Interesting thoughts or so it would seem. Shout out to Mike Zosel’s Blog.

Lately I’ve been reading my friend Mike’s blog. He is far more of a theologically deep thinker than me, or thus I declare. I could be wrong. In any case lately He’s been really good at answering responses to his blog posts. Something that I usually neglect to do because of the breadth of people who exist on the internet that want to randomly participate in dialogues. There are simply too many. Not to say that said dialogues wouldn’t be good, but rather that I would prefer to talk to real people in real life about the things I think about.

In any case, Mike has been having this great thought process about this concept of a Neo-Atheism and been doing a good job of interacting with people as they interact with his ideas. Neato I say. I was reading a blog post of his that I couldn’t finish at the time because something interrupted, but the bit that I did read was the discussion of atheism lacking an ontology to match its eithic. That means it lacks a dimension of what it means to be human that backs up the drive to do good. ( I had to google search ontology to tell you that. Another reason I made that declaration regarding Mike earlier.) Essentially, I interpret that sentence as  why care about people or society if we are all bound to not exisit at the end of life? I think this is one of the problems with atheism. Another one is why do atheists want other people to stop believing things other than atheism? It would seem that the atheist could and should be content to sit back in his/her own supposed knowledge and understanding and allow other people their “illusions” (i.e. Karl Marx). This doesn’t seem to be the case. Whereas people who believe in an eternal creative God who empowers His creation to participate in its own redemption certainly have something that needs to and must be shared. Sorry atheists…I’m not being objective very well.

Ummm…but I suppose that postmodernist thought seems to have rejected the idea of objectivity anyway, but on the other hand perhaps being empiricist atheists you don’t really care for experiential truth whatsoever and regard the only true objectivity to be a scientific or historical one, but then you would be coming to that objectivity with philosophical presuppositions anyway…it’s not as though an electron doing something really tells you whether or not there is a God…Bah.

Anyway, back to the point I was thinking of. The discussion Mike had came to the idea of the metanarrative. This is a key feature of Christianity. I will roughly define it as a story that encompasses existence. God’s story specifically. The biblical metanarrative places our existence and the world within the context of God’s story of redemption. The argument at the moment I was reading from one of Mike’s thinking dialogue buddies was talking about the nature of the christian metanarrative and whether it would be possible to put said metanarrative into a generic form and have it do the same thing. That is where my idea to blog came from.

The story of God interacting with people (the metanarrative that we are a part of) is one that is marked by God’s self-disclosure. His revelation. Specifically His revelation in Jesus Christ. While the viewed effect of Christianity at times does not look different from a variety of other do-gooding folk (bless them. They are doing great things probably the work of God without knowing it.) it is absolutely different in that the work that Christians do is being done in and through the Triune God. The thing that I took from Mike’s friendly thought-friend was the idea of a metanarrative as seen as APART from Christ. As though Jesus didn’t change anything…As though we could just build houses and feed people and that would be enough to sustain a generic rip-off of the Christian metanarrative.

Here’s the issue I have with that. I’ve got to be honest and frank. Either God worked in and through Jesus Christ in space and time and reconciled man to Himself or He didn’t. There is no other option. There’s no “well…mostly.” or “sort of…” If Jesus Christ lived as the incarnate God, died on the cross, and rose on the third day then the Christian metanarrative is the only metanarrative that matters. Any generic metanarrative that takes things from the Christian metanarrative without Christ is dropping the ball. Christ’s life,death, and resurrection is the point where the metanarrative changes forever and the world cannot be seen as the same again. Before one can claim a definitive option to the Christian metanarrative one must first deal with that great question posed by CS Lewis, “Who was Jesus?”

Generic metanarratives that take the manifest outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers (good works) and run with them are missing the point. We don’t (or shouldn’t) do these things because they are what simply must be done, we do them because the Lord moves us to do them. We do these things as a part of the eternal communion of the Triune God. We are moved to action and participate in the work of God.

This is the reality of the Christian metanarrative, like Christ each individual Christian must say, “I can do nothing by myself.” We move, act, live, and love in and through God Himself. A generic metanarrative that interacts with the world claiming to have taken that which makes the Christian metanarrative as beneficial without Jesus as a part of the Holy Trinity misses the emphasis of the Christian metanarrative that makes it absolutely unique and beautiful and (by my reckoning…true). God revealed Himself to us. It is by this that we know Him. The apostles told it like it was. Christ rose from the dead through the power of God.

To construct an alternative to the Christian metanarrative that can ever vie for philosophical ground…it would seem that one must denythe resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Yet at that point it would seem that the foundation of said metanarrative cannot fully engage in dialogue with the Christian metanarrative. For the centerpiece of the Christian metanarrative is Christ as resurrected and exalted Lord. The very foundation of our worldview begins and ends with faith, it is necessary to have that faith to see the Christian metanarrative as true, and that all begins (for me at least) with the resurrection. Thus…In the quest to possibly create a generic alternative to the Christian metanarrative, atheists must start with Jesus. Unfortunately for their perspective, He’s not dead.

