Tuesday, July 21, 2009

breathe rationally!!

Life is too good. Though I was disappointed to find that I would not to be spending a few quiet days in Port Macquarie with my brother this week, something even better has come along...

I get to see Chris Gillespie and the Wandering Hands at the Seymour Centre in Sydney tomorrow night!

Only Fred Smith could be better.

And we will also be seeing an hilarious sounding fellow called Bud Petal. This guy lists among his influences Bob Dylan and Salvador Dali tee hee. Go to http://www.myspace.com/budpetal and listen to 'I am a Student not a Customer'.

I'm telling myself to breathe rationally - if I'm not careful I might get too excited and break the new decalogue... CARE FOR THE ENVRONMENT KATE! (go to http://paulfrompoland.blogspot.com/2009/07/risky-climate.html)

too many good things to go to!

btw I have been scanning my drawings today and enjoying seeing what they look like on line. Here are a couple...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

inerrancy on errantry

When people talk about the inerrancy of the Bible, where do they really believe that truth resides?

I think I have observed a couple of different approaches in the people I have known:

1. truth resides in the events that happened and the Bible as an accurate record of that.
2. truth resides in the words as they are held in the texts (that is the manuscripts) and the translations we have
3. truth resides in our hearts as we read the words and their meaning is opened up to our minds

Isn't the idea of inerrancy pure craziness. Imagine reducing the Truth to this... only someone who didn't really believe it in their heart would need to.

I do believe that truth exists. It must - with my intellectual logic I can see that there must be truth, how history actually did happen before it was subjected to endless perspectives. With my emotional logic I feel certain that there is a truth and that it is more complicated than the reductionist point of view that says its all about science. It can't be, it must be aesthetic as well, and economic, and rhythmic, conceptual and concrete and.... alive. Dynamic.

People being interested in inerrancy seems to be about building walls of defense - but it's silly to build a wall around a forest. A forest should grow and recede, it should be made up of many different trees. Trees flourishing as they grow upward to the light. Sometimes a tree will die and fall and as it decays it will become a home for all sorts of little creatures and its nutrients will feed the soil.

And there is a caretaker of the forest. A man who lives there. He likes all kinds of greens and greys. He is good, and sometimes you can't see him for the trees.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

sunburnt soul

I was lucky enough to get a whole swag of books from the Uni library recently for my Australian Christian History Assignments (thanks J) and some thoughts in one of the books have struck me. This book was written in the early eighties and here is what the guys says

"I began to wonder about Christ. Although he was the one whom it was all about, he had become a figure captured within the confines of church teaching. I knew he was a person who had spent his life in Palestine among the ordinary experiences of life - but this aspect of his character had somewhere become lost. He was also becoming lost to me... there were aspects of my life which gave me great fulfilment and joy, and yet I sensed in my image of Christ a coldness and impatience with such worldly matters."

This describes my exact predicament through much of my adult life. And as a dissonance playing in the background that I didn't like or understand, I found myself becoming deaf to it. I tuned out.

But the sound I tuned out from was the sound of SPIRIT. And so I became split in two, ignoring the small still voice of my own spirit and the God spirit within me.

Learning to listen again leads me to a man who was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard, whose teaching reverberated with the sounds of ordinary life, who adjusted religious practises to accommodate the needs of ordinary folk. A man who calls on people to look around their immediate experience for knowledge of the God whose presence pervades all.

extracts taken from David Millikan (1981) The Sunburnt Soul: Christianity in search of an Australian Identity, Anzea Publishers, Australia.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

the good son

This post assumes familiarity with Jesus' parable of the lost son - sometimes known as the prodigal son: found in Luke 15:11-32

Reading through the parable of the prodigal earlier this week I found it difficult to choose a character to identify with. Henri Nouwen's book begins by asking you to listen and decide which character in the story represents the place you are at in the journey at that moment.

All good and well, but I know the story too much. It just seemed naff to identify with any of the characters. Then I remembered the possibility that the God-Spirit would use this story to show me something new and important.

"Oh alright, the good son then..."

Immediately the piece that stood out to me was obvious - you know the bit where the father says, "You are always with me, and everything I have is yours..." to the good son? I remembered that I have always been confused by this bit because of the subconscious thought, "Yeah well that might be true but the good son can't very well slaughter the fattened calf for himself whenever he wants." A literal kind of hang-up I know - but I'm a fairly literal (and therefore potentially gullible) person.

It came to me almost clearly. If life is a gift, why hanker for the fattened calf? the good son understands that all of life is a good gift from the father. In that sense the party and fattened calf is for him as well as all the times the family shared (happiness and sorrow) in between. Ahh, what a relief. It helped me to remember that life - God's gift to me - is full of goodnesses that don't have to miss!