Sunday, October 31, 2010

NT Wright: explosive new creation

"Standing Barefoot before God" Rabbi Rami's rules for writing

From Ode Magazine 10.10  
(click to read, click again to enlarge)

K PAX and Jesus in the temple

Scene from K Pax, inspired by  Luke 2 46-47

"After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers."

Peace Train/Crazy Train/Love Train

It's always all three:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Definitions of the Kingdom...with a hilarious, prophetic typo

I found this helpful  document,
but note the hilarious typos: uh, eschatological is not the same as scatological..(:
Though sometimes our theologies are indeed both!
Definitions of the Kingdom of God

Tim Allen stands in for Joel Osteen

story here

Church Websites, U2 as Stadium Prophets, Asking Novel Questions

Three helpful docs from Mark Meynell:

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Amazon review of "The Structure of Matthew's Gospel: A Study in Literary Design"

5.0 out of 5 stars amazing resourceOctober 29, 2010

By Dave Wainscott (CALIF, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Structure of Matthew's Gospel: A Study in Literary Design (Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement) (Paperback)
I had the privilege of being a student of Dr. Bauer for a seminary class on Matthew about the time this book was released. The course was life-changing: not only is Bauer one of the world's leading specialists in Matthew, but his communication, teaching and writing skills are so personal and passionate that even technical material is understandable. His heart for God, Scripture and practical application are all commendable. 

I owe my passion for Matthew's gospel all these decades later to Dr. Bauer. I now teach Matthew on the college level, and I draw from his well in probably every class session. No one has brought to life the beautiful and intentional literary design, and its resultant theological/practical implications to life like Dr. Bauer. 

As it is academic, the book would probably be s stretch for college students, but a worthy one to stretch towards. 
Anyone seeking to capture the flow, narrative and message of Matthew will find a wealth of resources. 
Whether structural analysis of biblical text is new or not to you, as it is wrestled with, you will be amazed at the life lessons that will result. If you have never considered the crucial place of chiasm, inclusio, and other literary devices/forms in Scripture (or other ancient texts), buy this book yesterday. Bible teachers and preachers should buy it even sooner than that. 

Even better, sit in on one of his classes with this book in hand as soon as possible. 

Tell him I sent you. 

God bless, and thank you, David Bauer.

----Below: a review from JSTOR:
The Structure of Matthew's Gospel: A Study in Literary Design David R. Bauer

a little leitmotif lite: "No Line" as a (non-linear) sequel/prequel to "Achtung Baby"

buy the T-shirts (:
Along with the brilliant Rev. St. Keltic Ken, I have an affinity for those pop/rock songs from the 60s and 70s that were able to pack celtic-ish creativity, ethereal vibe, and a bit of progrock into a  radio-friendly three minutes.
Tunes like:

"A Whiter Shade of Pale," by Procul Harum:

"Society's Child" by Janis Ian:

God must love "spooky music," huh, Ken?
(How about some McArthur Park?)
Especially in short singles.

More than  Ken, I also love many of the longer opuses and epics of progrock; songs with "movements," a la classical music.
Even though grand can become grandiose pretty quickly, and operatic can translate cheese...
I still love
"In the Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson...

"Supper's Ready" by Genesis  (Don't get me started)..
whether with frontman Peter Gabriel:

(continued here, it's in 3 parts...of course)

Or with Phil Collins:


But one can see how bands would grow weary of reproducing the long opuses, and concept albums/rock operas, in concert, especially thirty five yeas later.  It has been said that when fans call out for "Supper's Ready," Collins sings a condensed version:  "There's an angel standing in the sun...666...Jerusaleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeem!!"

Which reminds us that any good, long story can be condensed.  And just hearing Collins  belt out those three snippets sends chills up the spine, as it is a microsm (albeit Cliff's notes) of the real  (23 minute) and grander thing (see the biblical backstory here)

Of couse, long songs, and concept albums (which are sometimes basically an hour-long song) have of course taken a hit in our soundbite  and megabyte times and technologies.
We are not living in Tommy anymore, and The Wall has come down.

But some recent albums:

...though technically not concept albums, or rock operas, maintain something of the concept and feel.
Sometimes lyrically, sometimes thematically, sometimes musically.
Songs segue, themes interweave, leitmotif happens.

Little leitmotifs, if you will.
Which is not the same as leitmotif lite.

This works well for Linkin Park, with lyrical refrains being revisited, as well as musical ones.
And many will remember the classic moment from a Neil Young concert: a fan yelled out, "All the songs sound the same!"  Neil dryly retorted: "They're all the same song!"

