Monday, August 28, 2006

Things that have been jumping out at me from things I am reading...


"Risk, as we have seen, is indispensable to any significant life, nowhere more clearly than in the life of the spirit. The goal of faith is not to create a set of immutable, rationalized, precisely defined and defendable beliefs to preserve forever. It is to recover a relationship with God." - Dan Taylor

"There is a point in a child's development when the child's mind seems shaped like a question mark-every sentence begins with 'why.' The answers seem only to raise more questions. Most parents understand that although it is important to attempt an answer, often the answer is irrelevant. For little children, what is most important is the act of questioning itself because children's questions are more than a request for information. Their questions are an act of affection, of communion and of trusting." - Mike Yaconelli

"The critical issue today [facing Christians] is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news, it is ok news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn't change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore, He changes them into "nice people." - Mike Yaconelli

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

PARABLE OF THE SOWER

Mark 4:3-9 (NIV)
3 "Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times." 9 Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

In other reading today:

David Bentley Hart's The Beauty of the Infinite

"God is, so to speak, infinite discourse, full of the perfect utterance of his Word and the limitless variety of the Spirit’s ‘reply.’ Here, in the most elementary terms, is Christian metaphysics: God speaks God, and creation occurs within that speaking, as a rhetorical embellishment, a needless ornament" (p. 291).

other reading via: faith-theology

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Russian solves historic math problem, shuns prize


I absolutely Love it (what a sweet story)... Grigory Perelman's refuses to accept the medal for solving world's biggest math problem, look at this man he is fierce, his eyebrows and beard says I take math seriously and I don't need your bourgeoisie medals... I don't need you...I am a genius... its only a matter of time...till the Empire is back... :)...

Speaking of which, top scientists and I both agree that getting ready for NHL season is the best thing some one can do to improve their IQ...

Monday, August 21, 2006

what the dirty...

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Citing Iraq as a key example of U.S. resolve in "a global war" on terror, President Bush said Monday there would be no quick U.S. exit despite the strain of the war on American society.
"If we ever give up the desire to help people who want to live in a free society, we will have lost our soul as a nation," Bush said.

If by desire to help people you mean, bomb the living day lights out of the country and its civilians, if it means opening a prison in Cuba and breaking Geneva Convention, specifically Article 2 and 3 of Part I, and creating a complete security mess of the country, then that makes sense otherwise that comment has nothing to do with free society, and all to do with protecting the way of life of one people group and considering their life more important then others. Hate to loose that "soul" as a nation...

(Rant for the day)



Friday, August 18, 2006

LAKE DAY


HEY GUYS JUST A REMINDER TOMMOROW LAKE DAY, MEET AT CHURCH AT 10 AM BRING $3 FOR GAS!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's all about the Image!

Isn't this great? Thanks to the Dutch we have a range of every psycho to soccer mom wearing these ridiculous Swiss cheese rubber clogs, you know the foam shoes that resemble the clogs Dutch and fifth graders wear cause for a period of a semester they think its cool, you know the clog that is the cross-bred with an Ikea cheese grater. Take the people in the picture above modeling this catastrophe of a sandal, they look like they are in a cult waiting for a comet to pass them by: "I'm ready, I got my pink clogs, Master Zorg!" Sure we all thought that MC Hammer pants were cool, and comfortable lots of room, baggy...they lasted what all three days...The worst part is when 'they' decide like a clown on a bad 'meth' trip and use various colors available, Punks and skaters wear black, Soccer mom wear yellow, Jerks wear blue, and people that need/are going to get beat up wear purple, etc. I usually try not to comment on bad fashion, since we have ALL fallen to some bad choices in our time, but come on think about it, are those pink clogs really you, or are you stuck in a bad 80's music video and are going to be kicking yourself, when your kids and grand kids look at the pictures and ask was grandpa in the circus?

Monday, August 14, 2006

The weekend of Champions!

