If john piper can have 'christian hedonism,' can i have Christian sadomasochism?
Oh yah, and I'm home now. (In case you hadn't heard the angels singing)
I am so bloody tired.
8 months ago
"I carry you, living God, who is incarnate in the bread, and I embrace you in my palms, Lord of the worlds whom no world has contained. You have circumscribed yourself in a fiery coal within a fleshly palm - you Lord, who with your palm measured out the dust of the earth. You are holy, God incarnate in my hands in a fiery coal which is a body.... As you have made me worthy to approach you and receive you - and see, my hands embrace you confidently - make me worthy, Lord, to eat you in a holy manner and to taste the food of your body as a taste of your life."
Cited in Aelred Cody, "An Instruction of Philoxenus of Mabbug on Gestures and Prayer When One Receives Communion in the Hand, with a History of the Manner of Receiving the Eucharistic Bread in the West Syrian Church," in Rule of Prayer, Rule of Faith, ed. Nathan Mitchell and John F. Baldovin (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1996), 63. Cited in turn by Rev. Alvin F. Kimel, Jr, "Eating Christ: Recovering the Language of Real Identification," Pro Ecclesia XIII (Winter 2004): 82-100.
"The Bible is not a book for the faint of heart. It is a book full of all the greed and glory and violence and tenderness and sex and betrayal that benefits mankind. It is not the collection of pretty little anecdotes mouthed by pious little church mice. It does not so much nibble at our shoe as it cuts to the heart and splits the marrow from bone to bone. It does not give us answers fitted to our smaller minded questions but truth that goes beyond what we even know to ask."
"I don't think you read the Bible to know truth. I think you read the Bible to find God, that we encounter Him there. Paul says that the scriptures are God's breath and I kind of go, wow, so let's breathe this as deeply as possible. And this is what liturgy offers that all the razzmatazz of our modern worship can't touch. You don't go home from church going, 'Oh I am just moved to tears.' You go home from church going, 'Wow, I just took communion and you know what? If Augustine were alive today, he would have had it with me and maybe he is and maybe he did.'"
They said expanding Sunday hours would lead to more alcoholism, alcohol-related crashes and hungover employees who would not arrive to work on time on Mondays. It would also lessen the respect for the Lord's day, they said.Lemme tell ya - as it stands, Sunday's the only day I'm sober - and that's gonna change real soon. See the thing is, alcohol goes bad if you don't drink it the same day you buy it.
"Despite its protests to the contrary, modern Christianity has become willy-nilly the religion of the state and the economic status quo. Because it has been so exclusively dedicated to incanting anemic souls into Heaven, it has been made the tool of much earthly villainy. It has, for the most part, stood silently by while a predatory economy has ravaged the world, destroyed its natural beauty and health, divided and plundered its human communities and households. It has flown the flag and chanted the slogans of empire. It has assumed with the economist that 'economic forces' automatically work for good and has assumed with the industrialists and militarists that technology determines history. It has assumed with almost everybody that 'progress' is good, that it is good to be modern and up with the times. It has admired Caesar and comforted him in his depredations and defaults. But in its de facto alliance with Caesar, Christianity connives directly in the murder of Creation. For in these days, Caesar is no longer a mere destroyer of armies, cities, and nations. He is a contradictor of the fundamental miracle of life. A part of the normal practice of his power is his willingness to destroy the world. He prays, he says, and churches everywhere compliantly pray with him. But he is praying to a God whose works he is prepared at any moment to destroy. What could be more wicked than that, or more mad?"
Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community, pp. 114-15
I could tell these stories all day. If you ever take a group of evangelicals who have heard the gospel for years and ask them to explain it to you as if you’d never heard it, get ready for a real wake-up call. If you apply a question like the WHI folks did- “What if you die with unconfessed sin?”- you’ll hear a cafeteria of works, merit, synergism, cooperation with God, credit for good intentions, God waving the standards, points for sincerity and so on.He then offers a list of reasons why many evangelical Christians have no idea what justification by faith is and means, and I think he's right.
What will really shock you is how seldom Jesus is ever mentioned. I hear testimony after testimony from people who have grown up under Baptist preaching- preaching that I know is about Jesus a good bit of the time- and they speak of God in terms most any Mormon, Jew or Muslim would not find particularly offensive. The person and work of Jesus is like wallpaper. We know it’s there and we don’t have to talk about it.