But it's the subtle, but obvious
(to an intent listener with their intelligence on....
one reason concept and complex albums...and albums themselves are in hard times...intent listeners are hard to find),
musical motifs that ocassionally reappear in a U2 work that  haunt, highlight and hyperlink it.
"Story shapes story," as Ray Vander Laan says of the biblical narrative's  intriguing intertextuality.

U2 plots their homiletical plot.
Lietmotif can be liturgy and leitiourgia.
(see  this by Beth Maynard, and  "Leitourgia, Leitmotif, Porn Stars and the Drowning Man")

It was Beth who got me thinking on the hyperlinked "oh oh"s of "Unknown Caller" and "White as Snow" as profound, and not just words. See also Beth's awesome comments on "God's signature melody"
throughout the U2 "No Line" album.
(I blogged a bit on that here, and here ate two more posts by Beth on the narrative of "No Line": Moments and characters and "Time won't leave me where i am,")

"No Line" began as a concept album, but was released as something less than...though the narrative line is still tracable,  and the shadow of the arc remains.... for those with ears to see (synesthesia is a helpful hermeneutical grid for U2).

Of course, one could make the case that U2 have been making "virtual concept albums" (even versions of the same album)  since their first album.

 But maybe "No Line" is sequel to,  or part 2, of "Achtung Baby" (I hope it's not a prequel).  Obviously one is darker and ocassioned by divorce; and one is overall more optimistic and opti-mystic (But there is more "up"/kataphtatic on "Achtung"... and more "down"/apophatic on "No Line".... that at first glance). And the newer album contains an obvious repeated lyrical leitmotif  in "let me in the sound."

It was Beth Maynard who got me thinking on the hyperlinked "oh oh"s of "Unknown Caller" and "White as Snow" as profound, and not just words. See also Beth's comments on "God's signature melody"
throughout the U2 "No Line" album, 
as a classic example of a musical leitmotif which segued not only two consecutive songs together, but hemistich the whole story.
(I blogged a bit on that here).

 And hear Beth out:


I defintely think there’s a relational thin place in this album. Consider ...also how the holy encounter at the end of "Unknown Caller" transitions, quickly, in the same key and with a very similar musical gesture, into the “old married folks” world of “Crazy Tonight.” The mundane is not mundane!
-Beth Maynard, see bottom of page here


The 'No Line" album's 

"Crazy Tonight/Unknown Caller" hemistich

is mirrored in 

the "Achtung Baby" album's

"Acrobat/Love is Blindness.'  Both sets of songs reveal, by a little leitmotif, an interpretive key to their respective albums.

These should've/could've been the singles !  (: 

How about a single 45, with A (Achtung) and B  (No Line) sides?


So, check this from Stephen Catanzarite's hugely helpful 33 1/3 book, "Achtung Baby: Meditations on Love in Light of the Fall":

There is a stirring musical motif  in "Acrobat,"  a guitar line reminscent of the darkly sublime themes found in  Ennio Morricone's classic scores for the films of Sergio Leone.  As with those  scores, the guitars in Acrobat play out over a human landscape that is at once comic and tragic, desolate and abundant, Godforsaken and blessed.  It is no accident that this theme will be repeated again in the following song, "Love is Blindness,"a sign of the Spirit that wills to abound in the darkest recesses of the human heart
-Catanzarite, p. 82, emphasis mine

        To the soft purr of the organ repeating the  mournful motif from "Acrobat," "Love is Blindness" finds our man and woman walking unsteadily down the aisle of an empty cathedral where, just above the altar, a light burns in the darkness...The struggle is heard in the martial bass line, which though dimly beligerent, seems on the edge of exaltation.....It is a continutaion of his confession in "Acrobat," but it goes further...followed by one of the most powerful and harrowing  guitar solos ever recorded. _-Catanzaarite, p. 87
Would it be too much  to suggest that  "Achtung " is a rock opera?  Probably.  Other tahn a melodic figure from "Acrobat" that is repeated on "Love is Blindness," there are no leitmotifs or recurring musical themes on the album, such as there are on Tommy, nor are any of the sonbgs reprised, as on The Wall.  To borrow a phrase from Bill Flanagan, the album does have a "novelistic cohesiveness"....It might be moire precise to decribe it as a "song cucle"  (such as Lou Reed's New York), or even a concept album (a concept pioneeered by Frank Sinatra)..Catanzarite,96-97

Buy the book already, and read chapter 1  yesterday!


