James Barr’s Fundamentalism contains its misapprehensions about evangelicalism but also its penetrating insights, and one of the latter is this criticism, that for evangelicalism the Bible often has the form of authority but not the reality. Doctrinally we are committed to a theology of the Word, but precisely that commitment can hinder us from actually being a people of the Word, because the fact that we accept that theoretical commitment provides us with a false sense of security, as if it guaranteed a real commitment to scripture. The result is that it does the opposite. We love to tag texts onto things, as if that made them biblical. One ironic example is our talk of Scripture as “the Word of God”; in Scripture, phrases such as “the word of God” or “the word of truth” are not used to refer to Scripture. The scriptural word for Scripture is Scripture.
John Goldingay, Key Questions about Biblical Interpretation, pp. 104-105.
Indian priest Anthony de Mello told this story:
“A rich industrialist from the North was horrified to find a Southern fisherman lying leisurely beside his boat. ‘Why aren’t you fishing?’ asked the industrialist.
“‘Because I have caught enough fish for the day.’ said the fisherman.
“‘Why don’t you catch some more?’
“What would I do with them?’
“‘You could earn more money,’ was the reply. ‘With that, you could fix a motor to your boat, go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would make enough money to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats… maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me.’
“‘What would I do then?’
“‘Then you could really enjoy life.’
“‘What do you think I am doing right now?’ said the fisherman.”
Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary solider. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual.
Ammon Hennacy, a Catholic Worker
Joel Houston on how his church is making huge waves using music to spread a message.
I wrote my final paper on Hillsong United last year. Interesting how something like that is now mainstream news. It’s cool to be ahead of the curve.
You can read my paper here.
I haven’t blogged in a while.
Self-reflection is a practice that is heavily stressed in Teacher’s College – to the point where its value is often depreciated. Many complain.
But today was the second day in a row where I took time to listen to music for the sake of listening. As a musician and music student teacher, I rarely make time to enjoy or use music as therapy (un-wind, relax, comfort) and I seem to forget how affective and wonderful it is to listen to music.
I have a forty-five minute subway ride back downtown from my teaching placement and its been refreshing to listen to Iron and Wine’s Our Endless Numbered Days these past two days. Soft guitar playing and relaxing melodies with the occasional heavier bluesy track, it has brought peace and calm to my busy and restless heart and mind.
Writing reflections on my day in this mood is a very effective use of my time.
Take some time to listen to what you need to. Take some time to reflect.
We should remain within the limits imposed by our basic needs and strive with all our power not to exceed them. For once we are carried a little beyond these limits in our desire for the pleasures of life, there is then no criterion by which to check our onward movement, since no bounds can be set to that which exceeds the necessary.
– Fifth-century monk Nilus of Ancyra
I am regularly inspired by the thoughts of “ancient” folks.
I remember being humbled in a grade 11 English class when my teacher posed the question of whether we thought of ourselves as more intelligent or knowledgeable than people in ages past. We have different knowledge, not a greater knowledge.
Nilus here is talking about living simply. Something that is often thought of as faddish. But it is something that I strive for. I like his observation that there is no way to gauge excessiveness — anything beyond the limits of our basic needs is excessive.
In session 1 of 6 from the Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith video series, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Chris Haw and Shane Claiborne invite us to reflect on the role of food and how it’s reflected and lived out in our Kingdom stories.