Impress-ability and Wisdom
I believe much of our culture (especially the western religion which cannot be labeled as “Christianity” due to lack of association) believes that the more impressive an item must be, the more life it must contain. I believe wisdom is the opposite of this: the more life something contains ought to reshape and redefine what we find impressive.
The big, numinous, powerful, and attractional are impressive in our culture; we often associate these things with vitality. We pursue these abstractions in our religious salesmanship. Continue reading
How Would You Define “Grace?”
[Enter your thought here.]
Here’s why I ask:
The essence of grace has been something I’ve been wrestling with a lot lately. I’m working through the jumble I’ve inherited from all over: dear friends, theologians I admire, and cliche that’s magnetized to my conscience (as I view it in hindsight).
I believe my concoction is confused, but what’s most perplexing is how I feel I have so many answers for such a simple (and essential) question.
I wonder, “Why the diversity?” Continue reading
What happens to the concept of God’s holy justice (that God always needs to punish the sin of the sinner or someone in place of the sinner) when Jesus teaches to “forgive seventy times seven?”
Is God bound to “an eye for an eye”?
Behold the Spirit: The Necessity of Mystical Religion
by Alan Watts
Can I discover what has my father found so influential about this book that he keeps coming back to it? What might I relate to as I read?
Behold the Spirit was an invigorating, thought provoking read about taking the incarnation of Jesus seriously. Taking the incarnation seriously means, as I paraphrase Watts, to see that union with God has already been established in creation – God has taken this first and permanent step in love. Humanity’s goal or life purpose then is to become awakened to this already-present grace of God’s presence and love. Continue reading
Some people’s lives seem messier than others. It always comes as a surprise when it’s “the pastor’s kid” who goes off the deep end. That’s Nathan’s story in Wisdom Chaser.
Wisdom Chaser is a collection of short thoughts and stories from a son who is getting to know himself and his father. The setting is the collection of 14,000 foot mountains of Colorado. And, it all starts with an estranged relationship and a risky question: “Do you want to climb the 14-ers, Dad?”
With the stories of adventure and failure on the mountain, interspersed by life’s parallels in the normal places of life, Nathan and his dad Richard (of Christian spirituality fame, a la The Celebration of Discipline) explore the mystery of one another and of God. The core of the story is learning humility, and accepting oneself as a person who is low – that life is made up of this very moment and not meant to be the pursuit of being the top person on whichever ladder you’re dreaming of. We need freedom from that competition that dehumanizes. We need salvation from The Western Way. Continue reading