Wednesday, September 17, 2008

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?.

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