subversiveREFORMATION.com has been under construction with a hosting location change and CSS and subscription edits. The site is not yet fully customized and/or functional. Thank you for your patience during the downtime. You will continue to see edits and updates to the site with full functionality restored on August 1. Also, keep checking back for the beginning of the “On Church” series with contributions from various individuals including Chris Heuertz from Word Made Flesh and Adam Walker-Cleaveland from pomomusings.com.
In case anyone is looking for any last minute gift ideas:
What is the gift for? Nothing. It’s just that there is never a bad time to quote Christmas Vacation.
I have now fully converted. Gone are the days of attempts at working, studying, and social networking on a 3.5 year old Hewlett-Packard. As the television commercial says, “I’m a Mac.” Wait… really? I’m a Mac. Is my identity formed by the type of computer that I own? If it is then I don’t own a Mac, a Mac owns me. Unfortunately I think there are many that carry a MacBook as a symbol of status and identity. Otherwise, Apple would not have an advertisement that directly discusses the identity of those who use Macs or PCs. Additionally, they have excelled beyond all other attempts at marketing by creating a sleek and modern brand appealing to younger users.
I appreciate the simplicity and minimalism of the aluminum encasing but mostly like the ease of use and functionality of my new laptop. It was necessary for me to switch computers in order to complete my fully online Master of Arts of Religion in Missional Leadership degree. While working and studying last year I would sit and stare at the screen waiting for the computer to start up and for pages to load. I could type full lines of text before they would actually appear as text on a document. I’ve even been in the middle of papers and posts and the computer would just shut down and then it would take another 20 minutes to fully reboot. Here is a list of all that was wrong with my HP:
1.) Random and unexpected shutdowns.
2.) CD/DVD Drive won’t open or eject.
3.) Limited processing for multiple applications.
4.) “Y” key popped off and had to be pounded.
5.) Charger cord torn and repaired 10x+ with electrical tape.
6.) Cracked hinge.
7.) Screen separating from encasing.
8.) Speakers cover broken.
9.) Slowed processing speed did not allow video and audio to be played.
Now I have 4Gb of RAM rather than 512Mb and a 160GbHD rather than 80Gb. The CD/DVD drive works and I can perform multiple tasks at one time. I’m staying organized using stickies and iCal and will be able to put together higher quality presentations for the course I teach. I may begin to attempt the utilization of iTunesU.
Am I a Mac? No. Has my identity been converted? Hmmm. I’ll tell you what I am later.
May the creative and artistic expressions in dance be considered worship? Does dance possess the same type of depth of meaning as other forms of creative production such as music and film?
What’s the saying?… “Dance like nobody is watching?” Or should it be… dance like everyone is watching and allow the lyrical flow of human movement to express the soul and texture of humanity in touch with the divine.
The most meaningful pieces of human struggle, tragedy, creativity, and beauty from So You Think You Can Dance?:
1) The Interplay of Creation: Hok and Jaime as a hummingbird and flower to The Chairman’s Walk from the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack.
2) On Confession and Forgiveness: Anya and Danny performing to Apologize by One Republic.
3) Time: Neil and Lacey dance as father and daughter to an emotionally invested Mia Michaels routine. Music by Billy Porter.
4) Commitment and Brokenness: Danced to Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis, Mark’s character commits his life to something other than the bleeding Chelsea.
5) Marriage at Bedtime: Jeanine and Phillip wrestle through anger to Mad by Ne-Yo.
6) Addiction and Freedom: Kayla is controlled by the sinister addiction (Kupono) danced to Gravity by Sara Bareilles.
I am not at Poets, Prophets, and Preachers (PPP) so I thought I would have a lot to say about it. My friend Matt Rawlings actually offered me a free ticket to the “conference”^ but I was unable to attend for several reasons (in no certain order):
>> I am on an interview committee here at MVNU that is meeting with a Resident Director candidate on Monday morning. >> I have a very busy academic year with more time off in the summer and wanted to set aside more time with my family. >> We are hoping to adopt and possibly purchase a home so I’m crunching down on the spending. Gas, hotel, and food would have been a few dollars.
