Friday, April 29, 2011


Shalom incorporates delight in one’s relationships. To dwell in shalom is to find delight in living rightly before God, to find delight in living rightly in one’s physical surroundings, to find delight in living rightly with one’s fellow human beings, to find delight even in living rightly with oneself.

Nicholas P. Wolterstorff
Educating for Shalom

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Without a narrative, life has no meaning. Without meaning, learning has no purpose. Without a purpose, schools are houses of detention, not attention.

Neil Postman
The End of Education

Saturday, April 23, 2011


The gospel is...

“exclusive in the sense of affirming the unique truth in the revelation of Jesus Christ, but not in the sense of denying the possibility of salvation to those outside the Christian faith; inclusive in the sense of refusing to limit the saving grace of God to Christians, but not in the sense of viewing other religions as salvific; pluralist in the sense of acknowledging the gracious work of God in the lives of all human beings, but not in the sense of denying the unique and decisive nature of what God has done in Jesus Christ.”

Lesslie Newbigin: The Gospel in a Pluralist Society (1989) pp 182-3

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Born again and again

He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over to give birth to themselves.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love in the Time of Cholera

Friday, April 15, 2011

Born again - maybe?

Maybe we're being born. Again. Maybe the spirit really does move and blow. Maybe it's happening around us all the time. Maybe God is saving the world. Maybe there's groaning and blood and pain in the birthing process and maybe it doesn't feel like being in the womb. And maybe it isn't always a nice warm breeze but thank God for breath and life and for enduring the labor.

Debbie Blue
Sensual Orthodoxy

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Where God is

Gary Moon asks: We are asking where God is when He is all about us and within us. But why is this? Why do we seem to need directions to a place when we are already there?

Jim Finley replies: Yes, and let me give an example of how this happens in psychotherapy. Often in therapy someone will start to talk and begin to open up about his difficulties. I ask him questions about what he is saying and attempt to form a bond of genuine empathy with him in his suffering. As the person and I go on in this way, there begins to grow in me a sense of oneness with this person in his suffering. I begin to get a sense of how much courage it takes for him to open up like this and how hard it is for him to go through whatever it is he is going through. As this process deepens, I begin to sense we are on holy ground together. Now, this person and I were on holy ground together from the first moment he walked in the door. But it wasn’t until I entered into the process of opening myself up to the depths of his presence that I was able to become aware of that. Simultaneously for the person in therapy, he was on this same holy ground with me from the moment he walked in the door. But it was not until he began to open up, to trust, and to become vulnerable with me that he was able to begin to sense he was on the holy ground we all live on all the time as precious human beings.

In a similar fashion, the same process occurs in intimate relationships, in prayer, and in meditation. The process is one of learning not to keep skimming over the surface of the life we are living. It is learning not to continue in the momentum of moving on to some goal other than where we actually are at the moment, the momentum of being on our way to someplace else. The process is one of learning to slow down, to settle in, to open up, and enter into the interior richness of what’s really going on. As we do so, we begin to discover the ways God is already present in the hidden depths of the present moment; it is just because we were skimming along across the surface of what is happening that we were unable to know and rest in that presence…”

James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God, A Conversation with James Finley, pp. 20-21.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The fallen world

Christ's message was not to pretend the world isn't fallen but to take up our crosses and follow him through suffering and sacrifice. To create a body of work illustrating a world without the Fall is, for a Christian, to render Christ superfluous.

Gregory Wolfe
"The Painter of Lite" in Intruding Upon the Timeless

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Missional motives

Maybe this is why people who believe in eternal torment are so grumpy, mean-spirited, and miserable. If hell is the only motive for coming to God, if sinners are the one's having the most fun, well, of course these "turn or burn" Christians are unhappy. They've been called out of a fun and joyous life into the Kingdom of God where all is proper, boring, structured, grey and lame. But hey, at least they aren't going to hell! So there they sit in their churches, jealous and grumpy that the world is throwing a party that they can't attend because they had to dress up and go to church on Sunday. No wonder these sorts of Christians want the world to go to hell. They are jealous.

Richard Beck, in the Experimental Theology blog: Musings about Universalism, Part 9: The Urgency of Joy: On Evangelism and Mission