive variety:



The busier I get the less intelligent my post get. You'll have to bear with me through this season. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In The Wild

I just saw my first new MacBook in the wild at PSU!

...I gotta go wipe up the drool.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nightstrike

For 2 years now I have been talking about Nightstrike. It has been the inspiration for many speeches and papers in school. It has been the source of experience for personal growth and learning. It has been a central aspect of my spiritual formation as a follower of Christ. And as you might know, has been the topic of many posts on this blog.

I was recently asked by a friend to type up a brief overview of Nightstrike for a presentation he is doing about various service opportunities in the Portland Metro area.

It is the best "nutshell" of Nightstrike I have ever composed. That seems worthy of sharing:

Nightstrike is not your average "feed" downtown. The relational interaction takes center stage. It truly is a collision of to worlds that never interact. The house dwellers and the homeless. It is a space that is created for people to interact with each other with respect and dignity. In fact dignity is restored to the homeless who have had their human dignity stripped of them by a society that views them as problems and useless. So yes, there is a meal (home made) being served, and dirty feet being washed and given new socks, and clothes being handed out, and a popcorn machine, and hair cutting.

Beyond all of this is an opportunity to share life, and the best way to do that is around the dinner table. A large portion of the people serving (80-100 weekly from 20-30 various local Christian churches monthly. These people also have complete ownership of the weekly operations as well) are allocated simply to getting a plate of food for themselves and sitting down and getting to know someones name and hearing their story. For many guests, this is the first step of healing the many emotional and mental scars. And for many people serving, this is the first step to learning and expanding their capacity to love.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Slight Distraction

In class and only slightly distracted by this.

Check out this video on the design/manufacturing process.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Multiple Word Search Engine Dictionary

Last week I was at a study session with a group of Elena's friends. Roza was really interested (to assist in a homework assignment) in finding a way to look up the definitions of a series of words in a single search.

I scoured the Internet fiercely to find such a tool. Surprisingly, even Google didn't have a way to look up the definition of multiple individual words simultaneously. I knew someone somewhere had thought to create such tool. Today Elena surprised me with Ninja Words...because it's really fast like a Ninja.

I can even add Ninja Words to my Firefox search bar! Brilliant!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blog Updates

Perpetual Anticipation will continue to be my home of my written thoughts, whether they are school, God, faith, culture, tech, random, books, auto, comedy, and whatever else I have blogged about on here for the last 3 years. I suppose I should through TV (mainly Lost and The Office) in there too.

Quick note on TV. I was looking over some research that has been done on the addicting properties of watching TV. The most interesting:
  • It triggers parts of your brain that has a sedative affect.
  • Individuals who watch it the most are also those most dissatisfied by the content (sound like a drug addiction anyone?)
  • In one experiment, TV's were taken away from families who have heavy usage. After doing so the family experienced extreme strain in the form of verbal and physical fighting and even trying to cut deals and conspiring ways to get the TV back.
But this is most definietly not the topic of this post.

I will also be posting regularly on to other collaboration projects that you might be interested in:
  • Galactic Explosion: This is a project Elena and I are working on to compile and archive the experiences of our relationship. Lessons, hardships, joys, revelations, historic moments. This spawned out of a number of factors. We are both so thankful for this opportunity God has blessed us with to enjoy and grow. We found ourselves learning so much that we wanted to document and share it. We thought it would be fun. And we know there are just a lot of curious people out there. Hope you can find enjoyment in it, we sure do!
  • Barberrian Villagers: The title of this blog is a creative twist on my new place of residence; Barberry Village. This move into Rockwood is something God put on my hearts years ago, and I have been very actively persueing over the last 12 months (researching, networking, planning, reading, dreaming...). My three roommates and myself will be documenting the adventure there. So please, check it out, pray for us, and get involved with us if you are local!
So go ahead and throw those into your Google Reader (Or if you don't have an account yet, get one! If you already have other Google services you already have one. It's easy and will simplify your online experience drastically!)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Eye-opener

I had a unique opportunity Saturday evening to engage with 20 teenagers on an interesting topic. Nearly all 20 of whom:
  1. Attested to the central importance of Scripture being the source of guidance in their life.
  2. Expressed frustration of the Bible being too complicated and more confusing then helpful.
  3. Confessed they rarely read Scripture, and sporadically at that.
All of this got me wondering if maybe it's because we have tried to make the Bible something it is not. We have conveyed expectations that Scripture is the source of something that is seemingly unattainable. We have conveyed the means through which to attain something but results are left falling severely short of expectations.