From the middle of Ohio I have been keeping up with PPP. I’ve been reading all the tweets tagged with the #ppp09 hashtag and checking out a few blogs. I’ve noticed so far that at the first gathering, those commenting publicly all support that which is being discussed at PPP. Nothing that I have read has challenged the intitial teaching by Rob Bell entitled, The Original Guerilla Theatre. The positive perspectives may be fueled by the expectation of those attending. Many hours before the first session many were tweeting about anticipating their arrival in Grand Rapids. Others noted their excitement as they sat in the theater waiting to hear from Rob, who has obviously created a dedicated community of people who value his teaching.
In the Original Guerilla Theatre, Rob discussed the lost primal art form of the religious discourse. Those in attendance all tweeted the same few lines that apparently remained lodged in numerous cerebral cortexes. None of those lines seemed to be earth-shattering to me but centered on the theme that those giving sermons need to be more daring. It is not necessary for a spoken message to be safe and even resolved. Rather, those with ears to hear should be asking questions and talking more with each other in order to continue wrestling with the content. I would suggest additionally that those attending church gatherings seeking answers should alter their perspective. Knowing that the journey of following Jesus is a process of wonder and discovery, couldn’t it be more valuable to expect to leave with more questions? It is only our systems of modernization that make us think otherwise.
^I’m not sure that PPP is actually a conference. Well… I guess technically it is but probably not the typical churchy conference where the Youth Specialties tent is giving away free workbooks entitled something like, “How To Keep Teens Hooked: Staying Relevant for GenY.” JUST FOR THE RECORD: I just made up that title it may be the worst title for a book ever. I’m not sure which word is the worst, “How to,” “Teens,” “Hooked,” “Relevant,” or “GenY.”
Adapted from a post on July 3, 2008:
I’ll be honest. I’m not a fan of Independence Day. I’m trying to sort through whether that opinion is fueled by the despicable taste in in my mouth when I see red, white, and blue waving as a symbol of national allegiance and empire worship or simply by my struggle to intellectually and philosophically value independence. Freedom is good and necessary but cannot exist through the supposed provision of an earthly empire. Freedom is in the person of Jesus Christ and is quite different from that with which it is quite often confused, “rights.”
My reading on July 3rd proved to be rather timely for the upcoming day celebrated by most citizens of the United States. From Free of Charge by Miroslav Volf:
“Here is roughly how sin works in relation to God the giver. All things are from God and through God, and yet we want to be independent of God, standing on our own two feet, claiming God’s gifts as our own achievement. The young Karl Marx, barely twenty-six years old, put this sentiment as boldly as possible. In a text that remained unpublished during his lifetime, ‘Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts,’ he gave an expression to the heart of his rebellion against God:
‘A being only counts itself as independent when it stands on its own feet and it stands on its own feet as long as it owes its existence to itself. A man who lives by grace of another considers himself a dependent being. But I live completely by grace of another when I owe him not only the maintenance of my life but when he has also created my life, when he is the source of my life. And my life has necessarily such a ground outside itself if it is not my own creation.’
Marx held firmly to human independence. It almost seemed to him a value that lies at the bottom of all values. Because the reality of God as creator is incompatible with human independence, he denied the existence of God.
Most of us, especially the believers among us, won’t deny God’s existence in order to secure our independence. Instead, we think that we can have it both ways. We believe that we can stand on our own two feet, independent of God, and still affirm that God is the creator of everything. But that doesn’t make sense. We can be both dependent on God and free; dependence on God is the source of our being, and therefore, our freedom. But we can’t be created by God and independent; God sustains creatures in being and in freedom. When we assert our independence, when we ascribe to ourselves what comes from God, we wrong God – at least as much as I would wrong an author whose ideas I would peddle as my own. That’s our main sin against God the giver. If, like Raleigh Hays, we see ourselves as more or less honest, hardworking citizens, we may believe that we deserve what we have, and even a bit more because an evil world is cheating us of our proper reward. We might not feel particularly grateful for what we have because we think that, rather than receiving it, we earned it. And we want to dispose of our hard-earned goods the way we please; they become not so much gifts given to us to enjoy and pass on, but rather our exclusive possessions.
Assertion of independence, pride of achievement, sense of entitlement, and absolute right to dispose with our goods – these are the ways in which we live in contradiction to who we actually are in relation to God. And in these ways, we, decent citizens, live as inveterate sinners. To live in sync with who we truly are means to recognize that we are dependent on God for our very breath and are graced with many good things; it means to be grateful to the giver and attentive to the purpose for which the gifts are given.” //
// Miroslav Volf. Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace. pp. 35-6.