Saturday, September 30, 2017

Reading the Bible in 90 Days

I've added a new page to the blog. It is called "Daily Bible Readings" and you will find it right under the orange header with the other pages of this blog.
If we follow the readings as listed, we will read the entire Bible in 90 days. If we start tomorrow, October 1, we will read the entire Bible by year's end. The list balances readings from the Old and New Testaments. This will allow us to keep both Testaments in mind. The list also evenly distributes readings from the Psalms and Proverbs. This will allow us to appreciate them better than if we consecutively read the chapters in either book.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Context: Meaningless Technology, Silence of God, yet Hope

Not until just recently, with the exponential growth of the internet, did we get a rigorously Global Technological System (GTS). Too bad.
This GTS presents us—Christians, churches, but everyone else as well—with severe problems on two levels. The first level is that of usefulness—till now, the defining virtue of technology. The GTS, however, has reached that stage of growth where it is no longer useful. Now, the GTS as a whole is fatally parasitical. It is terminally sucking the vitality out of global societies, cultures, human beings, and ecosystems. It is also worse than useless because it is collapsing and will cause unimaginable destruction and death as it does.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Which Would We Prefer: Good News, Bad News, or No News?

As Christians and churches, we rightly confess that Yahweh’s steadfast love for us endures forever. We rightly affirm that Abba is for us, Jesus is with us, and the Holy Spirit is in us. Jesus himself tells us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened for you” (Matthew 7:7, New American Standard Version, here and following). He assures us,Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). Good news!
Yes, God is love. Sometimes, though, we experience God’s love as wrath. That’s right: God’s wrath is always an expression of God’s love. We might define God’s loving wrath and wrathful loving as God’s rejection of our rejection of him.

Monday, September 25, 2017

How Puerto Rico Foreshadows the Near Future of the GTS

Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 20. The consequences were varied and catastrophic. One painful result: the island’s electrical system is down. Estimates for the time needed to rebuild it vary from six months to a year.
Perhaps those estimates are optimistic. The government of Puerto Rico was forced to declare itself bankrupt last May. Already in financial straits, it will find the money needed to extensively rebuild infrastructure difficult to raise. Perhaps it never will be rebuilt.
No electricity. That means a sudden collapse of the Global Technological System (GTS) in Puerto Rico. How will people eat? Drink potable water? How will they treat their sewage? Dispose of their garbage? Stay cool or get warm? Cook? Earn money at businesses without electricity? Put gasoline in their cars without electricity? Recharge their cell phones and computers? How will hospitals continue to care for the sick? What about diabetics and others who are dependent on refrigerated medications?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Biblical Narrative and Geological Theories: Rightly Understanding and Relating Both Using the Paradoxical Logic of Chalcedon

The biblical witnesses state that God created the heavens and the earth around 4000 BC. In contrast, astronomers, geologists, and other scientists believe that the earth came into existence about 4.5 billion years ago. The question for us, as Christians and churches, is how to rightly understand the biblical narrative, geological theories, and their proper relationship.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Competing Sources of Truth: The Bible and the Grand Narrative of Olympianity

In an essay entitled, “TV: The Bible of Olympianity” (April 28, 2015), I argued that we get our Grand Narrative, the story embodying our worldview as a civilization, from corporate media especially TV. This is particularly embarrassing for us as Christians and churches since we should be structuring our personalities and churches in terms of the biblical witness to Jesus Christ rather than in terms of the painfully Olympian gods of modern media.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Are Hurricanes Meaningful?

Usually hurricanes just come and go. As Ecclesiastes says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (3:1, New Revised Standard Version, here and following). For the Atlantic Ocean, hurricane season starts each year on June 1 and ends on November 30.
The number of hurricanes, and their relative strength, vary randomly from season to season. Ecclesiastes has some perhaps surprising words to say about that as well: Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all. For no one can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish taken in a cruel net, and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon them (9:11-12).
Time and chance happen. Hurricanes are like that as well. But are there times when they are more than that?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Be Strong and Courageous

No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for [Yahweh] your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5-9, New Revised Standard Version, here and following).