Thursday, October 31, 2013

" I love seeing you non-believers. It's really a relief.."

Check this out, from the original Matrix script. As you can see by my highlights in red, some intriguing lines about believers/non-believers were eventually cut. Also, it is so key to the movie that The Oracle never says Neo is not The One (she knows he is, so in the final film when he  asks, she doesn't deny it).  Here she does:


   I know.  You're Neo.  Be right
   with you.

   You're the Oracle?

   Bingo.  I got to say I love seeing
   you non-believers.  It's really a
   relief.  All that pomp and
   circumstances just plain tucker me
   out.  Almost done.  Smell good,
   don't they?


   I'd ask you to sit down, but
   you're not going to anyway.  And
   don't worry about the vase.

   What vase?

 He turns to look around and his elbow knocks a VASE from
 the table.  It BREAKS against the linoleum floor.

   The vase.

   Shit, I'm sorry.

 She pulls out a tray of chocolate chip cookies and turns.
 She is an older woman, wearing big oven mitts,
 comfortable slacks and a print blouse.  She looks like
 someone's grandma.

   I said don't worry about it.  I'll
   get one of my kids to fix it.

   How did you know...?

 She sets the cookie tray on a wooden hot-pad.

   What's really going to bake your
   noodle later on is, would you
   still have broken it if I hadn't
   said anything.

 Smiling, she lights a cigarette.

   You're cuter than I thought.  I
   see why she likes you.


   Not too bright, though.

 She winks.

   You know why Morpheus brought you
   to see me?

   I think so.

   So? What do you think?  You think
   you're the one?

   I don't know.

 She gestures to a wooden plaque, the kind every grandma
 has, except that the words are in Latin.

   You know what that means?  It's
   Latin.  Means, 'Know thyself.'

 She puts her cigarette down.

   Well, let's have a look at you.

 She widens his eyes, checks his ears, then feels the
 glands in his neck.

   Open your mouth.  Say, 'ahhh.'

 She nods then looks at his palms.

   Hmmm.  You sure got the gift, but
   it's tricky.  I'd say the bad news
   is, you're not the one.  Still got
   a lot to learn.  Maybe next life.

   What's the good news?

   Same as the bad news, you're not
   the one.

   Is that it, then?

   No.  Here.

 She picks up the tray of cooling cookies.

   You better take a cookie.  Got a
   big day ahead of you.

 He eyes her, then takes a cookie.

   Make a believer out of you yet.

an open source church of open sores

"The ability to teach and preach and lead is taking a backseat to the pastor's capacity to create

ate and facilitate open-source faith experiences  for the people of the church."

  -Doug Paggitt, Church in the Inventive Age, p 33


In one of our gatherings, I mentioned in passing that we were an "open source" church.

Immediately a saint, it's not an interruption, that's precisely the point!  She interjected..
"Oh, I love that image: open sores.  Can you say some more about that?"

She thought I had said "open sores" was  the way to  do church.
We had a good laugh...but it was a profound moment...
      which BTW, wouldn't have arisen if we weren't "open source" so that anyone can talk
                                                                            (especially women!)

I should've/could've said "open sores."
Church is to be like that: honest, vulnerable, transparent.
And the only way to being open about our open sores is to be open source. 
PS I googled and found a band named:

Church Of Open Sores

photo credit

"you could think and act outside the box as long as it was inside the box of the other person."

