Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Theology #1 The Bible

I've realized lately that I really need to think deeply about what I believe and what I do with that belief. I find myself torn between differing agendas. Perhaps by journaling some thoughts I can make what is insubstantial, firmer. So, this is intended as the beginning of a process and I reserve every right to change my mind as often as I'd like through the process... Comments are very welcome!

I believe that the Bible is inspired by God, written by all too human writers, addressing the various issues/contexts of each book's time and historically documenting the interactions of man and God. I believe it is without error or contradiction when correctly understood. In matters of internal contradiction, I assume the picture that God paints is broader that the verses that oppose each other. I believe that God is unchanging through the ages, His eternal nature is internally consistent. The Bible should be viewed as a picture of the actions of that kind of God.

I believe its purpose is primarily narrative - to tell the story of man and God. In the OT, it's often the good, bad and indifferent of the individuals and nation of Israel and its forebearers. In the NT it is the story of Jesus, his disciples, and the growth/struggles of the early church. Because of these topics, the historical/cultural/individual worldview of the time speaks directly to our understanding of these messages. To understand God's purpose and message we must try to understand His actions within the context of each circumstance - and try to see the worldview we bring to the reading of the scripture.

As someone who has studied four languages, I understand the original language to be an essential ingredient to proper understanding of the text. However, culture and language are inextricably intertwined. I'll let experts render their opinions to me in both, so that I may delve into understanding more deeply who is God and my relationship with Him.

The Bible is essential as a reference and standard. However, I do not believe in worshipping the book, it is a tool, not the goal.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

You might be a hypocrite if...

You sit there and blab to all your friends how your 2yr old is using words that you don't think he should. How you don't believe in talking that way...

Then afterwards (why never before?) listen to yourself talk and realize that whomever you are around, you match their language. So obviously those words did come out of your mouth...

Logs are harder to get out of an eye than splinters...

Did I mention how much I hate hypocrisy? Especially my own!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Emergent ROTFL

Linda clued me into this great post You might be emerging if...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Loving Others

Been thinking a lot about Matthew 22:37-41 lately.

I have a lot of head knowledge about God, and He has done great things for me, but I can't say that I love Him the way I think He means. I do love Him with my mind, but I am not sure that my heart and soul are fully engaged. Honestly, my heart is probably half engaged. And my soul? I don't know.

And then, there's the neighbor thing. I have the me first american attitude. If I am taken care of, then I'm willing to extend my excess towards my neighbor. However, "love thy neighbor as thyself" suggests that whatever state I am in, I am responsible for raising my neighbor up to that state as well. Oh. Ouch.

When I start thinking about this, I start worrying about what I'll lose. I can't pay two mortgages like what I have now. I can't pay off a second set of loans like we just got rid of. I can't, I can't, I can't. Amazing how negative I immediately become. Somehow I don't think God envisioned this kind of economy as a losing economy. If I envision it as a gaining economy, if I don't worry about loss and concentrate on gain, where can I go?

We live in middle class suburbia. The poor are those whose financial mismanagement has backed them into a corner or those who bought too much house. The elderly or impoverished whose taxes are going to cause the loss of their house. Those who can't afford the rent increases as the area becomes more affluent. The sick are the disabled, and those in nursing homes. The pariahs are those outside the norm. I know there is more, but that's a starting point.

How to love them? Financial education, helping with payments, job training, caregiving, assisted therapy, big brother/big sister, desegregation. What else could be done?