Do I struggle with this paradox in my own life? You betchya! But it is down right disturbing when you can observe the reality of this in others.

Do I think we are bound to failure in the arena of Biblical reading? No way! We just have a lot of area for growthin how Biblical interpretation has been modeled to us.

Monday, October 06, 2008

700 Billion Dollar Mistake

Maybe I'm feeling a bit rash after listening to the latest Paramount Equity commercials.

Hayes Barnard is always claiming to have the lowest rates the world has ever seen, but NOW, thanks to the "firepower" provided by the approval of the $700 billion bailout they are able to offer lower rates to more people then EVER before.

I know our good friend Hayes would spin the situation however it turned out (see deceptive advertising featuring our very own Paramount Equity). And maybe I'm missing something by not being an economics major, but it seems to me that this is an indicator of what happens when $700 billion is suddenly given instead of owed - more of the same.

This is why I sent messages to my congressman urging him to not pass the bailout (Props to Blumenauer for voting Nay both times through!)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The "Brick"

The last three years of liberation and redemption in my life have brought me on a journey of recovery from the allure and indulgences of techno-lust. Testimony of this battle is my 1 1/2 year old war torn tank of a Nokia cellphone whose central feature is - suprisingly - to dial and receive phone calls (sans camera, bluetooth, internet, GPS, media player). And that brick was free with my contract renewal.

Speaking of bricks, there have been rumors circulating about Apple's upcoming product releases. Confession: Yes, I still track the latest products, though not as obsessively as I once did. I also don't experience uncontrollable yearnings to splurge on the latest gadget when doing so. But back to the "brick". The latest speculation on codename "brick" actually seems plausible and intriguing enough to share:
"The MacBook manufacturing process up to this point has been outsourced to Chinese or Taiwanese manufacturers like Foxconn. Now Apple is in charge. The company has spent the last few years building an entirely new manufacturing process that uses lasers (w/o sharks) and jets of water to carve the MacBooks out of a brick of aluminum...

What advantages are there to manufacturing with 3D laser and water jet cutting?

  • Carving out of aluminum eliminates the need to bend the metal and create weak spots or microfolds and rifts.
  • There are no seams in the final product, so it is smooth.
  • Screws aren’t needed to tie the products together.
  • The shell is one piece of metal so it is super light, super strong and super cheap.
  • You can be a whole lot more creative with the design if you don't have to machine it.

As Peter Oppenheimer said at the recent earnings call, this innovation is something "Apple's competitors won't be able to match" for some time to come. We expect the process to drive down the prices of MacBooks over the next few years and at the same time allow Apple to continue to lead in the innovation department. Design changes should come much more rapidly with rapid prototyping.

The newly designed MacBooks are still on target for an October 14th announcement..." (9to5mac.com)
Even better product and lower price point? Now I love my 2 year old MacBook, and she has a few more years before I would even think of replacing her, but that is still music to my ears.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thoughts on The Finacial Crisis I Had Absolutely No Desire to Blog About

Ya ya ya...everyones talking about it. I really had no desire to blog about it. But my apathy has been cured once again. Now please, take less then 2 minutes to hear a voice of wisdom cut through all the fluff:



As always, Ron Paul is the silenced voice that so desperately needs to be heard. You can hear the calm frustration in his voice, aged with decades of wisdom. You want change? You want hope? You want progress? Listen to the guy who has a lifetime of pent up change waiting to burst forth.

I know he withdrew from the presidential race, but the revolution continues at every level of politics all across America! I encourage you to sign up at www.campaignforliberty.com

A Mature Church

I just received this from Troy in Dallas at Watermark who I was connected to through Duke at Lodgepole Fellowship who I met through Milan at Compassion Connect...and it was worth every last drop of networking effort:
"Three days ago I was asked….” What is the mature church?”

I knew immediately how I would respond: "The 'mature church' is the church filled with immaturity."

Anywhere in the world, whether plant or animal, the clear delineation of maturity is the ability to reproduce. Immature animals can't reproduce. Immature plants can't replicate themselves. The definition of maturity is being fully ripe, fully aged, so the connotation of maturity is obvious. Where you see maturity you'll observe new life, babies and immaturity all over the place.