Excerpt from Paul Leader's post, "Out of the Box" :
......The strange thing is in these moments the crowd goes wild. The event, the conference, the hype all play a part in sweeping everyone along with whatever is taking place. The conference has always been the breeding ground for the exciting stuff to take place and then we go back to being boring when Sunday comes around. The church programme was never invented to being exciting, it was a place of commitment and things we had to do to be a community of believers. Yet people get excited and agree and cheer all sorts of stuff. On both of these occasions the crowd went wild for breaking out of boxes and clay pots. No one wanted to go back to normal or the status quo. Everyone was ready to talk the talk and long for a freedom beyond what they had ever experienced before. There was a no going back mentality. Then reality struck and submission to leaders and local church and doctrine and Christian practice. The religious would challenge and shout rebellion and challenge the trouble makers and thinkers. Many may have gave up one box only to trade it for another. Others sat down with the bits of the clay pot and some super-glue of love and started piecing it all back together. They discovered, as I did time and time again, that you could think and act outside the box as long as it was inside the box of the other person. You could smash the container of religion as long as you lived inside the clay pot of another person. I discover everyday that someone always wants to build a wall around you or hedge you in......
....Remember the toy Stretch Armstrong, stretch him as much as you like and then he will return to his normal size and position? That is the walk of so many. But I long to be a shape shifter constantly. I long to stretch beyond recognition. When people say I am not the same anymore I take that as a compliment. I want to wander the land with others that have broken moulds. Others that will challenge thinking and ideas. Not that I want to join their cast or box, but to constantly break my own. I thank God for people around me today that do such things, like Martin Scott, Mark Pixley, John Matthews, Andre Van de Merwe, Michael Creel, Shannon Byous Ruddy, Peter Rollins, Wayne Jacobsen, Dave Vaughan, Justin Abraham, Mark Neale, Dyfed Wyn Roberts and even Bono! There are many others too that challenge, provoke, ruffle, annoy, stir, comfort, love, break mindsets, smash moulds, kick boxes, break clay pots, walk and not just talk in the wild wanderings of life. I thank God for such people. I may not agree with all they stand in or walk through, but I certainly appreciate the spirit and adventure and inclusion they give as they themselves pursue nothing more or less than the wild goose trail. Daily I will take a boot to the box. Daily I will get my hammer to that pot to smash it beyond recognition. There is no going back. There is only today to live in, a day to walk beyond expectations and pressures and philosophies and traditions and religion and mindsets and doctrine. A day to walk with Him in the wilds and and discover a place that only He knew existed. That box you have for me is forever broken.  -full post  link

"Jesus wants the rose!"


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Is Bono always posing?"

  • Interviewer:  "Is Bono always posing?" 
  • Larry:   "Constantly.  Even when he sleeps."
That's just one of the moments to catch on this episode of a Norwegian TV show featuring Larry Mullen Jr.:
Related: Bono: "I don't want to be on the news"...yeah, right

I don't believe in circles...but i can't do church without them

From "church in a circle":

 I don't believe in circles. I believe in Jesus-centred, transformational community....But these communities  have always met in circles; sometimes one large circle, sometimes small groups or pairs. Sometimes guys and girls split up so they could go deeper, safer. The facilitator was always part of the group, not separated by a stage or a pulpit. Everyone was involved, not just the leader..LINK

A TED..uh, DED.. Talk for Zombies

"Free your mind and your ass will follow" -Bono Subversio Vox

I'm sure some never got the reference to Bono's (punch)line in this 1994  acceptance speech. I had to google it myself..
It's from the 1971 Funkadelic song  by the same name:

Free your mind and your ass will follow:

The kingdom of heaven is within
Open up your funky mind and you can fly
 Free your mind and your ass will follow
 The kingdom of heaven is within

How would you interpret Bono's  use of that line in the context of the speech?
Funny the post on SongMeanings suggest the meaning is obvious (:
It can't be (just) a throwaway chance to use "colorful" language..
It's always about subversio..and always prayer to Bono Vox.
Achtung, Sitz Im Leben, Baby!
Get on your boots..

Crowder goes slumming /Psalming: Gilligan's Island, R-rated T-shirts, automated urinals, St. Airport...and sunsets and sushi

It draws from some of the
masters on Psalms: Bruegggman and Peterson..

and has profound theological reflection..

                                        often based on  such profound references as:

  • Gilligan's Island (midrash on the "two rescues" of Psalm 40),
  •       Nunzilla (see Appendix C)
  •                     the Pistol Smoker BBQ in Waco Texas (Psalm 63, map included)
  •                           a theology of automated urinals (as commentary on Psalm 84..of course! Obvious!)

  • It even deals with some serious semiotics by way of an R-rated T-shirt  (full story and T-shirt photo at this link:"David Crowder has 3 words for judgemental pastors"

What other book could this be but the wimpy-bearded David Crowder's "Praise Habit: Finding God in Sunsets and Sushi."   One reviewer has coined it "Dave-Barry-meets-David-the-Psalms," and it was originally marketed for teens.  But though it might suffer a  bit from"youth pastor" style at points,  I shelf it with no shame next to my  Brueggemann and NT Wright books on the Psalms.

