Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"God does not choose to tell us why He let Satan walk around in the Garden so he could talk to Adam and Eve, and He doesn't tell us why God did not talk to Adam and Eve to kindly counsel them about Satan's deception...And while God told the sad couple in no uncertain terms to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, He did not seem to tell them that there was such a thing as a lie, and such a being as a liar." -Don Miller
I find this a curious statement. It kind of changes the way I see the Fall and humanity's frailness and vulnerability to sin. It also brings into question God's knowledge of the Fall, his allowance of it, and what greater purpose it may have served if He knew about it and let it happen. Which, of course, also brings into question free will.
So. From my understanding, Lucifer is an angel who gets the boot from heaven because he wants to be God. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure where this idea comes from. I wiki'd Lucifer and found a bunch of different ideas. Either way, Lucifer gets sentenced to earth. I imagine Lucifer/Satan is probably bitter about the whole thing and wanders about his prison looking for something to destroy because he's so mad. He happens upon Adam and Eve and successfully convinces them that they can be like God-the same thing he got the boot out of heaven for.
Adam and Eve, meanwhile, have only ever been in relationship with God and whatever other animals they were surrounded by. They have never been confronted with evil and at first contact, fail miserably. Can they be at fault for this? Of course, they had God's "law" set for them-don't eat from this tree-but did God realize at the point of their failure that His law was not enough? Did God know when he made them that they would be inherently incapable of keeping His one command?
I guess I had always thought that God hatched the Jesus plan after the Fall-as a result of it. But what if that was the plan all along, before he ever made Adam and Eve, knowing that He would create vulnerable people that would need Him. Certainly makes current struggles easier to understand.
I realize I've made several assumptions, here. I kind of let thoughts roll to see what came out...feel free, as always, to leave comment.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
In furthering a thought I had a few days ago on what it means to be a Christian, I have been pondering the more specific idea of identity. Not just identity in Christ, just identity in general.
We all have roles that we fill. Some are inherent roles-son, daughter, brother, sister, etc. Others are roles that are chosen-mother, friend, musician, teacher, husband, etc. We use these roles to describe ourselves to others in "about me" sections of internet profiles or to a person you might like to date or just befriend. But those roles, while formational, don't make an identity, do they?
This idea is one I find myself at odds with. This inner skirmish tends to sometimes produce thoughts like my previous post, where I find myself sort of emotionally numb. I certainly have many roles that I fill. Outside of them, though, I don't know my own identity.
Often, it's easy to look to others to tell me who I am. I find validation and approval and thus value in others views of me. When I feel I don't have the approval of others it puts me in a funk and I get to feeling worthless-though not in the dramatic way that the term sounds...just that it makes me question worth, which then leads to identity.
When I strip away the roles and other's opinions, I find it scary to look at what is left. This is more a thought exercise than something that can actually be done, as it's sort of a romantic notion to be able actually strip ones self of all their roles. But once you begin to conceive of yourself in this way, you get to looking at the kind of person you are as opposed to what you do.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I came across Romans 10 today as part of this week's common Lectionary readings. I read through the whole chapter but verses 9 and 10 really stuck out. I read it a few times and then it kind went on a bit of a rabbit trail from there.
Here's the rabbit trail. What does it mean to "believe something in your heart"? Are you supposed to have some sort of feeling associated with that particular belief in order to authenticate the belief?
Here's a for instance. At Artisan we often use a creed as a confession of what we believe. I would say that at a very base level, I believe those things that you find in a creed. But I don't necessarily feel any connection to it (my beliefs) beyond a sort of academic level, or I just notice that I feel kind of dissociated.
Likewise, I feel sort of dissociated from much of life these days. Almost, but not quite, fully numb. Not quite because I do still feel anger very well. But other than feeling anger, I feel separate from everything else. This is not for lack of things around me that I could feel good about. It's more that I am kind of an observer to those things rather than a participant in them.
Friday, August 08, 2008
I decided that I need to get into shape. I've lost about 15 pounds-back to where I was before I had Emily. While that's great, I get tired just going upstairs to the girls room. I googled my old swim team coach which promptly displayed a website with his address and phone number. Hope no one bad is looking for him:)
Anyway, I called him up and had to leave a message and didn't expect that he'd actually call back, but he did! He had no idea who I was even though I left my maiden name on his machine. He remembers my brother, though, who may or may not have had him as a math teacher.
Either way, he gave me some pointers and a loose pool workout to get started on and he'll be sending me some dryland workouts, hopefully including the medicine ball regimen we used to do.
Now I'm sure that any people who happen upon this blog, regularly or otherwise, could care less about the fact that I need to get in shape. I only post this here in hopes that since I wrote about it, I have to do it. Plus, I just got a card giving me free access to MCC's pool for a year.
So now I have to go whip myself into shape. Or, as Devo would put it, I must whip it!
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Here's something I've been thinking on for a little. What does it mean to be a Christian? I've done an excellent job at naming things that I strongly dislike about Christianity and, therefore, Christians as well. Christianity doesn't necessarily imply Christians, but do you have Christianity without them?
The term 'Christian' carries both positive and negative connotations. If I were to tell someone that I am a Christian, it will bring up an image in that person's mind (whether positive, negative or indifferent) about what they think of Christians/Christianity. That person has little choice but to ascribe those thoughts and feelings to me.
So is there anything that is completely objective about being a Christian?
To kind of define the word itself, I take the term to mean that a 'christian' is someone who associates or identifies him/herself with Christ. Identifies as in to find an identity in Christ. Much like an American lives in America, makes America his/her home, has a citizenship, supports American ideals, and is surrounded by other Americans, a Christian identifies with Christ in this way. (S)He lives in Christ, boasts a citizenship, supports Christ-like ideals, is surrounded by other Christians, etc...
Can it really be that simple? What if it were? What if everything I did was based simply on this definition?
The image of Christians has become so perverted that it takes some thought to really figure out what, exactly, it means to label oneself as such. Once you strip away connotations (which may not be entirely possible), you're left with a definition that, I think, begs you to do something with. If I indeed am those things, then what? I can't ignore it. I am compelled to move, if only even to simply try to figure out what the definition means in a practical way.