Could it be that all of U2's U2ness  can be shorthanded and summarized in that one theme, even that one note in "No Line," or that one "harrowing solo" on Achtung?
 If so, how ironic and appropriate that is The Edge who offers the centerpoint.
Even Bono's words are often wordless.
But Edge's  "swirling epiphanies" (Time Magazine's phrase!) and  "signature melodies of God,"
are interpreted glossolalia/Bongolese 

Praying thru guitar tongues this time


that interpret the text, the times.....and us.
A little leitmotif goes a long way.

Maybe  those short 60s songs were prophetic and proleptic signs of the times, and of the Kingdom.

The concept album may be dead.
(See "Gregory of Nyssa and Green Day: death/birth of the concept of the concept album")
But long live the kingly and Kingdomed concept of a conceptual double single..

"Don't call me 'pastor,' I worked so hard to lose that title!"

buy the shirt
Since "pastor" was never meant to be a title..

..and I am "just Dave," not "Pastor Dave,"....

1)Note that can easily be turned into a title : "Just Dave."

2)Check this out.  You may have heard of Sen. Barbara Boxer's  (uh, Barbara Boxer, the senator) famous interruption of Brigadiere General Moser with "Don't call me ma'am, call me Senator..I worked so hard to get that title"  (Even though he was respectfully following military protocol) ...story here, and video below):

"Airplane" director  David Zucker  (ah, Director David Zucker) has now made a commercial spoofing Boxer's outburst, story   here , and commercial below:

  • There is no status in the Body of Christ"
  • Apostles as Slaves: Brian Dodd 
  • Clergy Parking 
  • "and some He gave to be party planners, some teachers, some  pastors
  • DEVOTIONAL FROM DOUGLAS WILSON:"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 1Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    Matt 23:7-12

    In the old days, this had to be accompished by means of respectful titles like "Rev." But nowadays, in these egalitarian times, the attitude of spiritual conceit has had to be a a little more creative,a nd a pastor shows his prowess in humility by asking people to call him "Joe". Behind the scenes, he is a fierce, hard-driving CEO,and reads those CEO magazines, and acts like a CEO on airplanes, right down to ogling the flight attendand in first class. But out in front of the congregation, sitrting on that stool, fitted out in a Mr. Rogers cardigan, he is open, transparent,and shares the
    s truggles of his heart--the struggels ofa simple guy...named Joe. He is about as deep as a wet spot on the pavement.
    -Douglas Wlison, A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking...p. 36

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Three New Releases By Violet Burning! What Can't U2 Do This (as promised)?

"there’s a blaze of light in every word/
it doesn’t matter which you heard/
the holy or the broken ‘hallelujah’"

Three new releases by The Violet Burning? Should be a national holiday!

the violet burning from the violet burning on Vimeo.

my name is night from the violet burning on Vimeo.

the violet burning from the violet burning on Vimeo.

rock is dead from the violet burning on Vimeo.

FACT0RY CRA5H PR3V13W M1X by thevioletburning


Bonus, some vintage/classics for any newbies out there:
the violet burning by thevioletburning

More?  Click "the violet burning" below

St. Chuck Colson looses his crabs?

Buy the bib
I love Chuck Colson.
But I have never forgotten him publicly calling a fellow believer's heartfelt prayer "meaningless..with no theological content."

Today I received a sign that maybe God does answer prayer (:

A prayer of mine, even.

Maybe it's not meaningless.

You'll want to click and read this first, to get the backstory:

"Dear Lord, Don't let Chuck Colson become a crabby old man..." (read it carefully, then come on back here)


Now, four years later:

No, I never heard back from Chuck or his peeps.

But i was glad to read this in a (pretty OK, bit kinda crabby) book:

Colson is that rare evangelical celebrity in that he doesn't pastor the church he's in...[and] he isn't afraid to apologize for past wrongs.

"My generation has been very slow to learn to be humble about our faith," he says. "And we've had a hard time  understanding that people don't always see things like we do.  We tend to be judgemental.  Martin Luther King said, 'He whom ye would change you must first love.'  The  world needs to see that on our part, a lot better than my generation has done it.  Francis Schaeffer said that 'the world will have the right to judge us by how we love one another.'"

          ....[Colson continued,]""  Maybe you don't like the sermons, or the music bothered you one Sunday, but those things are trivial  compared to the very act of committing yourself to being part of the Body of Christ, and participating fully." 
         -"Why we love church," p. 144-5

Whoa, has he repented for his (not) trivial outburst  (temple tantrum)  about "music that bothered him one Sunday" and subsequent column, and met Kelly Carpenter yet?