Maturity desires reproduction. Maturity tolerates juvenile behavior (from juveniles) while training its progeny for success in life. Maturity means little [babies] running all over the place.

If you attend a mature church, be prepared for immaturity. Where you find mature Christians you'll find little babes in Christ running all over the place. In fact, if you have been looking for a church where everyone tithes and everyone serves--you're not looking for a mature church, you are looking for a dying church - aged, impotent and bereft of spiritual newborns because everyone is mature.

Few things are more disturbing than a flock of adult believers standing around complaining that no one has come to Christ while refusing to do something that might result in new life. So when you bump into someone who acts immature at one of our services, don't complain, and don't be surprised. Instead, thank God the mature in Christ are busy delivering newborn babies to the family of God."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flower

I was just reminiscing of a bygone era with my good friend Nathan. Here is the first song I ever downloaded on Napster:


Flower by Moby.

What about you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Blue Parakeet Has Landed

I was pleasantly surprised to arrive home from the School of Theology and find my advance reader copy of The Blue Parakeet waiting for me.

The book by Scot McKnight (of the Jesus Creed blog) is on a topic that was given much attention this last week - how do we read our Bible?

After spending a week with the likes of John MacMurray and Donald Miller I know rethinking how I read my Bible starts with asking why and what a lot more.

I plan to blog through the book in a short series of posts over the next week.

Monday, September 22, 2008

School of Theology: Roundup

Here is a compiled list of each of the sessions covered at Good Shepherd's summer 2008 School of Theology:

Paul Metzger (Consumerism, Race, Class)
Donald Miller 1 (Christian World View, Story)
Donald Miller 2 (Christian World View, Story)
Donald Miller 3 (Enneagram Personality Types)
John MacMurray 1 (Knowing God, John 17)
John MacMurray 2 (Knowing God)
John MacMurray 3 (Wrong Turns in Interpretation)
John MacMurray 4 (Wrong Turns in Interpretation)
John MacMurray 5 (Wrong Turns in Interpretation)
John MacMurray 6 (Wrong Turns in Interpretation)
Rick McKinley 1 (Mission Philosophy)
Rick McKinley 2 (Kingdom)
Rick McKinley 3 (Kingdom)
Rick McKinley 4 (Kingdom)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

School of Theology: John MacMurray 6

Rick is off, John is finishing up "Wrong Turns in Interpretation"

1 was covered in John's Session 3
2 - 7 and 9 in Session 5

8. Reading the Bible devotionally.
  • Priority is looking for practical meaning for me.
  • Often the search for the author's meaning is abandoned by ignoring the flow of thought. Thus my meaning becomes what I live by, not God's meaning.
It just becomes about word association, and shaping our understanding with our own emotions, experiences, and worldly understanding. What is unique about Scripture when you can do this with any piece of literature?

You can pull out any piece of literature and apply it to your life. Times magazine, Shakespeare, even something immoral. It can speak to your intellect, emotions, etc. and make just as good of a sermon. You can do this with Scripture, but is this what it was meant for.

If teachers present the Bible devotionally, and that's not what is was meant for, we will be held accountable.

Not, what does it mean to me, what is it saying in the first place. We risk abandoning what God is trying to say in the first place.

9. Reading the Bible as a magic book.
  • Words and context are replaced with a search for a word or situation that resembles something familiar so that I can find God's answer for my situation.
  • God magically speaks to me answering my questions, solving my problems, and meeting my needs regardless of what the text is actually saying
We are dealing with the things of God in mans communication. It is mystical.

"God speaks to me and tells me how to live my life". They are seeking intimacy, don't have it, and this brings intimacy.

School of Theology: Rick McKinley 4

Matthew 16
  • This is not a study in systematic theology, it's what they are doing, living.
  • verse 13-20, the Church is given the keys, a unique relationship with the Kingdom
Church & Kingdom
1. Kingdom Identity - The Church is the earthly outpost of Jesus' uncontested reign. Unopposed headship.
2. Kingdom Vocation - Creatively imagining together what the kingdom can look like in our community.
3. Kingdom Destiny - The gates of hell will not prevail! Displaying what will happen forever.

