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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Hell, not the nordic god you were thinking about

Below is a link to Tad’s blog post about hell. This is a topic he and I have kicked around over several beers and is always fun to discuss. The other jnteresting part is that as humans many people try to claim to have the inside scoop on the afterlife..are we overly concerned about what happens after we die when maybe we should focus on God’s kingdom on earth. I’ll fly away” will surely happen to us all but not until we find the beauty in ugly on earth to make it beautiful again.

Pass me a beer and let’s you and I talk about it.

blog on hell by Tad

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Posted by on December 28, 2009 in theology

 

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email conversation with Tad

Recently I gave Tad DeLay the book,  Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn; this book continually has had a profound impact on my life in the way it has shaped my life overall and also with influencing culture via Midrash. (sidenote – my #1 favorite book is “Inferno, by Dante Alighieri, translated by Elio Zappulla)

As a bit of context for what I’m about to post, in his book Kuhn relays how people and/or institututions naturally resist paradigm changes and also what happens when people and/or institutions start to change their paradigms. Paradigms aren’t small changes people make in their lives – it’s not changing from  Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal to Cinnamon & Spice Oatmeal.  Paradigm changes are major changes of believing the earth is round vs. flat, or that the Sun is the center of the universe, or as moving from an atheist to a follower of Christ. These changes have a profound impact on the way an institution behaves and the way a person lives their life.  So taking that brief context into consideration below is a brief email conversation Tad and I had (his email first and then my reply) about a section he read in Kuhn’s book and some keen thoughts he sent my way. Maybe it makes sense, maybe it doesn’t, but I thought it was worth posting.

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Tad:

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I had a thought on theology today while reading Kuhn. In a scientific paradigm shift, kuhn explains how a shift is initiated when an anomaly is found that is unexpected by current paradigm. So it happens as a result of the scientific method, but actually becomes philosophical because you have to move beyond normal science to explain what you are seeing.

So how about this as a correlate in theology: though theological discovery comes as a result of study of scripture ( like sci method), I can’t think of a single theology in history that did not require the theologian to move outside of scripture into pure philosophy in order to produce a new thought. So maybe theological discovery ‘requires’ that we move beyond the bible to get started ?? Sounds a bit foolhardy, but I can’t think of a single example in theological innovation ( good or bad) in which this was not the case

Sent from my iPhone

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Me:

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I think there’s some good truth in that.  In my opinion it’s not that we discard scripture (and you obviously weren’t saying that), but the way we interpret scripture moves us to, “if X, then Y” while still balancing it with scripture, our experiences, other books, mentors, etc.  So I think they all go hand in hand – it’s like you said going beyond scripture to start things.  God tells us to use our heart soul  and mind. He didn’t say everything you need is completely found in the Bible.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2009 in culture, midrash, theology

 

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Mike Metzger: “Two-Legged Tables”

I thought this was a great blog-post by Mike Metzger – once again, Mike is a former mentor of mine from when I lived in KC (he lives in MD); he has a brilliant mind who was/is very instrumental in helping me engage intentionally, authentically, and meaningfully with culture – and not to engage culture as though it’s a project or a chore to check off as done.

Enjoy:  Two-Legged Tables

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2009 in culture, theology

 

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alt#View post for eikon blog

When Ryan told me I could write an uncensored blog my first thought was to preach why everybody should seek to repeal the tobacco tax, or why the Kansas Jayhawks are awesome, or why Arkansas needs much colder weather, but most of you have heard those discourses from me many times over.  Instead I decided to write a parable on the relationship of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross and our limited tolerance of theological diversity. Hopefully it will make sense.

I work as a sales representative for a nebulizer company and I call on pediatricians in clinics and hospitals.  My role is to convince doctors why they need to use my company as their supplier of nebulizers.  First of all, a Nebulizer is a device used to deliver medication in the form of a mist which is inhaled into the lungs in order to improve breathing.  The bottom line for a nebulizer is to get the patient breathing better so they can live a healthier life.

In the medical industry there are many companies who manufacture nebulizers, so how do we know which one is “right”?  Well, essentially all nebulizers are the same, but there is one major non-negotiable in regards to nebulizers. The patient probably will not fully understand the pharmacological efficacy of the device so the non-negotiable aspect is the patient needs to appreciate that the treatment itself is going to make their life better; not perfect, but better. Our society sometimes places too high a value on trying to figure everything out, but there are some aspects of the nebulizer and the treatment that are beyond most people’s comprehension.  The beauty of the matter is not in knowing how the treatment works but the fact that the treatment does work.

Essentially, all nebulizers are the same and have the same desired outcome: breathing better because of the treatment.  But there are some minor differences. Some have a better treatment time, some a higher respirable fraction, and some are more portable, but in choosing a nebulizer sometimes the deciding factor needs to be what allows the treatment to have a deeper deposition with the patient.

In finishing, a sales representative with my company told me about a conversation she had with a doctor about how our company started.  She told the doctor how several years ago our owners broke off from the original company to start their own nebulizer company because of differing interpretations of the business contract. The original company sued our owners and then our owners countersued; all the while both companies are still to this day trying to gain market-share over each other. The doctor’s comment, “That’s a lot of drama over nebulizers.”

I agree with the doctor.  I want him to use my nebulizers but I realize I am biased about what nebulizer delivers a better treatment.  But all the doctors and companies agree that the main thing needed for making breathing and living better…is the treatment.

Legend:

nebulizer = denomination/religion

doctor = pastor

treatment = God’s redemptive work in a person’s life

patient = a person

breathing better = following Christ

healthier life = bringing God’s kingdom to earth

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2009 in culture, theology

 

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Christians…They’re Silly and Sometimes Embarrassing

I found this link on Brian McLaren’s blog.  Ummm…this article reflects that it’s amazing how we think Truth can only be found in what we deem appropriate – for some, it’s not only the Bible, but certain translations of the Bible!  I feel God’s Truth is everywhere out there and it just depends on whether we feel secure enough to take our Christian-ghetto sunglasses off.

Burnt Offernings from WSJ.com

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2009 in culture, theology

 

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too much of a good thing…

can be too much, obviously. It’s cliche, it’s tired, it’s trite, but it’s also true.

So last night I had a Rocky Patel Battalion.  The Battalion is much like The Edge Corojo, but bigger – almost twice as big.  I’ve had several of this cigar before but I’m starting to think that with this cigar too much of a good thing isn’t good.  For example I absolutely love orange juice, have loved it my whole life and I’ll drink it all day long – think Michael P. Keaton – but one time during high school I got quite a bit carried away with screwdrivers (we’ll save the blog regarding underage drinking for another day) but after that bingeful night I couldn’t drink or even smell orange juice for several months.  My mother even started to notice and would comment but I just tried to pass it off as a stage. Haha

Back to the Battalion…so I bought this Battalion in NW AR and lit it up when I was sitting at a local saloon in Little Rock as a toast to myself for a very good day in sales.  Now last night very well could’ve been an anomaly; it could’ve been a combination of: I was tired from driving back from NW AR, or what I had eaten before getting to the local saloon, or even the pairing of the beer I was drinking while smoking the cigar, but last night I felt like I was trying to smoke two Rock Patel The Edge Corojos (second favorite cigar) at once.  It was just too much of a good thing. So that’s all I have for now, but just wanted to pass along some thoughts on the Battalion. I’ll keep smoking it and see if my attitude on it changes…it probably will.  Overall, it’s a good smoke, but I’ll spread out the goodness by just buying two The Edge Corojos and smoking them separately.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2009 in cigars

 

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Purpose, Mission, and Christmas Bonuses

This post is from a friend/mentor of mine from back in KC (he lives in Maryland) and I found it quite interesting.  I’ll post it even while I’m still digesting some of the finer points considering my vocation.  My vocation is in sales and we are rewarded by sales, but we’re rewarded in a little different manner than typical sales positions. I might post our system of commission after I digest this a bit more and no it’s not the jelly of the month club, and as Cousin Eddy puts it, “the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.”  (the videoclip, for your enjoyment, mis-labels it as “jello of the month”) Enjoy the post…and the video…

The Best Little Auto Shop in Maryland – Mike Metzger


 
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Posted by on December 7, 2009 in culture, theology

 

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