Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I live for new ideas! I love other perspectives. I’m getting large dosages of both in and outside of class. Seminary is awesome. I really enjoy it here because I’m constantly challenged and engaged. I love MS106 because I can hear the stories of others and I absolutely love it. I go through my week giddy with all these things I’m learning.

We learn a lot of terms and concepts here but the biggest overall thing that I’m learning is responsibility. Religion, the Bible, and life in general for that matter is very complicated. It is irresponsible for people to overlook these complications to get what they want out of a text. Two groups that come immediately to mind are the fundamentalists and the atheists.

These groups are two vastly different approaches that share the same irresponsibility. The fundamentalists read the Bible literally and ignore all the other methods and even the tradition and history that spawned the Bible. They get what they want out of it. The atheists do much the same thing. They ignore all the criticisms and methods and just label all religion as “Hocus Pocus.” Both methods are irresponsible, as they take no steps away from what the groups comfort zones.
I think this is directly linked to comfort. This is a comfort that starts with a hunch and will not further explore it for fear of having to change. A dude in my class added "apathy” to this concept, and I too will add this in saying that these people do not want to challenge their worldviews and are apathetic about doing so.

Atheist i have less of a problem with however. they seem to be resisting worshipping a false idol... they have no idols! well, there's always the idol of self, consumerism, etc. but as jose miguel bonino said in his book Room to be People "Only a atheist can be a good Christian." of course both of these groups that i have problems with are presented much more simply here for brevity's sake and i realize that there's a larger more nuanced issue at hand, but this is a quick explanation of what i'm struggle'n with.

As I see it, we have a duty to study and find our way through the world, we have a responsibility to the world. I know my strong and weak points in learning. I know I’ll struggle with Greek and Hebrew as this is wrote memorization. I know my strong points are concepts and theologies. If I can play with concepts and apply them to other things, I have no problem learning. I guess I’m a process learner as I must learn through relationships. I might not have agreed with Plantinga in Theology 101, but I understand him and where he’s coming from. I cannot understand where fundamentalists are coming from.

It would be irresponsible of me to say that I do not have a comfort zone as well. I take great comfort in this seminary. I take comfort that people are looking at the Bible, are struggling and debating. I respect the work involved. I am depressed when people will not take these steps, either by literally reading (or reading into the Bible the words they want to hear) or by not reading it at all. Either way, no further steps are taken to get the story IN the text as well as the story OF the text or to put it another way, the story the text tells and then the story of how that text came about and was written. I am ready for more, keep the challenges coming.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tastes like Liberty

Hey Y'all!

With all this reading from women's Bible commentary and thinking and such, i think i'm forgetting what it means to be a man... so i found this reminder!

happy turkey-ween everybody! remember, don't be a jerky, fry that turkey!

Monday, November 19, 2007

List 'em!

Lots of work to do... so i thought i'd post early this week and hit y'all up again on Friday or something. but here's some Head off the Neck Revelations:

TaNaK not settled in Jesus time. The TaNaK and C.A.T. were pretty settled as of the 4th Century. so the Scriptures and Testaments were settled around the same time! sorta.

The Jewish People have been ruled by another empire through most of their culture's history. There were a handful of independence periods between being ruled by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. This is the foundation that the Scriptures are narratives of identity not a "history" as we would think of it.

After the second Jewish Revolt around 132-135 C.E. Jerusalem was sacked. It would not be the center of religion until the 20th century, and this was a christian idea to restablish it! Not saying that the Jewish people didn't hold the area in high esteem, as every passover they pray for the return to Jerusalem... but it was the Christians who began to investigate the region around WWI. and those reasons were mainly looting dig sites as only christians can do... ;-)

After WWII, the area was resettled for the nation of Israel. The Palestinian/Israeli conflict is not ancient grudge war, but very recent! Now i still side with Israel as they've legally owned the land and have defeated many nations attacking them and to the victor go the spoils. but this is not an ancient conflict by any means.

and finally.. the Pharisees held all writtings sacred of the TaNaK. The Saducees held only the Torah as sacred. The Pharisees therefore believed in the messiah and in the ressurection of the body and soul and the Saducees didn't. So Jesus would have been a Pharisee!!! who woulda guessed

also i'm beginning to take a whole other look at the Bible and Jesus and such. if you take the historical context of when something was written, you get a much deeper meaning from the texts. like leviticus (that book everyone loves to hate!) was not written by moses! it's dated in the post-exilic Babylonian times so around 5 or 6th century BCE. that sheds a whole new meaning on these texts!

also Jesus tends to be more politically active than at first glance.. like His death for example. ppl try to say pilate was trying to get Jesus off the hook and it was the Jews that killed Jesus.. but if the Jews would have they would have stoned Jesus.. Crucifixtion is a Roman way of killing and humiliating POLITICAL enemies and pilate never hesitated to kill ANYONE! there is a historical report of pilate sending in roman centurions on a peacful sit in protest of orthodox jews. all of the protesters were tortured and their heads were put on pikes on the city wall. so when jesus says "And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him." in Mark 12:17.. He was prolly saying "Give praise to God and a Knife to Caesar" hense the reason ppl were amazed at Jesus's audacity to proclaim such a thing... and don't get me started on LUKE 8:30!!!! that is nothing but a political rant!

anywho.. more later!

