This timeline shows the complete biblical history from Genesis to Now. I would invite you to comment about what you see here. What does this timeline tell you?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
First let me admit that I am still in the process of reading A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren. Overall so far, I find it a thoughtful and thought provoking book and, I think that the questions are very necessary. In fact, a few years ago, I began to look at essential questions that would help recover the apostolic doctrine spoken of in Acts 2:42.
I am especially interested in the narrative question coupled with the authority question but, I see them as interlinked and interlocked. In the above interview with Spencer Burke on TheOoze Brian explains that the narrative as we understand it today is a foreign narrative and I believe that he is correct there. I do not have to rehash what he said as you can watch it for yourself and I suggest that you do several times.
What I would like to suggest is that rather than starting the narrative with Abraham… the rabbis have done that and... the new perspectives on Paul has done a lot of good work on changing the narrative… at least to a degree. But, I would actually like to see us begin our understanding of the narrative from Jesus perspective. Since we are Christians, followers of Jesus, then, what he taught about the narrative and biblical authority should in my view, be the driving force in determining our narrative.
One of the places where Jesus differed from the rabbinical line of thought about the narrative was in the definition of the word of God. In the New Testament writings He defined the word of God as the gospel of the kingdom and his followers defined it as either the gospel or Jesus himself. This gives the narrative a solely redemptive purpose. I am interested in what all of the critics of McLaren think about the totally redemptive focus that Jesus taught. Certainly, there is plenty of room for asking the questions and it would seem to me that the critics would be interested in the answers.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I think that holism is crying out to be adapted and adopted in Christianity. First, it should be adopted and adapted by individuals and, secondly, it should be adapted and adopted by believing communities. I acknowledge that there are groups across the country that are developing in this way. However, there should be many, many more and I think that this should be an important focus.
I went to the dictionary to find the definition of holism before I wrote this post because I wanted to be sure that I had a handle on the meaning and not just a connotative meaning that missed the mark. I don’t know about you but I have to look up terms that I have taken for granted from time to time and occasionally I am surprised to find that the connotative wide spread meaning that I have always accepted is not the real definition…but I digress, this should be the topic of another post.
Here is the dictionary definition: Holism; the theory that whole entities, as fundamental components of reality, have an existence other than as the mere sum of their parts. What I get from this definition is that when all of the parts are combined, acknowledged and working together the result is an entity that is more than the parts combined…it is an organism.
Therefore, in an individual the combination of the social self, the psychological self, the spiritual self, the economic self, the recreational self, the political self, the scientific self, the ethical self, the ritual or religious self and, the physical self should be integrated in a congruent manner….yet is it? Many people separate their spiritual, ritual and religious self from all of the other selves. Spirituality is isolated and not allowed to cross over into the economic self for example. We are different at church, different at home and, different at work. I have come to believe that the more we can totally integrate these separate selves into a harmonious whole, the better and, healthier we are.
Likewise, if the community is able to facilitate this harmony and not discourage it the better it is for the individual organism. We would do well to begin to dialog in each of these communities, i.e., our homes, work places and churches that can bring about the ability to interface each of our selves.
The two communities that inhibit this the most is the workplace and the church. We tend to try to hide our true selves in both of these settings to avoid being judged and criticized. Yet, I believe that to the degree that these communities can foster an open tolerant environment the easier it would be for the individual to incorporate his or her multiple selves into a single healthier whole.
Employers and pastors should be made aware of this so that the environment can be altered.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I just launched a new blog today. It is called A Paradigm Shift For Thoughtful Evangelicals. It is a blog that will unfold my paradigm shift five hundred words at a time. This is a shift that I have gone through over a period of time and I think that it could have an important effect on Christianity if enough people would grab a hold of it. At this point I am hopeful...that is cautiously optimistic. I hope you would pass it on to as many people as you think would be interested.
Check it out.
Check it out.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
It is interesting to me that we humans fragment our existence. We compartmentalize so to speak. Thus, our lives are compartmentalized and fragmented. By this I mean that we have a certain way to be at work, another at home, another in our spiritual pursuits and it is not often that we are able to be a whole natural person. This is especially true with what I should like to call our practical selves and our spiritual selves. This is in my view the most compartmental and fragmented part of our existence. It seems to be quite difficult to merge our practical and spiritual selves. To be certain that I am communicating, I will define as precisely as possible the practical self and the spiritual self.
First, I define the practical self as the self that engages in commerce, politics, education and, socialization. It is the self that cooks meals, cleans the house, mows the lawn. It is the self that writes letters and communicates and eats meals. In other words it is the self that advances living day by day. The spiritual self then is the self that wonders about why we exist, that senses that there is more to life than what meets the eye. It is the self that is religious and superstitious. It is the creative self that seems connected to the muses. It is the self that senses the presence of God.
In many people, all too often these selves are separated and, as I have written in previous paragraphs they are fragmented and compartmentalized. This is not natural; children are not this way naturally. They are far more comfortable uniting the two. They are more holistic by nature and it seems that as they grow up and learn the ways of the elders they become more and more compartmentalized less holistic. I would like to suggest that we would be better off if we were able to have a more holistic approach to life. Connecting the natural mind and the spiritual mind brings about a level of creativity and problem solving that is not possible in a fragmented model of being.
This is one of the things that I am discovering as I do holosync. Without going into the workings of holosync technology, it seems to me that this type of meditation works toward allowing the practical and the spiritual to work together. This can be especially helpful in working the law of attraction. This allows me to bring affirmations of creativity into the practical realm. I guess what I am saying is that it is a good thing to take our awareness of the presence of the divine into the work place. I do not mean in the judgmental ways of condemning or approving of ones behaviors and mannerisms; not in an evangelical way of trying to get another person to think a certain way or be a certain way. I mean rather that it is good to realize the holistic nature of our selves and to allow the communication of the spiritual nature to interact with the practical. I am confident that it will add to success in very dynamic ways.
If you would like to comment it would be appreciated. This is an idea that welcomes discussion and disagreement.