Deep Theological Discussions…

Everyone wants something different in a church and the way we choose to worship can be deeply personal. The irony though is that for such a “deep theological discussion”, Sally and her neighbor never really scratched the surface. Lost in the discussion of HOW we worship is WHO we worship. During the time of Jesus, the Samaritans and Jews had profound disagreements about the correct way to worship. They couldn’t even agree on what mountain God resided and therefore must be worshipped on. When Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well, he addresses this argument by telling her that a time will come when people won’t worship God on either mountain but will worship Him “in spirit and in truth…” As disciples, this is the kind of worship we are called to. But it also doesn’t hurt to take up money in envelopes…
Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…
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Calvin’s Dilemma…

In this classic Bill Waterson strip, Calvin is certainly on to something. If God turns out to be a big chicken, his dinner choices could indeed prove to be consequential in the afterlife. The way one imagines the divine is profoundly important. Were we to die and discover God was not the old bearded Caucasian male depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, would we have a harder time defending our actions? Would our choices be harder to defend to a minority God, a third world God, or a female God? The truth, is that God is beyond human (or poultry) categories. God is just God. He cannot be limited to the value systems of a single tribe. He is the God of all creation and all human beings our created in his image. Perhaps this is why the God of the Bible is so adamant about not being depicted at all. When asked to describe himself, God simply says… “I Am!”

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…

 

Snoopy’s Theology Book…

“Has it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong?” Snoopy’ title in this classic Peanuts strip is pretty appropriate. Theology is simply the way we humans try to put the wordless wonder of God into words. Such an undertaking is like trying to contain the Atlantic Ocean in a paper cup. When we talk about God we should do so with the humility that we may not be 100% right and that those with whom we disagree with might not be 100% wrong. Certainty is the enemy of faith.

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…

“I Control Your Fate”

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This humorous Calvin and Hobbes strip simply illustrates a profound truth: we don’t have as much power as we think we do. We are at the mercy of circumstances beyond our control. A false sense of security and control are one of the greatest hindrances between modern people and faith in God. Humility before the awesomeness of creation and it’s creator gives us the proper perspective of our place in relation to things. As the Psalmist declares: “The earth is The Lord’s and everything in it. The world and all who live in it.” Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…

“What the Hell Are You Doing Here?”

This is a clip from the end of one of my favorite episodes of “The West Wing”. In the midst of this scene is a dramatic retelling of a modern parable. God intervenes for us in many ways. Many times He intervenes for us in ways that are startling and miraculous. Far more often, God intervenes in ways that are simple and mundane: simply sending the right person at the right time. This parable reminds us that we are foolish to ignore the help we receive through earthly means in favor of some great divine intervention. It reminds us that sometimes those earthly means are the divine intervention. Recently I was counseling someone who was worried that undergoing a particular surgery may be demonstrating a lack of faith. She worried that she might be rejecting God’s intervention by accepting a more human means of healing. I reminded her that God does demonstrate His power through fire, smoke, and parted water, but just as often He demonstrates it through a scalpel and a steady hand.

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…