Charity says we need each other because I am rich and need to feel better and you need this sandwich.

Kingdom says we are equal value, relational.

What are the satanic strategies to fight the church:
1. To make the church think they are fighting flesh and blood (so we make an excuse with meaningless forms of measurement, why fight to blot out poverty because they will always be with us.)
2. Deceive us into thinking that the kingdom is not here.
3. Get us to separate Jesus from the Kingdom (this happens at most bible studies. We study the Bible to learn about Jesus.)
4. To get the leaders of the church to think that is the kingdom
5. Get people to justify ignoring the values of the kingdom for spiritual reasons. ("all those liberals out there doing social justice", getting us to swing one side or another.)
6. Get them to focus on building the church instead of being The Church.

The goal is not to become more structured, it's to become disciples.

Are we willing to let go of our need to produce and help God?

Friday, September 19, 2008

School of Theology: Rick McKinley 3

Jumping back in it after an intense tennis match with Sean and some beautiful canoing on the Deschutes.

Matthew 13
  • As the Kingdom of Heaven is announced, Satan is trying to fight that message coming out.
Parable of Weeds
  • Currently, in the Kingdom there are weeds, placed by the enemy. Satan has a legitimate strategy to sprinkle weeds in the wheat of the Church.
Mustard Seed
  • Jesus Kingdom is breaking into this world for all of creation not without opposition.
  • Subversively seeping into all of the world.
  • For the 12 disciples hearing Jesus looking 2000 years in the future, Christianity really has spread pretty profoundly.
  • Spread seeds in a dentist office, what would you expect? Nothing beautiful (or anything at all for that matter) grows in a sterile environment.
  • Out of soil that is surrounded by decay, manure, and death; life breaks forth. This is where the Kingdom shows up. Culture is necessary. You can't dump bleach on the garden. you can't retreat or scrub and make sterile (critique or copy don't work)
Parable of the Hidden Treasure and The Pearl
  • Already occured
  • Is it out of obligation or because it's correct that we respond to the Kingdom?
  • He is compelled. Christians treasure Christ above all else.
Parable of the Net
  • Net yet.
  • It's not our place to decide who's weed and wheat. We don't do the reaping.
The kingdom is the greatest treasure, bring us the most profound join, is worth everything we have, and already existing with in this already/not-yet battle.

Tomorrow we'll hit Matthew 16 and where The Church is in this whole Kingdom deal.

School of Theology: John MacMurray 5

JMac is picking back up with "Wrong Turns in Interpretation".

If you missed the first point discussed in length; John MacMurray 3.

2. Searching textual strata for meaning and ignoring textual strategy. (Compositional approach)
  • Emphasis on the detail without knowing the flow of thought the detail is being presented in. This is also known as the issue of "structural context"
If we are told something at the beginning of the story, it needs to be there because it shapes your understanding of subsequent events.

In Matthew he defines Jesus proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom before the sermon the the mount. You understand, this is the Kingdom at hand.

3. Reading the Bible as an academic book only.
  • The Bible is a great piece of literature and nothing more.
  • The contents are nothing more than information to be processed.
  • This ignores the purpose of the Scriptures and lacks passion/intimacy with God.
4. Read the Bible through 21st century glasses.
  • I ask it questions it wasn't designed to answer.
  • I read from a modern culture viewpoint.
  • I read ancient literature as hough it is modern literature.
It doesn't tell you what car to buy. The Bible teaches you a way of wisdom. It teaches you how to think, how to live, how to feel.

5. Reading the Bible as a formulaic or self help book. (prescriptive vs. descriptive)
  • My objective is to find out how to be a better me.
  • We reduce God's Word to a giant recipe book for different issues in life.
Why when we read the Bible do we not build an ark?

When Luke wrote Acts was he trying to make 13 points on how to do missions?

6. Reading the Bible as a history book.
  • The OT is simply a history of Israel that may have some interesting stories and characters but has little that relates to the 21st century.
The OT contains historical events, but is not the point.

7. Reading the Bible as an informational guidebook for life. (prescriptive vs. descriptive)
  • A situational how to manual.
  • The major goal is to copy what was done or said, thinking this will result in blessing.
  • Reduces narrative just to character studies.
Danger of reading it for a desired end that it really may not have.

The Bible addresses the question of why far more then how.