I don't know, maybe I'll just keep praying, and dedicate a prayersong to him below..(He can't complain about Michael W. Smith, can he? ...Even if the prayer is, per Colson,  "meaningless"):

Maybe the Kutless version:


This old (1993, Dublin, Zoo TV)version of "Stay" is new to me; it's the best:

Small Boat Big Sea

Video of the church by that name (Michael Frost's church):

smallboatbigsea from smallboat bigsea on Vimeo.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."

"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad:
whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive;
we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."
- John le Carre, "The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy", The New York Times, May 8, 1974

Friday, October 22, 2010

"What Does the Future of the Church Look Like"? :

N.T. Wright, Father Richard Rohr and Brennan Manning were invited by Spencer Burke to engage the question: "What Does the Future of the Church Look Like"? :

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Creative Internet

Check out "the creative internet"
(you'll have to click "view in full screen" under
"menu" at bottom left of screen):
The Creative Internet
(View more presentations)

Also on Google Docs here
HT: St. Dan Nainan

Brian Greene explains string theory to Colbert and Letterman

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Brian Greene
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Church with Sts. Andy Rogers and Chester Thompson

You may remember St. Andy Rogers and ethnoceltic worship team worshipping while plyaing "Be Thou My Vision" in a pub (here).
Now I see Andy and team did that song in a church with no one less that St. Chester Thompson (road drummer for Genesis and a deep Christ-ian).  Video below...LOL, only in churches do you see those glass drum cages..

I once bumped into Chester in a church men's room.  What a double take that was.
What an amazing drummer and person.
And how cool to see him in a small church setting (audience of One, actually) when he has played to 80, 000 in a stadium.
Andy says, "Check out the amazing rhythms that Chester plays just at the end of verse 3".  .Enjoy:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pastor Neil Young on Romans 7 and 8

To me, the sermon is about juxtalinking  the personal paradox of  Romans 7 that we all know so well:
  • Paul:"When will I stop not doing what I want to do?  Who will deliver me?"
  • Neil: "When will I learn how to listen?/ When will I learn to feel? / When will I learn to give back? / When will I learn to heal?" 
with the cosmic longing of all creation in Romans 8:
  • Paul: ".all creation  groans in expectation for the children of God to be revealed"
  • Neil: "I feel the rumbling in her [the earth's] ground."
This sermon, "The Rumbling," was prepared with help by  (recently back from the almost-dead) apostle, Daniel Lanois.
(the whole sermon series, of which "the Rumbling" is the 8th, and last of the series, is talked about here , or play the whole series here)..

Andy Crouch: Postures Toward Culture

Andy Crouch at Jubilee from Jubilee on Vimeo.

French Dog-Saints and The Trinity

Yes, my dog is reading de Caussade in this pic,
She loves it. Even in the original French.

Yes, the Trinity is watching over me.
In fact, she is coming right outta my desktop.
How about yours?

Hugh Halter:Incarnational Community and Posture

Thanks to Brad Brisco for the tip:

Hugh Halter: Creating Incarnational Community [VERGE 2010 Main Session] from Verge Network on Vimeo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

'the entrepreneurial daring of Google and the do-gooder ethos of Bono.'

From TED:
"Seven years ago, Jessica Jackley heard a speech by Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, an economist from Bangladesh who had developed the idea of microcredit: loans offered to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. She says, "I was so completely blown away by the idea that I quit my job, dropped everything and moved to East Africa to help." In late 2005 she co-founded with Matt Flannery.

Kiva uses a peer-to-peer model in which lenders sort through profiles of potential borrowers -- be they a farmer in Cambodia, a pharmacist in Sierra Leone, or a shopkeeper in Mongolia -- and make loans to those they find most appealing. The minimum loan is $25, and the interest rate is 0%. The repayment rate for loans is more than 98%, Jackley says, and since the group was founded almost 700,000 people have pledged $128 million in loans to more than 325,000 people. Jackley's latest project is ProFounder, a new platform that helps small businesses in the United States access startup funding through community involvement.

'Kiva mixes the entrepreneurial daring of Google with the do-gooder ethos of Bono.' -Knowledge@Wharton
report, Forbes

Friday, October 15, 2010

“Temple Tantrums For All Nations"

“Temple Tantrums For All Nations”
By Dave Wainscott
Salt Fresno Magazine, Jan 2011

Photo: Several Fresno Christians overlooking the Temple Mount, Jerusalem
(including columnist Dave Wainscott, left; and Salt Fresno supporter, Charlida Kemble, right).

I have actually heard people say they fear holding a bake sale anywhere on church property…they think a divine lightning bolt might drop.

Some go as far as to question the propriety of youth group fundraisers (even in the lobby), or flinch at setting up a table anywhere in a church building (especially the “sanctuary”) where a visiting speaker or singer sells books or CDs.  “I don’t want to get zapped!”

