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Friday, January 30, 2015

"We came here to serve God..and also to get rich"


Jesus' "incredibly disrespectful, offensive and irresponsible inaugural miracle"

In a compelling section of his "Selling Water by the the River," Shane Hipps discusses the John 2 account of the wedding at Cana, concluding that "this inaugural miracle sets the stage for [Jesus'] way of operating in the world.  It frames his entire ministry."  He suggests that Jesus' use of the ceremonial washing jars, instead of using the "obvious" amphoras [wine containers] that were surely nearby, was an "incredibly  disrespectful, offensive and irresponsible thing."

Teaser: it has something to do with Tuma.

The entire section can be viewed on Google Books; pp. 31-36 here (the page numbers are not marked, so read from  the paragraph beginning "Jen had a warm but weary..." to the paragraph ending "confines of the riverbanks.")

When Shane autographed my book, he asked about me.  I mentioned I was a pastor and Bible teacher, and that I had found his teaching helpful.  He smiled, "And you haven't gotten in trouble  for that yet?"

I have always found it fascinating that John very intentionally hitches (some would call it framejacking)  this story to Jesus' temple cleansing. So it's worth pursuing how the temple tantrum was also  an "incredibly disrespectful, offensive and irresponsible inaugural miracle"...and for similar reasons.

Also: see Michael Frost  video  HERE for help on this text, including a suggested inclusio.
("Uncle Joshua would've had a lampshade on his head")

Thursday, January 29, 2015

" Jesus had almost nothing good to say about families."

" Jesus...had almost nothing good to say about families."
 -Walter Wink

I'm guessing you may want context! 
 See Walter Wink, The Powers That Be - p. 75

"the city devours": Zombie Eucharist

pic credit
Matthew Tan:
Many often talk about cities as being soul destroying, whether it is in reference to a cultural deadening borne from the replacement of theatres, independent stores and galleries with consumerised counterparts (especially via commercial chains), or in reference to the decaying (often brutalist) architecture. 
A similar insight can be found in the sociologist Jacques Ellul's The Meaning of the City, in which Ellul warned his readers about cities being more than just boring architecture or sites of waste. For Ellul, cities are parasites. More specifically, Ellul compares them to vampires as they 

prey on the true living creation [...] The city is dead, made of dead things for dead people [...] the city devours men

Writing thirty years later, Ward made an explicit reference to this passage and extended the analysis to give it a Eucharistic inflection. In his Cities of God, Ward spoke of vampires as working in an anti-Eucharistic fashion. Rather than giving blood for the life of the world, the vampire takes blood from the world and and ends life to sustain an already dead being. "Vampire stories," Ward argues "are Eucharistic stories played out negatively. A similar observation could be said of the zombie genre...continued here

On a related note:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dr. Hani Raoul Khouzam on PTSD

Dr. Hani Raoul Khouzam gave an amazing presentation on post-traumatic stress at a local seminar for clergy(Thanks to  Chaplain Terry Rommerheim and  Veterans Adminstration Central California Health Care System team for organizing it).

Here's an interview from another event. 

prayer to Allah in the House of Representatives

 This prayer to Allah in the House of Representatives is a sign-ificant sign  of the times...

and the implications need to be discussed.. But I sure was shocked to see this pop up when I clicked to play the video:

Ignatius of Loyola directs mimetic and histrionic kittens to play religiously on stage: copy-catechism

pic credit
From The Idea of a Theater by  Fergusson
The Histrionic Sensibility: The Mimetic Perception of Action

The trained ear perceives and discriminates sounds; the histrionic sensibility(which may also be trained) perceives and discriminates actions.Neither form of perception can be defined apart from experience but only indicated in various forms of its use...

Kittens in their play seem to be using something like our histrionic sensibility. They
directly perceive each other’s actions: stalking an imagined quarry; the bluff and formal
defiance which precedes a fight; flight in terror; the sudden indifference that ends the
play. Their perception of each other’s actions is itself mimetic, a sympathetic response of
the whole psyche, and may be expressed more or less completely and immediately in
bodily changes, postures, and movements.  The soul of the cat is the form of its body; but to some degree the soul is actual in different ways in different moments, depending upon what the cat believes, or make-believes the situation to be...When kittens perceive and imitate the actions of grown cats, the histrionic sensibility is being used for educational, moral (or by analogy) religious purposes: to explore the potentialities of the cat nature and the dimensions of the world in which the cat finds itself...

The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola  would seem to be far removed from the play of kittens; yet their purpose is to reveal, through the techniques of make-believe, the potentialities of human nature and the realities of the human situation, as Loyola understood them.   When he explains to the devout how to make present to their feelings and imaginations as well as their reason, scenes from the life of Christ, he  sketches a technique like that which the Moscow Art Theater used to train actors. His immediate purpose is similar: to reveal a scene significant on many levels, and a mode of action capable of evoking a mimetic response of the whole being pp 236-238, The Idea of a Theater, Fergusson