8. and 9. will be covering these in a separate session. We're running up on lunch time.

10. Spiritualizing or allegorizing a text.
  • We ignore the authors' intention altogether.
Augustine read Scripture this way.

The danger is no way of knowing whose way is the correct way.

God used humans, using human language, to communicate to humans.

School of Theology: Rick McKinley 2

Next 4 sessions with Rick will be on "Kingdom"

This Beautiful Mess. A more entertaining simpler book on what we will be studying.

The Gospel of the Kingdom is Jesus primary message. We don't understand "kingdom in America". Most of the disciples were killed because they called Jesus King, it was a threat to the empire. If something about being Christian threatened the economy, we would be in trouble.

Matthew 4
  • Is the offer of these temptations legitimate? Yes. Then Satan has a legitimate reign.
  • What is the nature of all the temptations? They are changing how he is going about his mission, not the mission itself.
  • This is a clash of kingdoms taking place.
  • Satan usurps Adam's rule of creations (not directly stated, but an assumption).
  • The temptations is not to get him off his mission, it's to get him to do his mission under the reign of Satan easier.
  • Temptations: Meet your own needs, use performance and power, and to get what you want to get without the cross.
  • If Jesus had submitted, in the immediacy of our everyday life the world would be a better place.
  • If it's flash in the pan, money, power, pragmatism; often times we buy into using them without discernment.
  • It's not just the mission of the church being accomplished, but how we accomplish it.
  • The reign of the Kingdom of Heaven is more important then the temporal evil of the earth. There is a reason for the God of sovereignty to allow this underling to rule on earth.
  • The Gospel is not about immediate gratification at all. On the contrary it's preparing us to endure and persevere for a better world to come ad is breaking in.
  • Jesus is UNMARKETABLE.
  • What is dark about the temptations? It is challenging God's good and right way.
  • Matthew you is writing to show that Jesus is king.
  • What can we expect as this Jesus brings his Kingdom to bear on earth? It will not look familiar to us. If Jesus had succumbed we never even would have thought twice, it's what we all want and expect.
  • The Kingdom of God is completely subversive.
  • Verse 17; Repentance is the key to the kingdom. It's assuming we are going the wrong direction. Turn around.
  • Kingdom allegiance. Kingdom ethics. Kingdom economy. "Keep your hand on the wheel because we are making a big turn".
  • Definition; Gospel of the Kingdom: It is the good news of God's reign which is breaking into this world (already not-yet) through the death, resurrection, and the reign of Jesus Christ initiating a process of the restoration of all creation and forming Christ in those who are the Kings own (new creations) culminating with all things being made new so that it will be on earth as it is in heaven.
  • This is the Gospel of Jesus, not the Gospel about Jesus.
Matthew 5,6
  • Beatitudes; Jesus takes all of the "zeros" of Satan's world order and says you fit perfectly in the upside-down subversive Kingdom.
  • The Beatitudes lay out the economy of the Kingdom.
  • Goes on to lay out kingdom ethics. Calling someone a fool is murder. Looking lustfully at a woman is adultery. It's not eye for eye, it's turn the other cheek. Spirituality isn't for show. In regard to wealth, you cannot serve to masters and money is for storing up treasures in heaven.
  • In contrast to the Kingdom economy and ethics the world order looks like in complete chaos and out of control.
  • 6:33; "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." This is salvation.
  • People who live in this upside down world will suffer and be persecuted (It's threatening. This is an assault on the kingdom of this world; military, economic, cultural power).
  • Kingdom view expands experience of spirituality. Every aspect of life and creation.
  • Scripture never talks about building or advancing, the Kingdom IS. We need to engage it and explore it.
  • Process of Spiritual formation is we will be so attracted and in love with the king that the up side down would like normal and we would look more abnormal to the world.
Matthew 9
  • Verse 35; teaching and healing
Matthew 10
  • Sends disciples out to do the same.
Matthew 11
  • Verse 11; John was pointing to the Kingdom in a prophetic way.
Matthew 12
  • Pinnacle moment. Israel rejects her king.
  • Verse 28; the kingdom of God has come upon you.
  • Starts speaking in parables and they don't understand him.
  • Speaking with divine authority, fruit bears.
  • Spiritual transformation takes place.
  • The use of money, power, and influence is for the exaltation of the King and His Kingdom.
  • It's subversive, simplistic, mysterious, and it critiques both culture and legalism.
  • Shares from Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne.
  • When we divorce Jesus (The King) from the Kingdom, we create a kingdom of our own.
We will continue with Matthew 13

Thursday, September 18, 2008

School of Theology: Rick McKinley 1

Rick arrived for lunch and will be doing his first session on Gospel Church Culture (Later he will be moving into the subject of "Kingdom")

The Gospel is "acultural", but we have assumed it has a culture. Assumption that the Gospel does something to you, it makes you western, it makes you like us (clothing, language, worship).

