Thursday, March 25, 2010

Witnesses to the Resurrection

The first church was, to put it mildly, galvanized by what happened on the Sunday following Jesus' death. As the apostles put it shortly after Pentecost, they understood themselves called to be "witnesses to his resurrection." They understood this to include their bearing witness to an event in history... but there seems to be more to it than that.

What might it look like for us to live as witnesses to his resurrection? Are we seeking to communicate merely what happened two thousand years ago, or are we called to witness to what that event means today, in our here-and-now.. and its implications for our future there-and-then? The poet Wendell Berry has a great line in one of his poems ("The Mad Farmer's Liberation Front Manifesto"): "Practice resurrection." What do you think that "practicing resurrection" might, or could, mean for you and for us all?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Forgive? Are you kidding me?"

Jesus tells a vexing little parable about a farmer who sows good seed in his field... then, at night, an enemy comes and sows weeds. Upon realizing what has happened--wheat and weeds now growing together, side by side!--the farmer's servants ask, "You want us to go pull up the weeds, right?" Puzzlingly, the farmer replies, "No, because you'll uproot the wheat along with the weeds. Let both grow until the harvest..." (Matthew 13)

The Greek word for "let" (allow, permit, or "suffer" as in the King James' "suffer the children to come unto me") has the same root as "forgive"; it's the same Greek word in the Lord's Prayer, "forgive us... as we have forgiven." Can Jesus possibly be saying that our response to the presence of evil (weeds) in the world is to "simply forgive" it? Isn't that a stupid approach for a farmer with weeds in his field and for all of us who live in a world dogged by evil? Do we skip into situations of bloody conflict and say, "Hey, everybody--you're forgiven! You can put down your guns--it's all OK!" After all, in every garden we know, the weeds always win, unless the farmer takes "strong measures" to combat them!

There may be connections with an earlier post about hope...

Monday, March 8, 2010


Hi guys,

Ed suggested a month or so ago that we talk about movies sometime. Lets talk about Avatar. All of my young friends LOVED it… I though the special visual effects were spectacular but the story line was ho-hum (Dances with Wolves remixed).

My friend Ray Ciervo critiqued the pantheistic theology behind AVATAR.

Several movie critics strongly disagreed about the movie,

Critics argue

Tell us what you thought? What is the message? What is the philosophical or theological worldview? Did you like it? Are views of the AVATAR influenced by generational issues?