" Here is a book about a guy who wants to give something back to God and is interested in helping you and me do the same. He might have accidentally stumbled upon the meaning of life. Dave Crowder is a good writer, and he dares to tell us the truth about himself and his calling. This one is worth reading." -Donald Miller, author, Blue Like Jazz

"I knew Dave was a sparkling musician and a wild, fun person. I knew he had crazy hair and made weird clothes fashionable. I also knew he was a man of honest and vital faith. I should have known he would be a truly extraordinary writer. Now I know! Praise Habit is a delight to read and good for the soul."-Brian McLaren, pastor, author, A New Kind of Christian 

Here are a few random things I like about this book..

Crowder tells a hilarious story which sucks us into a discussion of  public lament  seen from a new angle:  the night the power went out at the Holiday Inn:

"...every room was dark that winter Lubbock night at the Holiday Inn, and there was something shared in the darkness...To pursue praise properly we will bring our public moments into this pursuit, and in doing so we may even gain perspective.
 Walter Brueggemann writes about communal laments as "statements about the religious dimension of public events of loss..the recovery of this mode of psalmic prayer may be important if we are to overcome..the apathy that comes with abdication."
..We are all in our rooms when the darkness falls, and we must make effort and look each other in the eyes, or if the night still covers and we cannot yet see, we must reach out our hands to feel the lines on each others' weathered faces and fumble to trace and feel our mouths as they speak words of shared understanding and longing.  And in our embracing, sparks of praise will splinter the darkness like fireworks. (p. 98)

The fact that there  are "songs that won't let you out of the car."  (p. 146)

The challenge to "paint with fury." (p. 92)

The airport stories.
There has long been something sacred ..and scary?..about airports to me.
 We have even spent part of a "worship service" at our local airport.
I love to study at the airport.

First, he had me laughing about his adventures  in airports  meeting famous people...Richard Simmons, Mel Gibson and Bob Dole. (p. 51, in a section on Psalm 8).
But then, this, which morphed my laughter into mourning:

"and in airports I am occasionally afraid to watch other people, these spaces so full of dark and light.  It's like I absorb the pain..the joy..the place is just so full of humanity and the stuff of living--the sadness of departure, the happiness of return, the heaviness of individuality--those in constant motion and those sitting quietly waiting in covert inanimateness, thinking If I am still just enough  (From the Conclusion: Symptomology, p. 151)
Why am I afraid to be thus afraid? Why do I grieve not grieving?
Am I enough?...

Okay, to end on a light and frivolous note:
Do check out the copyright  page, where he has snuck in all kinds of stuff most readers will never catch.
And do use it to chart your bias towards penguins.  It's the only book I know of where the copyright page is worth the (full) price of the book..

Even that may be a profound lesson in spiritual formation and the Psalms (:

Oh, some links (from both sides of the wars):

the power of photoshop

"the only trustworthy indication that God is somewhere in my prayer is..."

Fill in the blank before you scroll down..

From "The Word: Imagining the Gospel in Modern America"

 By Ann Monroe

""For me, the only trustworthy indication that God is somewhere in my prayer is

                                          that it surprises me."

             - p. 101 (context, do read the short chapter this comes from here ..pp 99-102)

More from Anne Monroe here

boy on stage with pope

story here:Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis   

random insults from Martin Luther

Click her
for a random insult from Martin Luther

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I posted this below on my Facebook re: my "new" DVD of an old film: "Adaptation."
Photo: So I unwrapped this newly purchased DVD..and saw this.  It's kind of disturbing to open a shrinkwrapped product and see a handwritten note.  
I don't want to get anyone in trouble, so I blocked out the names.
Hooked onto some clips in the case was this note from a supervisor (on studio letterhead) asking an employee not to use this case with the clips..
Makes you wonder about the backstory(:
Did the employee ever see the note?  Did they leave it in on purpose?
Do they still have their job?  (:So I unwrapped this newly purchased DVD..and saw this. It's kind of disturbing to open a shrinkwrapped product and see a handwritten note.
I don't want to get anyone in trouble, so I blocked out the names.
Hooked onto some clips in the case was this note from a supervisor (on studio letterhead) asking an employee not to use this case with the clips..
Makes you wonder about the backstory(:
Did the employee ever see the note? Did they leave it in on purpose?
Do they still have their job? (:
  Hmm..i googled the name and found that many people got the same note. Company prank? related to the movie itself( Adaptation) theme of blending of movie world/real world?
See links:

Church burns Bibles and Billy Graham books on Halloween


Monday, October 28, 2013

Christian, you are a NOT a 'new creation!' / Bonus: Dave's Top Ten list of "misundertaken" Scriptures

How many times have you heard it?:

               "If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation"

Or worse, we often hear:
                                  "Christians are new creations"

And don't get me started on the King James Version:

                    "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature "  (:

From the black lagoon?