Leslie Newbigin's theory on missions:
  • The Gospel goes into the Culture and speaks through windows of redemption specific to that culture (Good News) as well as windows of opposition (things that clash).
  • This contextualized Gospel forms the Church.
  • The Church needs to go back to the Gospel before going back to other cultures.
  • The Gospel to be proclaimed is a tightrope between culture and church
  • One one side: This is why religious people anger Jesus. You become sectarian, on the side of the church, separated from the people
  • On the other: You are being absorbed by culture, and you are just like them. Not distinction. You are not an ambassador to anything. You become syncristic
  • Falling off either side are sin, how do we live on the tightrope/vertical axis (Takes discernment, which we don't teach. We teach black and white)
Progression

1) The Church critiqued culture (sectarian): Hollywood, drinking, music, entertainment, fashion, evil, us vs. them, being worldly, politics

in response...

2) The Church copied culture (syncristic): Coffee bars, music, entertainment, Christian version of everything, lifestyle, marketing, business strategy, individualism, self-help, how-to, health/wealth, success, service style, convenience, instant gratification, consumerism

It's assuming culture is evil. It is a fear based model, which media uses to play on us, which in turn the church capitalizes on. The church can own it.

But from here...

3) The Church releases the Gospel to create culture: Assume a missionary posture. They create culture by being teachers, businessmen, artists. Always asking how does the way God makes us have a Kingdom foundation in everything we do?

The streams through which people in The Church creates culture
1. Religion
2. Business
3. Education
4. Arts
5. Civic/Government
6. Family

In the world but not of the world. Walking the tightrope of the Gospel through which it shapes society.

If you aren't a part of copying, the question is asked why aren't you serving the church? Why aren't you constructing the building, teaching Sunday school, on the worship team?

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling
by Andy Crouch

School of Theology: John MacMurray 4

John is opening this morning with more excerpts from "Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness".

Jesus gave more then his life/death. He has given his knowledge, joy, peace, love, relationship.

"The God that you believe in is the product of your wounds"

To much good stuff to write down. Read this book!

A lot of great questions and even better discussion reviewing John's previous sessions.

God forgives everything before we confessed anything. It's about us being honest with ourselves. We are called to forgive like this. Like the prodigal sons father (not like the prodigal sons brothers).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

School of Theology: Donald Miller 3

Session 1
Session 2

Genesis 1-3: Everything is explained. Consumerism. Keeping up with the Jone's. Name dropping. Fashion. Etc.

Introducing Enneagram personality types. 9types.com. I highly recommend poking around this website. This is fascinating stuff, and normally I loathe personality type theories.

Don is just talking a lot about everything you can find on the website.

Whichever type you are is exactly who you are not. What type you are is your mask, a result of your depraved state.

The Wisdom of the Enneagram.
The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective.

It predicts your motives and the way you perceive the world. It does not categorize you, because it is your mask. These are our fig leaves. This is our drug, our coping method.

The Breakfast Club is a "life boat" movie (Everyone fighting for their survival).

Jesus was none.

I LIKE THIS!

Everyone is unsettled because of the fall, and is looking to be settled again.

Buddhism is looking to be completely empty. They are on to something! All you need is the new life of Christ to replace your old self.

Climax: Christ, Reality, Success, Marriage, Death, Knowledge, Fame, Peace, Retirement?

Don argues:

Exposition: Setting
Inciting Incident: Fall
Conflict: Life (Hope/betrothed)
Climax: Wedding
Resolution: Life Eternal

School of Theology: Donald Miller 2

Session 1: Elements of Story. Intro to the Christian exposition.

