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Timothy Johnson
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Ethan - Yes. Weighted is the word for me too in all of this.
In response to Tammy and Bill and Angie: it might be one thing if we were celebrating that no longer would this particular demagogue be out there influencing people to hate the West/North, or inciting the West/North to hate in return. But that hasn't been the response. It's been USA USA USA. How self-centered. How short-sighted. 3000 people? A couple of planes? In the full scope of the suffering happening in the world, this was nothing. One small example: there are 20 million people in slavery toady, many of which are enslaved as a direct result of the lifestyle we live. Let's say that only half of the slaves in the world are a direct result of western imperialism (and I realize that human brains aren't very well evolved to deeply grasp the differences between numbers larger than several hundred) but 3000 vs 10 million? A drop in the bucket. That's only one example. How many non-combatants died as a result of being born in the wrong non-American country in the last 10 years? How many soldiers killed themselves as a result of being forced to kill? How many people have starved as a direct result of our USA USA economic policies? 100k in Iraq alone, 2000+ soldiers, maybe a hundred million people starved. And that's just the easy numbers. How much of the world is ravaged by us turning a blind eye to how our lifestyle pollutes the places other people live? This is the kind of vast evil brought on the world that, if you read his statements, Bin Laden was raging against. That the west/north, especially the United States, was blindly ravaging the rest of the world. Did I like his methods? No. Repaying evil with evil only breeds more evil. Do I think he was only out for his own power? Likely. But 3000 people and a couple of buildings was symbolism. 15 million children die every year of starvation. A BILLION people are hungry today. There's no comparison. EXCEPT, it happened to you. How is us killing him all that different than him killing us? We killed him for killing a couple thousand people and tearing down a symbol of capitalism and a symbol of our imperial military power. He killed some of us as a result of the way we live our daily lives and how it seriously and negatively affects the rest of the world. Be glad that evil may no longer be done by this man. But with that speck gone, will we notice our planks and also mourn the much greater evils we little emperors and great emperors do every day here in the West/North? And so, may I have the courage to pour water on every fire of enthusiasm in regards to increasing the power of the powerful, killing other humans, perpetuating an underclass of impoverished professional killers, occupying other nations with our legions, poisoning people I don't know who live far enough away from me I can ignore them, or anything else so obviously anti-Christ as a military.
I for one find it hard to believe Jesus knew much about 13th century northern European mythology, so I'm really not sure what all this hullabaloo about Hell is. I mean, for Thor's sake, we didn't even give her a day of the week.
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2011 on IS Jesus Christ Lord? Love Wins... at Mike King
Wouldn't let me post a link to the essay. Trying again: And sorry, it was Dan Oudshoorn that wrote it.
I haven't had a chance to listen to the lectures yet, but I am stoked about getting a chance to hear Keesmaat and Walsh interact directly with Wright. Theology nerd explosion! I resonate with what Adam was saying about Ages and descriptions. Coming from a primarily Western mode of thought, I feel like there is a constant temptation to interpret the nature of the world from my perspective. I was immediately reminded of Mark Van Steenwyk's essay 'Is Christian Scholarship Accountable to the Poor' which covered this issue in depth a couple of years ago. His conclusion is yes, and I tend to agree with him. The poor should be taken into account as a matter of course in Christian decision making. The hard part is knowing some in order to be able to take people into account rather than concepts of them. I wonder, though, if maybe the issue isn't just "Are the Christian scholars taking the world's poor into account," but rather, "Are the Christian scholars taking the non-scholars into account." Most of my favorite Christian thinkers are professional Christian thinkers. They obtain their livelihood primarily from being pastors or teachers or Christian writers, and tend to make a pretty good living at it (or could, and give the money away). Not that any of these professions are bad, please don't misunderstand me, in fact, we are getting necessary perspectives from these dedicated points of view (ala, engineers). But I wonder if there's an in-crowd sort of mentality to Theological scholarship that more incarnational theologians rather than scholarly theologians (not that these are mutually exclusive, mind you) might be able to share that we're missing out on. Adam White, keep your day job, and write a theology thing. I'll read it. Maybe it is all a matter of broadening our own perspectives, and seeing through the eyes of the Other. We do live in the Age of Google, of course, where information is at our fingertips, and yet there are people for whom something as simple as a windmill is unobtainable technology, where women in significant portions of the world spend significant portions of their day grinding grain by hand. So perhaps, in these descriptions of Ages and trends, let's remember that all description is inadequate, and all theory is in some way localized and perspectivized. We do live in an Age of Google, or an Age of Post-Reason, but also, an Age of Shrinking Pastoral Societies, and an Age of Extreme Poverty, and an Age of Pre-Modern Clashing with Post. And these Ages overlap and influence each other. In the coming years, the internet will be increasingly available in parts of the world where electricity is uncommon now. Cheap cell phones are radically changing and moving globally rural societies (in some cases for the much worse Re: Congo). And the Muslim world increasingly is moving into and affecting Western societies in the Global North. I think it would be arrogant to call it a trickle-down effect, so let's call it a cross-pollenization of Ages in a world where these things can happen more and more due to technology. Oh, and as far as Myers-Briggs goes in academia, I'm more curious about the Es vs Is. How many of us Es have the stamina to lock themselves in a room for that long to even have the time to explore N vs S dynamics?
I think you're right about being a community fired to GO, and to BE. And it is odd for us to know what to do when gathered, because we know so well how to scatter afterwards. We know how to have dinner with someone, we know how act justly, how to pray in our closets. I wonder how many conversations about Haiti Jacob's Well has had in the last week. My guess is a lot. And a lot of people gave time and money, and will give time and money. We just didn't do much about Haiti in the building on Sunday during the set time. So, to actually get to the question: What did your church do on Sunday?, my answer is, "I'm not sure. We're not much of a Sunday kind of church." But that gets to Matt's point about not seeing much on Facebook about it. Maybe we're not grappling with this like we did Katrina. I have no way of knowing. My guess from past experience is that we are dealing with things outside of the public discourse as Matt says. Are we?
I wonder if the reason we didn't respond is because we don't know what Sundays are for anymore, excepting the music. Or maybe we never did. Once upon a time, if we're going to be honest, we got together on a Sunday primarily to hear Tim Keel speak, or listen to whomever it was filling in for Tim, while we were waiting for Tim to come back. And listening to him, and being challenged by him was the thing we did on a Sunday. He led us, and directed us, but maybe never empowered us as a group to lead and direct ourselves. I don't know that I can qualify that as a criticism. Maybe even more, we never took on what he said and empowered and directed ourselves. The problem is, now we don't have that thing. We're adrift, waiting for the next teaching pastor to be the thing, rather than just stepping up and doing things ourselves. We got used to this, even, while Tim was around; wait out this interim speaker, and he'll come back. And this shouldn't be on Deth or Shayne or Tom or Tim, or anyone else. It's on us. So, this is the real transition we're making, this is the learning we're having to do: how to be a church without that particular amazing guy up front telling us how to be one.
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Jan 18, 2010