Chris Moneymaker: "It was the most ruthless game I have ever seen!"
Phil Ivy added,: "I was reading him (speaking of Paul 'rev' Morgun) on a pair of Kings earlier, I am not sure why Stalin ( Speaking of Andrew Bergen) went all in...he must have seen the stupid grin Morgun had?" When asked for a comment Rev (Morgun) simply said: "When Stalin was taken down, I knew I just had to raddle the FISH (speaking of Gil Dueck) he is easliy shaken, and I knew he wasn't going to swim away from my straight...I read him on a lower straight and the rest, as we say in the 'biz', is money!" Cactus Jack (speaking of Jeff Peters) could not be reached for a comment as he was demanding for an investigation into the deck of cards that were used... The tournament was held at Bergen Casino's and as always provided great giant screen entertainment, and excellent food. The tournament is in its second run, and the Bergen Casino's is hoping to make this an annual event.

Stuff...

It was a fun week, my little guy is now 3 years old which is amazing how FAST the time has gone by...I was also a HUGE winner in a card game this weekend which is great. Big reminder that our lake day is this Saturday meet at church at 10 am bring some money for gas! On another note many of you know Gary Larson as an amazing cartoonist but a psychic as well? Well it just happens that he made a cartoon about artists, which use the same medium for their art as my wife....I thought she was the only one...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The good wife guide...from 1955

I doubt any wife was part of writing this, if its too small you can click on the title for bigger version...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

West Meets East

Found this article recently, any thoughts?:

West Meets East
Theology Today, Apr 2004 by Charry, Ellen T

Theology Today is particularly pleased to bring you this special issue on Eastern Orthodoxy. Fortunately, in our day the centuries-old divisions and animosities between the eastern and western churches are giving way to a sensibility of understanding-not only by the passage of time, but also by fine scholarship, the fall of the Soviet empire, and emergence of a common language, English. We are honored to participate in this development with this issue.
We are most fortunate to have the finest leaders of the Orthodox world represented here to bring us into living conversation with a tradition that is rapidly gaining ground around the world but is still unfamiliar to many in the English-speaking west. We are especially honored to have His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I keynote this issue not only with greetings, but with his blessing and insights into the gifts Eastern Orthodoxy offers the west. We are also deeply grateful to Fr John Chryssavgis for co-editing this issue with us, suggesting themes, potential authors, and making initial contacts on our behalf. In addition, he translated the Patriarch's contribution and edited Archbishop Anthony Bloom's posthumous contribution.
Eastern Christianity differs from western Christianity in stressing different aspects of Christian faith and life. Although the official split between them did not come until the eleventh century, it is feasible to argue that, while east and west were in conciliar colleagueship for eight centuries, linguistic and cultural differences, as well as issues of polity and politics, rendered the unity of the church tentative at least since the Council of Chalcedon (451 ), if not earlier.
While that history trails us, a retrieval of ancient texts that began in the 194Os has produced an avalanche of critical editions, English translations, and popular editions, and fine scholarship on Greek and Syriac theology. Further, the shift in sensibility from suspicion to curiosity about other Christian traditions, fostered by the ecumenical movement, has encouraged outstanding Orthodox scholars and theologians to interpret their tradition to western Christian ears. all of this has given the English-speaking western churches increasing access to Eastern Orthodoxy.
To enter into Orthodox sensibilities, it will be helpful to recall that events that profoundly shaped western Christianity never affected the east. This is partly due to the linguistic and geographic barriers that largely prevented Latin theology from influencing the east, and vice versa, but is also due to cultural differences and even political struggles. There was no Pelagian controversy in the east, so monasticism pressed toward the ideal of perfection unhindered; there was no scholasticization of theology in the Middle Ages, so method never became central; there was no reformation comparable to what happened in Europe, so doctrinal division did not become the foundation of institutional maintenance; finally, there was no confrontation with modernity, so doubt about knowing God never shook the foundations. Each of these is significant for understanding this rich tradition.
First, without a Pelagian controversy, the conviction that every individual is morally and spiritually helpless never took hold of the Eastern Christian imagination. Further, without an Augustine who wrote graphically about hell, or an Anselm who sharpened the west's understanding of sin as a capital crime (a far more punitive view than Augustine ever imagined), fear of divine wrath and the consequent need to soothe the terrified consciences of those who despaired of their eternal future did not become a driving force behind either theology or piety. Salvation remained participation in God's restoration of the world, as it had been in the patristic age, rather than becoming individual rescue from hell, as it did in the second millennium in the west. God and "man" were not at odds with one another quite the way they became in the medieval west.
Second, written reflection on God never moved out of monasteries and into universities. Thus, theology was never methodologized and scholasticized, but remained embedded in and oriented toward Christian piety, especially prayer and liturgical worship. The Christian east did not settle on thinking doctrinally, so there was less need to protect doctrines from distortion or challenge from extra-Christian thought. It held onto the deep humanism that characterizes the church fathers. Thus, theology remained a first-order undertaking in which attachment to God was never separated from knowing God through prayer, perhaps especially the Jesus prayer, and other practices that deepen piety. In the east, reason did not particularly experience itself apart from or over against revelation.
This leads directly to the last experience that western theology has had to bear, the "Enlightenment," but we are getting ahead of ourselves. First we should note the absence of a sweeping movement of reform. The notion of reform of the church arose from the Renaissance recovery of ancient texts. This suggested a pristine past in light of which the present looks corrupt. The east identified no norming conceptual framework against which belief and practice must be measured. This may have its drawbacks, but it does avoid having theologians at one another's throats, each alone claiming to be able to apply the norm correctly and so to have the best interpretation of the tradition. Eastern Orthodoxy is altogether more relaxed than is the western tradition.
Now we come to the last dramatically formative event of the west that Eastern Orthodoxy missed: the Enlightenment. While the development of science, medicine, and technology brought tremendous advantages, it sparked a crisis of confidence in western theology from which theology has never recovered. Indeed, the crisis has only deepened as it was extended from intellectual credibility to moral credibility in the twentieth century.
Despite theologians' tireless efforts, modernity ended up doubting whether we can know God at all-through revelation or through reason. Theologians have been scurrying to establish conditions under which Christianity is at all meaningful ever since. The Christian east has escaped all of this. It therefore remains optimistic about our ability to obey God, the possibility of knowing God, and the restoration of the world by God.
I mention this history to suggest that, unless we westerners remove the criteria of theological acceptability drummed into us by our own history, it will be difficult to appreciate Eastern Orthodoxy for itself. For indeed, one important norm of the modern sensibility is that we seek to understand things objectively, in their own terms so far as possible, and not to impose ourselves and our own values and categories on them, easily dismissing the "other" because he is not us or even like us.
With this caveat, it is perhaps worth noting some of the material differences in emphasis that characterize the Christian east. Although both east and west draw heavily on ancient high Greek culture, they both looked in slightly different directions. The west was more interested in the Hebrew insistence on God's work in history, while the east gravitated toward the Greek philosophical interest in being. The west is always moving toward some as yet elusive eschaton, while the east is more interested in tarrying in the beauty of God that is immediately present. And so, for the west, salvation comes from an event that God effects (Anselm) or a decision that he makes (Karl Earth), while, for the east, salvation is the transformation of the self into the beauty of God.
Because eastern Christianity never hunkered down on human helplessness and depravity, it should not be surprising that it emphasizes the glorious moments of God's restoration of human life-the transfiguration, the resurrection, and the ascension-while, since the Middle Ages, the west has focused on the cross. Further, Orthodoxy's humanism shines forth in the eastern trust of all the senses, especially sight, and its adoration of God through highly stylized art forms. Icon writing is both worship and proclamation, that those who themselves cannot write icons may yet adore God within the limits of their gifts. Icons and liturgy permit another form of intelligence to flourish than that addressed by the complex arguments of western doctrine, and so invite the faithful into a wider range of expressions of piety. Here the enjoyment of God reigns by being in contact not with the promise of God or the covenant of God but with the divine being itself.
To try to put the difference between Christian east and west sharply, we might say that Eastern Orthodoxy sees Christianity as a way of worship in the life of prayer and liturgy, while the west sees it as a way of thought, a set of ideas whose truth is to be perfectly worked out in order to dispel all false notions. Thus, Orthodoxy has a softer feel to it, while the west, with its focus on arriving at the perfect theology, is a constant sparring match. It is quite difficult to converse across such a vast divide. The point of the entire endeavor is differently directed in each case. The norm of inclusivity, diversity, or pluralism that now captivates western Christian sensibility may earn its keep when, in encountering the east, it enables the west to understand, not "the other" but itself more clearly.
Ellen T. Charry