We are continuing on the the exposition in Genesis 1.
  • Verse 4; Created light/dark -> polar reference.
  • 5; Cycles/time -> Everything becomes a process. Finite. Growth. It's okay that you are not where you are going to be. God as the guru; educates, guides, points, directs.
  • 11; Vegetation -> Creating a system within which you can work and eat. It's not for himself, he is setting up the system for dependence so he can guide them through something, very relational. (Darwinism has no exposition) Plants that are poisonous -> Teaching the difference between right and wrong.
  • Cycles, interdependence, process, fragility, extravagance,
  • John interjects about the extravagant excessive of creation. God did not have to make so much so beautiful. Demonstrating his creativity, his pleasure in creating. This demonstrates his nature in finding pleasure in teaching and us discovering and finding pleasure in that complexity.
  • 26; Gender, marriage, sexuality. God is protecting us within the framework that the system was created. Oneness is lost when we diverge from that framework, the rest of the system breaks down (later images of marriage and how we understand God).
  • Why why why? We can learn and understand why God created everything, the brain and the body, what can be learned, what is God trying to communicate.
  • We are born out of an incredibly loving system which drives us to produce loving caring families.
  • Family structure is created to help us understand the trinity. Not the physical, but the relational and dependence aspect.
Genesis 2
  • 18; Pre-fall, and God says something is not good. This does not fit typical Christian theology. This is not utopia. Adam is experiencing negative emotions. What does this have to say about our world view? Some conflict is supposed to be.
  • Prospect theory. "You are going to loose something if you vote for this candidate is much more strong then you will gain something".
  • 19; It probably took years to see all the animals. Searching for a suitable companion And it taught Adam of his need, exposed his longing. Enhanced his negative emotion.
  • 20; First piece of parallelism (Hebrew poetry). He's say "she's like me!", only possible after being taught of his need for exactly her.
  • God created the system that requires effort for us to enjoy happiness. Embedded in the DNA of humanity is conflict. It's created to be hard. Men and woman are different. Going to make you work for it.
  • America is low on the list of happiness because Americans have high expectations. Denmark was number one, because they have low expectations. If Americans went to Denmark they would be unhappy because they would be let down. There is A LOT in American that Christians should roll their eyes at ("get rich fast" etc)
  • 25; "Don an John MacMurray went to Joshua Tree National Park because John was taking pictures. They were going up the mountain together naked and were just coming up to the perfect setting with the most beautiful sunset". Our ears should perk up. God created the system with the capacity to fall (nudity). Motive for the knowledge of good and evil is necessary, true love has to have a way out.
Genesis 3
  • Nudity is mentioned 6 times. Nothing about pride. Nudity is the point of the text, but we have never heard this unpacked.
  • Everything changes when they walk away from God. The "way out" has been taken. They have "walked through the door with no return".
  • Humans are only creatures on earth wearing clothes.
When can you be naked?:
  • Secure
  • Safe
  • Not self-conscious.
  • Alone
  • Intimate/trusting relationship
  • Childhood
  • Non-judgemental context (sauna)
What needs to be necessary for us to be okay being naked
  • Somebody outside myself has agency (someone has the power to tell you who you are, you can't provide this for yourself)
  • Affirming (interdependence, has to be in the regular context of this relationship)
  • Authority (they know what is good from bad, we trust them.)
  • Intimate (security with this person)
God provided this in the context of Garden of Eden.

Nudist colony is only nude within the context of each other. They have replaced God with each other (we do this all the time!). They are on to something, but not there yet. People who worship nature, or the moon, are on to something because they are worshipping something bigger then themselves. This is Paul in Acts.
  • But the second those things (Outside Agency, Authority, Affirmation, Intimacy) are lacking, there is shame. We transfer these things onto other men.
  • Why do we get road rage and pissed when someone takes 20 seconds of our life?
  • Competitive sports. Why do we play and why do we watch? Consequence to loosing and benefit to winning.
  • Name dropping. Who you are associated with.
  • Socio-economic status, racism
  • Sales techniques, marketing.
  • It's all about survival
  • America says, if you don't work hard and make something of yourself society will throw you out to the curb to die.
Okay, we are wrapping up for now. We will be digging into individual personality theory tonight. Pieces of this discussion are similar to a blog post I wrote over a year ago after hearing Donald Miller speak. Did Jesus Wear Clothes?.