It's all based on misleading translation of the original Greek of 2 Cor 5:17 , which literally says:

ωστε ει τις εν χριστω καινη κτισις τα αρχαια παρηλθεν:

                  "If anyone is in Christ,
                 new creation!"

Of course the TNIV nailed it.....and of course it was banned:

              "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
                the new creation has come"
(The new 2011 NIV:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!  (footnote: Or Christ, that person is a new creation.)
How about:

      "Since (even) one person is  (already) in Christ, the  NEW CREATION has  (already) arrived"

That helps restore the thought.

The New Creation-- God's heavenly realm and  cosmic "kingdom come," which has already started coming-- is a bit bigger than me.

And it is NOT me...

 "New Creation" has a lot more to do with Revelation's "new heavens and new earth" in all its glory than this  individual little creature from the black lagoon getting saved.

Paul also never uses the noun “creation” (ktisis) to refer to an individual person (see Rom 1:2258:19–2239), and the concept of a new creation appears prominently in Jewish apocalyptic texts that picture the new age as inaugurating something far more sweeping than individual transformation—a new heaven and a new earth. The translation “there is a new creation” would mean that the new creation does not merely involve the personal transformation of individuals but encompasses the eschatological act of recreating humans and nature in Christ. It would also include the new community, which has done away with the artificial barriers of circumcision and uncircumcision (Gal 6:15–16; see Eph 2:14–16) as part of this new creation.
(David E. Garland, 2 Corinthians, The New American Commentary, 286-87)  link

Ralph Martin:

Paul is talking of a “new act of creation,” not an individual’s renovation as a proselyte or a forgiven sinner in the Day of Atonement service. There is even an ontological dimension to Paul’s thought.. suggesting that with Christ’s coming a new chapter in cosmic relations to God opened and reversed the catastrophic effect of Adam’s fall which began the old creation (Kümmel, 205). To conclude: en Christo, kaine ktisis in this context relates to the new eschatological situation which has emerged from Christ’s advent .
-Ralph P. Martin, 2 Corinthians, Word Biblical Commentary, 152)link

Sure, in a wonderful way, in microcosm, my status as a recreated truster of Jesus mirrors the New Creation.
But I'm just a little critter/creature.

Of  course, it might also be a case of BOTH/AND...

 I was glad to find this just now from Richard Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics:

The apocalyptic scope of 2 Corinthians 5 was obscured by older translations that rendered the crucial phrase in verse 17 as “he is a new creation” (RSV) or — worse yet — “he is a new creature” (KJV). Such translations seriously distort Paul’s meaning by making it appear that he is describing only the personal transformation of the individual through conversion experience. The sentence in Greek, however, lacks both subject and verb; a very literal translation might treat the words “new creation” as an exclamatory interjection: “If anyone is in Christ — new creation!”
The NRSV has rectified matters by rendering the passage, “If anyone is in Christ there is a new creation.” Paul is not merely talking about an individual’s subjective experience of renewal through conversion; rather, for Paul, “creation” refers to the whole create order (Rom. 8:18–25). He is proclaiming the apocalyptic message that through the cross God has nullified the kosmos of sin and death and brought a new kosmos into being. That is why Paul can describe himself and his readers as those “on whom the ends of the ages has met” (1 Cor. 10:11). The old age is passing away (cf. 1 Cor. 7:31b), the new age has appeared in Christ, and the church stands at the juncture between them.  link, p. 20
The Wikipedia article on New Creation also makes room for both.

Vernard Eller, in his amazing  chapter 8  of "War and Peace" ("Noting The Absence of What Wasn't There" it here) helpfully bases his comments on the delightful translation of the NEB:

Becoming a Christian eschatologist does not mean being lifted out of this world into some  transcendent realm...Paul stated our idea rather precisely: "When anyone is united to Christ, there is a new world; the old order has gone, and a new order has already begin (2 Cor 5.17).  Obviously, Paul does not mean..that, at the moment one accepts Christ, he is transported from this world to another one...but..The old secular, flatlander interpretation is gone; and the new, true eschatological significance has already begun  (p. 200)
The NEB has  since been replaced with the REB , which reads:

                                "For anyone united to Christ, there is a new creation.."