Monday, November 12, 2007

All These Things That I've Done

So we're closing out the first semester of seminary and holy crap, what a start! I've absolutely love it here in seminary. i feel like a squirrel on crack! speaking of which, what would a squirrel preacher look like? i just get excited by the word excited anymore. and no, not in that way you sicko! so what's been happening?!

well first off Jason and Lindsay finally got married! and what a shin-dig! talk about your fancy-schmancy parties. kate and i had a blast and it was great to see all of J&L's friends!

I must say that i equate the first semester to just getting our facts straight. the whole first semester is challenge'n our base assumptions as to what the bible and religion in general mean to us as well as what we expect from both. this is happen'n both inside and outside the classroom. i'm grateful to have this challenge as complexity and change is what i live for.

some new friends include an ex-EMT, a college prof from VT, a couple of cute halloweenies like myself, a earthy-Christian, one heck of a smart library guy who shares kate's and my love of BATTLESTAR, and too many others to mention here. it is very rewarding and i don't want to think of where i'd be without these ppl.

so to sum up my experience in a video, it'd have to be this to demostrate how i feel as i go through these deconstructionalist, post-modern processes with my new friends (and Kate of course!)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

CMAs, Scary Stories, and GOBLINS!

So I told my Ma that i don't like today's country and said i wouldn't be watching the CMA's. but kate and i checked it out and then barely turned the channel. we really loved carrie underwood's song "so small" i couldn't find a good copy of the song, but here's a cover.

we also liked Taylor Swift! This song really brought us back to being bf & gf!

so Ma's pretty smart! Although we still can't stand Sugarland.. sounds like the lady swallowed a cat and is try'n unsuccessfully to bring it back up. and the guy who sings "these are my ppl" is boring and i'm not a fan of these types of songs. YAY US! YOU GUYS DON'T KNOW SO QUIT ACT'N LIKE YOU DO type songs suck. so yay for the rest of country music! also Kitchen Nightmares is like TV Crack Goodness!

Here's random videos to recap some past events that i'd like to share:

Here's Kate telling me a scary story for halloween:

Just when you think that getting stairs for your dog is the best invention ever, here comes the trump card!

Kate and i have so much trouble with Zerrag, but since we got the Goblin Steps, all is well in the world!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Doctrinal Conclusions of Process Theology

So here's the break down of where process stands on the issues.

Process Creation
Everything is related to everything else. Evolution plays a HUGE part here. This is evidence of God's urging through out history of world and specifically in the origin and adaptation of species. finally! a theology that gets that there is no real conflict b/t science and religion! gotta love that!

Process Humanity
We are just like everything else, relational, free, and changing. They have a high sense of body mind connection.. yoga, health, fitness are impt. here.

Doctrine of Sin
refusal to listen to God's urging. This stems from scared to listen as it might shake things up AKA FEAR! or just a straight counter to God's urging. Goes right along with the saying "the death you choose is often worse than the death you avoided". Plus it doesn't help that the universe has a bad past of choosing to go with God's will.

Jesus counteracts all bad-examples. He was the first human to always say yes to everything God urged him to do. So we at our best day only obey God's will like 20% but Jesus did it 100% everytime and every day.

This looks at Jesus as 100% human as well. If Jesus was already divine and didn't have sin in him, then Jesus conquering sin is really a false victory. In the traditional view, there's really nothing to write home about Jesus beating sin since he never had it to begin with... and since we're human it's really an unrealistic goal to strive for. Process ramps up this and says we too can become like Christ who was in harmony with God's will. Therefore the incarnation is affirmed not only in Jesus but also in all of us as well.

Jesus transgresses boundaries for inclusivity's sake as well. He speaks to lepers, romans, tax collectors, and women, all of which are no-no's in ancient Palestine (and not just the Jewish culture, most cultures in the area during the first century).

Another big difference to note here is that Jesus isn't a sacrifice.. God doesn't need appeasement nor substitutionary sacrifice. God loves all and wants harmony and never wanted Jesus to die. This was a scape-goat method by the Romans to silence a dangerous political usurper. So there is no atonement here, it was an unfortunate death.

Final Thoughts
The main aim is that life is an adventure and that we move from the threat of stagnation to the ever-increasing enrichment of life that change brings. Chaos is a danger as the world becomes more complex and more things can go wrong. But the prospect of increased enjoyment is well worth the risk. Humans are intuitive, empathic, relational, and embodied. Feeling produces thought and action. Jesus saves us from stagnation and transformes our lives to ones of greater relationality, freedom, and openess to change.

i am just starting down this path, so let me know if you, dear reader, have any questions. we'll explore them together!