The big question is this: Why are evangelicals so ignorant of the basic, fundamental concepts of their own gospel of salvation? How is that so many of them sound like they’ve been catechized in a pre-Vatican II Catholic setting?
People have been asking me whether I am a liberal or a conservative ... my stock answer is that these are two denominations of a religion to which I do not belong - besides, when one is anti-consumer capitalism, anti-communism, anti-nationalism, anti-abortion, anti-war and all of these because one is convinced that Jesus Christ is Lord of all creation, fully human and fully divine and that the self-giving love of the Trinity is a more truthful model for human beings than the laws of supply and demand or even democracy, one isn't invited to too many parties thrown by either liberals or conservatives.Amen, amen, amen.
- Father Rhodes, in a comment below.
How long do you have to be around the Bible and church and sermons and prayer meetings before it finally gets through to you that Jesus isn't concerned with that kind of rule keeping? ...Which leads us to my rant.
There's no way you can read the gospels and [see] Jesus nagging people about getting tattoos and getting piercings and playing cards and going to the movies, you just don't see that... That whole trip, of the Bible as a set of rules, a set of principles and it's really important that we conform our lives to all these principles, and Christ isn't at the center, that's a dead end.
"What religion are you, son?"
"I'm a Christian, ma'am."
"Well, I'm a Baptist, and those two are very close!"
It is important to begin by clarifying the question. When people ask “Was Jesus God?” they usually think they know what the word “God” means, and are asking whether we can fit Jesus into that. I regard this as deeply misleading. I can perhaps make my point clear by a personal illustration.- From "Jesus and the Identity of God," and re-told in various places.
For seven years I was College Chaplain and Worcester College, Oxford. Each year I used to see the first year undergraduates individually for a few minutes, to welcome them to the college and make a first acquaintance. Most were happy to meet me; but many commented, often with slight embarrassment, “You won’t be seeing much of me; you see, I don’t believe in god.”
I developed stock response: “Oh, that’s interesting; which god is it you don’t believe in?” This used to surprise them; they mostly regarded the word “God” as a univocal, always meaning the same thing. So they would stumble out a few phrases about the god they said they did not believe in: a being who lived up the in the sky, looking down disapprovingly at the world, occasionally “intervening” to do miracles, sending bad people to hell while allowing good people to share his heaven. Again, I had a stock response for this very common statement of “spy-in-the-sky” theology: “Well, I’m not surprised you don’t believe in that god. I don’t believe in that god either.”
At this point the undergraduate would look startled. Then, perhaps, a faint look of recognition; it was sometimes rumored that half the college chaplains at Oxford were atheists. “No,” I would say; “I believe in the god I see revealed in Jesus of Nazareth.” What most people mean by “god” in late-modern western culture simply is not the mainstream Christian meaning.
"No, son, it's our fault. We forgot to teach you shame."The last time I was in an evangelical megachurch, I remember thinking at the lyric "We just wanna kneel in your presence, Lord," (or some such) thinking, "Oh, no. If I don't find a way to actually kneel in the eight inches of space between my chair and the one in front of me, the fruitcake on stage will have made a liar out of me!"
- Hank Hill
"Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world. It is time, in the power of the Spirit, to take up our proper role, our fully human role, as agents, heralds, stewards of the new day that is dawning."Have a nice day.
A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.This is verbatim. Let's take it apart; feel free to chime in.
One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give! you exactly 15 minutes."
The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his Chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.
The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid sh_t and act like an a__hole. So, He sent me."
I have for a long time believed that it is anti-gospel to jettison non-reciprocal friendships. I no longer believe this.I attended Georgetown College. It's a small school, and a very large percentage of the student body is involved in a social organization, i.e. fraternities and sororities. Many who are not, are athletes or heavily involved with the "campus ministries" clique - though these groups are not mutually exclusive.
"Since the days of the apostles the worship of the church was meant to serve as a critical vehicle for imparting doctrina, that is, ordered teaching, about the Christian faith. Christian leaders found that worship was too good an opportunity to waste on anything but supplying the believer with concrete foundations of how to think and live Christianly. Hence there was a reciprocal relation between worship and doctrine, between the act of praise and the task of theology."
D.H. Williams, "Similis et Dissimilis: Gauging our Expectations of the Early Fathers," from the 2007 Wheaton Theology Conference.
“…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”It’s right there in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-8.