Archive for February, 2009



20
Feb
09

Brooding on Beatitudes

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The meaning of the word “poor” in Greek means one who has nothing and is completely empty. Was Jesus saying the economically poor are blessed? No, for there is no inherent spirituality in poverty. Poverty in itself is not blessed, because the poor can be as arrogant and as ungodly and as lost as the wealthy and powerful. So what does it mean to be poor in spirit? It means that the poor are those who realize that they can never achieve salvation on their own and instead put their complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

The poor in spirit are those who are not self-assertive, self-reliant, self-confident, self-centered, self-righteous or self-sufficient. The poor in spirit are not baptized in the waters of self-aggrandizement. Continue reading ‘Brooding on Beatitudes’

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20
Feb
09

A Worthy Woman

Jesus didn’t invent the parable – he may have perfected it, but he didn’t invent it. The book of Ruth is, in its entirety, an Old Testament parable as critical of Jewish culture as Jesus was in his day. The Book of Ruth isn’t just a story with a nice moral, but is just as “in your face” to the Jewish culture as the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Ruth, as a Moabite, was unacceptable in Jewish society. Racism was alive and well back then, too. Deuteronomy, Ezra and Nehemiah all tell how Moabites were ostracized – barred from being part of Jewish society. And it all went back to the time of Moses, when the men of Israel blamed their promiscuity on the women of Moab. Sound familiar – well, if they weren’t here, we wouldn’t have sinned. They’re the problem.

How is this story critical of that attitude?

Continue reading ‘A Worthy Woman’

20
Feb
09

ELCA Wrestles out its Conscience

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is not alone in its efforts to find a suitable middle ground in the debate over sexuality. There! That’s some surprising news, eh? The ELCA is on the verge of proffering its won solution to the internal squabbles over basic rights for an entire class of candidates for ministry and the populations they may represent. The “Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality” does essentially the same things as the PC(USA)’s G-6.0106b Amendment 08B – establishes local authority to discriminate or not. It is not an ideal solution, by a long stretch, but a awkward step forward. Continue reading ‘ELCA Wrestles out its Conscience’

18
Feb
09

An Ethical Analysis of Date Rape

When young and, unfortunately, privy to the aftermath of rape I was given to understand it as the outcome of errant behavior on the part of the female (thankfully I had no knowledge or concept of a male being raped). This view, obviously seriously flawed by today’s standards, reflected the opinions extant in the culture in which I lived. During the last decade I have become increasingly aware of incidents of date rape, acts of aggressive sex with resistant partners, stemming from some males’ selfish desires to satisfy sexual urges in spite of rejection. Continue reading ‘An Ethical Analysis of Date Rape’

17
Feb
09

But, How Do I Know I Will Possess It?

The Reading:  Genesis 15:1-12,17-18

Setting The Theme:

God cut a covenant with Abram. While I realize much can be made of the nature of this covenant, I also know that I am addressing people who have already wrestled with these implications. Some have expounded on the unilateral nature of this covenant – that God is the only participant. Some have gone further and said that God has taken all the risk of the penalty – an utterly humiliating death – for both parties in the contract. From there it is not difficult to see the trail being blazed to Christ on the cross.

If I had the definitive answer to this conundrum, I think I would still be unlikely to change the minds of many people. Since I don’t have the answer, I am not even going to try.

The reason for the covenant is rather more interesting. What prompted it? Continue reading ‘But, How Do I Know I Will Possess It?’

17
Feb
09

I Just Can’t Resist

BBC News – Wierd Alien Life Forms “May Exist Among Us” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7893414.stm

This is news? I’ll let the article speak for itself – resist the urge to “pun” this into the ground, much the same a Leo Kottke does with a sweet melody. Oh, the one-liners that exist in this article alone. Do I have the self-control? Continue reading ‘I Just Can’t Resist’

16
Feb
09

The Nature of God and Salvation in Mormon Tradition

With the LDS church being under some fire for their role in California’s Prop 8, I thought it might be useful to examine some of the theology behind LDS. I am now curious as to how evangelical Christians and Catholics reconcile the theological differences to form an alliance of the kind it took to wage the war. See what you think.

OVERARCHING QUESTION

“The questions that arose for me are hardly easy ones to ask or to address. The Mormons’ concept of the nature of God seems problematic, as does the relationship between God and humanity. Ultimately, however, the question that repeatedly surfaced was whether the Fall of humankind was integral to God’s plan of salvation – in the Mormon understanding, did God intentionally engineer and/or participate in the Fall and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? If so, what does this say about the nature of God?”

Continue reading ‘The Nature of God and Salvation in Mormon Tradition’




... or, preaching from both ends

WELL, HELLO! YOU’RE HERE.

That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

Readers since Jan 2009

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