Friday, June 27, 2008

A really wonderful essay on what makes for a truly good story and why I hated the movie 'Crash':

"And that’s the secret, isn’t it? Bad writers and directors of the kind I’ve alluded to always want to offer us the easy way out—the lie that we’re superior to the characters on the stage or the screen; put another way, they create false, two-dimensional characters we can only feel superior to. It’s the genuine artists who bind us to great sinners ..."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Interesting Blog on art and faith.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Senator Expedience

Sen. X had promised to use public financing, but now he has opted to go back on his word. This upsets me in so many ways.

One, lying is bad enough.

Two, although we’ve come to expect promise-breaking from pols, it’s particularly egregious coming from Sen. New Kind of Politics.

Three, promise-breaking on this particular issue is so symbolic, because everyone knows campaign finance is at or near the heart of the worst problems in politics.

Four, the rationale for this promise-breaking is utterly clear: Sen. Expedience realized he could raise way more private money than Sen. McCain, and public financing would have taken away this advantage.

I'm utterly and bitterly disappointed in Sen. Obama, which probably means he'll win.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I can tell people are scrapping for this discussion:

What should a Christian do when confronted with an apparently homeless person asking for money?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Man of Little Faith

Here's a bit of writing about my failed attempts to perform miracles:

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Centrality of the Gospel and Abortion

I think I have an idea about what the Gospel means for the political question of abortion. First, let me describe my understanding of Gospel logic. Simply, the Gospel tells me that in all things necessary, God is primarily and ultimately responsible for getting them done. The corollary is that in all things necessary, I am not primarily and ultimately responsible for getting them done.

Some of the corresponding results of this logic is that all glory goes to God, because he is responsible for everything necessary that gets done; all things necessary actually get done, because God is willing and able to do so and also defines what is necessary; I have joy and peace knowing that all necessary things will get done, and knowing that they will get done by someone (God) competent to do so and knowing that the most important things do not primarily and ultimately rest on me.

So, onto abortion. I assume that opposition to abortion is a necessary thing. However, it is clear that on my own, successfully opposing abortion will not get done. I think you can see where I’m going. The Gospel for the issue of abortion is that ultimately, God will successfully oppose abortion.

Since God will take care of the abortion issue, does that mean I should do nothing about it? Of course not. Consider that we know that God has and will completely accomplish and finish our salvation. This doesn’t mean we do nothing about our salvation; instead, what we do is place faith in God and ask Him to accomplish it, and then He empowers us to do whatever He asks, and in this power we 'walk by the Spirit', and to the extent we fail to do so, He gives us more grace.

So it is, I think, with our approach to abortion. First we recognize that Jesus is King, and he will ultimately assert and exert total dominion over every corner of creation, including all aspects of abortion. In this we can rest and trust. But that doesn’t mean we do nothing; in fact, God may very well use us to accomplish His will for abortion. We seek Him and His power on this issue, and see what He has for us to do. Then, by His power, we do His will. To some extent we will fail, but He gives us more grace, and we have peace and joy knowing that ultimately He will win the day.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Obama vs. McCain

I’m really not sure what’s right in this election, and I tend to be anxious about what to do with my vote. But I realized that the thing I can do, more important than voting, is to pray.

We can pray that God give us a righteous, just, good President; we can pray that God’s will be done. And, amazingly, we actually have more influence with the Sovereign of the universe than we do at our ballot boxes.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Plagued by grace and faith

A recent discussion of Romans on an Emergent Church blog essentially described the doctrine that we are justified by grace through faith as a 'plague.' (See comment 1).

If you read the rest of the ten comments, no one seems to think this description is remarkable or unfair or at the very least needs to be seriously discussed and explained. This is why I'm worried about postmodern philosophy and its influence in the Emergent Church.