It would seem that anonymous thought guy has some ‘splainin to do…

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Real life? Fo’ real.

I’ve been learning to participate in this space that people call real life. Whether I like it or not I get to do it for the rest of life. Hmmmm. What are my thoughts you ask? I’ll tell you.

I have lots of free time now. I find that Chauncey, unburdened by the task of homework, enjoys things more. It’s lovely to not be forced to operate in existence with the ever-unseen, ever-looming reality of homework. I get home from 8 hours of work at the end of the day and get about 7 hours of time that is mine to decide what to do with. I have nothing but options. I am learning to play the dave matthews band songs that I have wanted to learn for the past two years. I am finishing a book that I want to read. I am making dinners for myself  that I enjoy.

However, free time itself is a bit of a mystery. There comes a moment in free time for me where there is nothing to do. Maybe you’ve seen it coming before and you call a friend to make sure it never gets there. Recently though I’ve been resisting the urge to fill the silent moments of vague boredom with something. I think that I’ve been scared of these moments for a long time. So instead of running from them I am looking forward to being present in the moments that somehow scare me. The question I look forward to wrasslin’ with is “Who am I when nothing must be done?” or “How do I glorify the Lord with the insignificant?”

I think that something that people today struggle with (particularly Christians). Our lives are full. We work to make them that way. A life that isn’t spent in obvious ministry for the Lord is often seen as tedious or dull or even less than what we are made for. The thing is about life as a Christian is that our entire lives are meant to be ministry. Each moment is meant to reflect the glory of God, even the seemingly stupid and boring things. I don’t think that the quest to please God even in our tedious small things is wrong. “He who has been faithful with small things…” So in essence what I’ve been thinking about is what it looks like to make my waking moments a part of my life (ministry) which glorifies God. How do I glorify the Lord in making a sandwich? How do I glorify God in doing my laundry?

I think that I’ve asked these sorts of things before regarding life before. Now though, they seem to be something in which I can undertake the process of discovery. I’ve even made some progress. I think it has to do with being present. Do you know those moments in which you get to be fully where you are? It isn’t very often, but there are those moments there is nothing that you would rather be doing because you are THERE. They exist almost randomly and they forge reality into this beautiful work of art in which we get to participate in. They change arbitrary dinners into valued meals, a cup of coffee becomes THE cup of coffee, even a small peek outside a window becomes a fantastic glance at the glory of God displayed in the sky.

“Aha!” You say, “Yes I know those moments!” Then you realize like me that they are few and far between. In between them there is a mulititude of moments that are forgotten and tedious. Yet, is there a way to live that way deliberately? In which all moments take on the character of life and life to the full? Welcome to the journey I hope to be on this year.

Star-bound Love may be better than the vampire-bound sort that girls rave about.

I just got done watching “Star Dust” again. It’s my third time or so. Let me tell you. That is a heart-warming film. If there’s any film that makes me wish that stars were indeed beautiful women that fell from the sky sometimes causing crazy adventures in which vaguely gay sky-boat captains taught me to fence and dance and whatnot…that’s the one. I get this really great fuzzy feeling that “maybe someday I’ll find a girl who loves me like that star loves Tristan…”

I’ve noted a trend in my life. For some reason I tend to get myself into unrequited love sorts of situations. I fall for a girl who does not fall for me. Watching Star Dust this time, I realized that the star-woman telling the main character that she loved him is very much what I want romance to be. I want to be loved by someone who was attractive, sassy, intelligent, and loved Jesus more than me.  If that girl happens to be a human/star that can shine and destory witches that would be awesome. Now, whether or not that seems likely at the moment is not a part of the equation (it doesn’t by the way).

Basically, in stories I watch and read, the main characters stumble upon something that takes them by surprise and in the midst of adventure they find the person they love who loves them. I know that Jesus has taken me by surprise and though perhaps this journey we’re on (He/Holy Spirit/the Father, I, and the rest of the church too) is going to be that thing in which I fall in love with someone who loves me…I guess watching movies like Star Dust makes me wish the good part of the frustrating romantic life (or lack thereof) that I lead would, to quote John Mayer, “hurry up and get here.”

Still. the kingdom of God functions on Kairos. That’s greek for the fullness of time. In other words: God’ s timing. God’s timing is not my own. I would hazard a guess that real life is better than stories. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love Him.” If that’s the case then I imagine that real love is indeed better than star-woman love (albeit somewhat less cool in the nerdy Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars fantasy world that I dream in). I reckon its worth waiting for?

If it does come, it’s got to be pretty great. At the very least I hope it makes all those people who read Twilight stifle their sighs of absurd delight in vampire romance. If star-woman love story is great and real life is better than that…vampire-bound love is stupid. Grow up. Read real books.