Nice!  (and see helpful comments by John Howard Yoder here)

How about N.T. Wright, 43:30  mark to 47  min. mark here:


Of course, this is all  a classic case of misleading translation coupled with Verse-itis
How many know the verse under discussion starts with a "Therefore.."?
So we are called to discern the context and what the "therefore" is
                                                                                     there for.
Do check it out.

PS:  Note: this "new creation" principle carries over into a lesser-known, not on any bumper sticker, verse:

"Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything;
             what counts is the new creation'  (Galatians 6:15, NIV)

Great translation score there. Some translations style the above as "what counts is A new creation"   Uh, no.

An intriguing parallel reminds us of what the New Creation life, here in the midst of the old creation,  is to be known by:

"Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything;
             The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."
                                                           (Galatians 5:6)


If this lil' ol' Bible study has messed up your day, how about nine more?
constitute a Top Ten list  

"misundertaken" Scriptures:

Okay, I can't  
stop..let's make it a Top 16:

11)I assume you know that I can't do all things through Christ.

12)Don't get me started on Jeremiah 29:11..


     13) the individual Christian wearing spiritual armor

               14)the "fruitS of the Spirit"

  15)Jesus being literally forsaken by God because
 "God can't look at us, he can                      only look at Jesus..."

                                                            16) "Christians are sinners, not saints"


musical metaphor in Crowder

Tucked away in the liner notes  of the "A Collision" album, David Crowder writes of the song "Jerusalem, Our Happy Home":

 i believe that not only are we headed toward an eschatological encounter, but that God is as well in motion. toward us. momentum and consequence. there is a musical metaphor for this in the outro of this song. the acoustic guitar repeats the main riff of the song as the banjo plays the same melody in reverse. they drop one note on each sequential cycle through the melody until they dissolve into each other, finally concluding on the same note in the end.  link, complete notes

"Pseudonymity, the New Testament, and Deception" on sale now for a mere $6,535.99

Hurry!  the paperback edition of
Pseudonymity, the New Testament, and Deception: An Inquiry into Intention and Reception 
is on sale now at Amazon for a mere  $6,535.99 . Click here to score!

As a sure to  also get the book below for $23 million...while it lasts.

Why does this happens?
See this, and  this  and this

- See more 

Las Vegas as microcosm/shadow capital of America

From The Money and the Power by Denton/Morriss:
 "Shadow Capital:  The city was never, in truth, some perverse Atlantis apart from the main....When Las Vegas became the greatest business success story of the twentieth century, it was because the rest of America made it so with capital as well as customers.  When Las Vegas grew into a kind of shadow capital  in the last decades of the century,it was because the rest of America made it so by embracing the ethic of greed and exploitation

By the millennium the national surrender of democracy to oligarchy in the United States--the submission to house rules, as they might put it on the Strip-- had simply come into the open, where it had long been in Las h  It has been difficult, to see the city honestly in that context.  What  a sad, grim reflection Las Vegas gives back to us. America has yet to come to term to its own hidden history, let alone the city’s..”
  p. 392,
The Money and the Power, click for context;  review here

In The Matrix, humans are used as a "crop."  Humans have soused machines, and become dependent on them, that now  humans are used by the Machines, who have them plugged in to their system (feeding a dream world directly into their brains), while ironically  the system itself now  gets its energy from humans: they are batteries.

Is Las Vegas The Matrix?  Or at least its capital/capitol?

See also:
casting shadows on the city

And do listen to/watch  some 1990s U2 Popmart Tour..which subversively kicked off in Las Vegas.

One Church #2 - The Arabic Church (Ashoor Yousif)

One Church #2 - The Arabic Church (Ashoor Yousif)

3 Simple Ways to Time Travel (& 3 Complicated Ones)

see related "time travel" posts below

"One Church: Anabaptist/Mennonite Brethren"

One Church #1: From Baptist to Anabaptist (Greg Boyd) : One Church #7 - Mennonite Brethren (Mike Krause):

Lour Reed and The Blind Boys of Alabama: "Jesus"

Lour Reed and The Blind Boys of Alabama: "Jesus" 
77s cover: