Saturday, May 24, 2008


Our discussion get together is this Wednesday, 7pm, over at High Point Coffee, at 1735 West 7800 South, in West Jordan.

Also, I thought I’d mention that the emerging church and Brian McLaren (not the Salt Lake Emergent Cohort) were in today’s Religion/Ethics section of the Deseret News. It’s a reprint of an earlier AP interview with Brian McLaren that’s been circulating for a few weeks now. It’s good to see our local paper pick it up.

In the same section of the paper they also mention a film/presentation that will be showing down at the main library this Tuesday. The documentary film Conviction, at 7pm, Tuesday, free; one of the nuns in the film, Sister Jackie Hudson, who went to prison for her protest, will be speaking there and taking questions as well. I plan to go, so if anyone wants to join me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Great Brueggemann Quote

"When serious people of good faith disagree, they've got to go back into the narratives and come at it again. One of the problems in the church is that people are not willing to do that. People have arrived at a place where they think they have got the answer." ~ Walter Brueggemann

From a talk on Leviticus, given at First Presbyterian Church of Knoxville. Click here to listen.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Believe or Hope?

My beliefs, due to various circumstances, have been under the microscope lately. This causes me to turn them in the light and try to view them from different angles.

I notice I have few solid beliefs. I see many things with a kind of dual vision. I hear opposing persons speak, and I see validity in both opinions. I read apparently contradicting scripture and am comfortable maintaining both views. This does not always go over well in Christian circles. I end up making one side or the other uncomfortable.

I came across a response I had given to a friend who had recently de-converted. He posted this question on his blog, "
How do you, as a christian, maintain faith in a belief where there is no concrete proof?" My response to him is below and I think it articulates why, though I love theology, I don't put much stock in having "the right beliefs".

I can only speak for me, but I don't feel a need to get around a lack of proof. Maybe because, technically, I don't really have beliefs. Probably what I have could be more accurately described as a conglomeration of hopes.

  • The thought that death would simply bring on my non-existence depresses me. A hundred years or so from now, no one would really even know I ever existed. It would be as if I were never here.
  • When I look at my son or daughter sleeping at night, the thought that they too will go into the void is even worse. My heart sinks at the thought.
  • When I see art, music, technology, stories and life... my heart overflows. It brings me to despair to think that could ALL be snuffed out by one poorly timed comet.
I HOPE the God I knew as a child does not exist. This god seems to see most of humanity in torture for eternity an acceptable response to their not believing He was standing behind the curtain.

I HOPE the God of 1 Cor 13 exists, one who always trusts, always perseveres, never keeps records of wrongs, and never fails.

I HOPE God is a cross between Aslan and Willy Wonka (the Gene Wilder version). One who has all the bases covered, even if we aren't aware of it yet. Who really wants you to do what is right, but will let you chew the gum if you are bound, set, and determined.

I HOPE when this story comes to a close, everyone lives happily ever after (even if the start of their story was fairly shitty).

I HOPE there is a God out there who feels about us the way I do about my son and daughter.

I HOPE the source of my love is a God who shares that love.

I am aware that this may be an empty hope in the end, but it is the one I cling to.

I am finding hope to be a much more satisfying thing to cling to than belief.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. ~ Romans 8:24-25

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A couple of movies to make you thirsty

The SLC Film Center will be showing a couple of interesting films this week on the commoditization of water. The price is right (they’re free), so I plan to go to both. If you’re interested in joining me, let me know, email me or comment below.

Sed (Thirst) - Monday, May 05 2008 - 7:00PM
Salt Lake City Main Public Library - in the Auditorium

Flow: For Love Of Water - Thursday, May 08 2008 - 7:00PM
The Post Theatre, 110 S. Fort Douglas Blvd, University of Utah Campus