All trace their well-meaning concerns to the “obvious” Scripture:

"Remember when Jesus cast out the moneychangers and dovesellers?"

It is astounding how rare it is to hear someone comment on the classic "temple tantrum" Scripture without turning it into a mere moralism:

"Better not sell stuff in church!”

Any serious study of the passage concludes that the most obvious reason Jesus was angry was not commercialism, but:


I heard that head-scratching.

The tables the Lord was intent on overturning were those of prejudice.

I heard that “Huh?”

A brief study of the passage…in context…will reorient us:

Again, most contemporary Americans assume that Jesus’ anger was due to his being upset about the buying and selling.  But note that Jesus didn't say "Quit buying and selling!” His outburst was, "My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations" (Mark 11:17, emphasis mine).   He was not merely saying what he felt, but directly quoting Isaiah (56:6-8), whose context is clearly not about commercialism, but adamantly about letting foreigners and outcasts have a place in the “house of prayer for all nations”; for all nations, not just the Jewish nation.   Christ was likely upset not that  moneychangers were doing business, but that they were making it their business to do so disruptfully and disrespectfully in the "outer court;”  in  the “Court of the Gentiles” (“Gentiles” means “all other nations but Jews”).   This was

the only place where "foreigners" could have a “pew” to attend the international prayer meeting that was temple worship.   Merchants were making the temple  "a den of thieves" not  (just) by overcharging for doves and money, but by (more insidiously) robbing precious people of  “all nations”  a place to pray, and the God-given right  to "access access" to God.

Money-changing and doveselling were not inherently the problem.  In fact they were required;  t proper currency and “worship materials” were part of the procedure and protocol.  It’s true that the merchants may  have been overcharging and noisy, but it is where and how they are doing so that incites Jesus to righteous anger.

The problem is never tables.  It’s what must be tabled:

marginalization of people of a different tribe or tongue who are only wanting to worship with the rest of us.

In the biblical era, it went without saying that when someone quoted a Scripture, they were assuming and importing the context.  So we often miss that Jesus is quoting a Scripture in his temple encounter, let alone which Scripture and  context.  Everyone back then immediately got the reference: “Oh, I get it, he’s preaching Isaiah, he must really love foreigners!”:
 Foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord…all who hold fast to my covenant-these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.(Isaiah 56:6-8, emphases mine)
Gary Molander, faithful Fresnan and cofounder of Floodgate Productions, has articulated it succinctly:

“The classic interpretation suggests that people were buying and selling stuff in God’s house, and that’s not okay.  So for churches that have a coffee bar, Jesus might toss the latte machine out the window.
I wonder if something else is going on here, and I wonder if the Old Testament passage Jesus quotes informs our understanding?…Here’s the point:
Those who are considered marginalized and not worthy of love, but who love God and are pursuing Him, are not out.  They’re in..

Those who are considered nationally unclean, but who love God and are pursuing Him, are not out.  They’re in.

God’s heart is for Christ’s Church to become a light to the world, not an exclusive club.  And when well-meaning people block that invitation, God gets really, really ticked.”
(Gary Molander,

Still reeling?  Hang on, one more test:

How often have you heard the Scripture  about “speak to the mountain and it will be gone” invoked , with the “obvious” meaning being “the mountain of your circumstances” or “the mountain of obstacles”?  Sounds good, and that will preach.   But again,  a quick glance at the context of that saying  of Jesus reveals nary a mention of metaphorical obstacles.   In fact, we find it (Mark 11:21-22) directly after the “temple tantrum.”  And consider where Jesus and the disciples are: still near the temple,  and still stunned by the  “object lesson” Jesus had just given there  about prejudice.  And know that everyone back then knew what most today don’t:  that one way to talk about the temple was to call it “the mountain” (Isaiah 2:1, for example: “the mountain of the Lord’s temple”) .

Which is why most scholars would agree with Joel Green and John Carroll:
“Indeed, read in its immediate context, Jesus’ subsequent instruction to the disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain..’ can refer only to the mountain on which the temple is built!... For him, the time of the temple is no more.”  (“The Death of Jesus in Early Christianity,” p. 32, emphasis mine).
In Jesus’ time, the temple system of worship had become far too embedded with prejudice.  So Jesus suggests that his followers actually pray such a system, such a mountain, be gone.

Soon it literally was.

In our day, the temple is us: the church.

And the church-temple  is called to pray a moving, mountain-moving, prayer:

“What keeps us from being a house of prayer for all nations?”

Or as Gary Molander summarizes:

“Who can’t attend your church?”