Disclaimer: This post, in its entirety, is a digression.
I’ve struggled recently to conjure ideas for a new post that people will find entertaining. Being skilled enough to follow Infinite Mass (which I thought was solid) with something of equal weight seems to be my primary hang-up.
In that struggle, it never crossed my mind that this is my column for posting whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s a lot like MySpace in that way—and just like my extinct MySpace profile, it gets about as much traffic.
So, to hell with it. I’ll write about what’s on my mind and call it a Digressionary Piece (like that’s a thing; if it’s not, I’m coining it).
Continue reading Radical Open-Mindedness in a Post, Post-Modern World
The church feels Anglican, appropriate for the circumstances. The pulpit rests beneath an arched dome inlaid with what looks like gilded embroidery. Circling the same space, organ pipes adorn the hollowed-out walls between cylindrical columns. The only instruments on site are an oak-stained grand piano and the organ, which I like to think of as the control station. It looks like one of those old-timey phone operator booths I’ve only ever seen in classic movies.
And as if in strict defiance of stage rules, the organ keys face out toward the congregation so that the organist must sit with his back to us as he plays. I wonder if this aids his focus; I suspect it might.
Beneath the organ pipes and hovering centrally behind the podium, above what I think must be a baptistry (I’ve been out of the formal church setting for too long, it seems), is engraved the affirmation: “One Lord — One Faith — One Baptism.”
Continue reading One
Of late, I have become fixated on a curious yet dreary task, still in its infancy, of understanding the type of person who drives a car with a loud engine. I’m talking about the ones that rev and split the night like a steam-punk thunderbolt, interrupting both audible and internal conversations with indiscriminate malice.
As someone who navigates the spoken word like an uphill ice slope, struggling with gasping efforts at articulation should I find the grace of your undivided attention, you can understand how I might feel about such interruptions.
You can understand me when I say: it would not strike me as unjust to round up these renegade road warriors and detain them for questioning. But I promise this sentiment is academic; I mean them no harm.
And you know that whenever someone says, “I promise,” you can bet grandma’s farm that they mean it.
Continue reading Infinite Mass
Disembodiment: The Great Lie
For listeners: Listen on Anchor FM.
Note: if you haven’t yet, check out Part One of this series here.
- The Assumptions
- Assumption 1 – Salvation
- Assumption 2 – Platonic Dualism
- Assumption 3 – Innate Immortality
- The Errors
- Death Defeated
- Models and Semantics
“If you died today, do you know where you would go?”
If you have ever lasted until the end of a typical church service, I assume you have heard one of the elders ask this question, usually as one of the worship leaders plays the piano or guitar softly in the background. And before I expound on the question, I want to point out that this is not a bad way to end a Sunday morning service, at least in terms of cadence and structure.
Quite the contrary, it is an ideal denouement, a chance for those visiting and even the regular members to reflect on their standing with the God whose only passphrase for granting them salvation is that they merely believe.
And the journey we start after believing, with its sudden turns and pitfalls, convinces me it is never wrong for us to pause and reflect on our standing with God. However, if such reflection leads us anywhere, it ought to lead us to inspect the question of “where we go when we die” within a biblical framework. As we reflect, we might discover that beneath the question’s surface lies a set of untested assumptions and at least two resulting fundamental errors.
Continue reading Biblical Christianity in Four Parts – Part II
For listeners: Listen on Anchor FM.
What follows is a layman’s attempt at a theological argument, which I suppose makes it a shot in the dark. By taking this shot, I risk the assumption that no stray dart will cause harm. But I think my assumption is low-risk for the following reasons:
- I will only be read by a few people.
- These same people are confident in their faith but not so arrogant as to avoid a challenge.
- Metaphorical arrows fired into a metaphorical abyss don’t usually derail someone’s life-size relationship with their Creator.
As for the writing itself, I share ideas I’ve wrestled with for many years. In the contest, I’ve come to such a point of mental and physical exhaustion that I feel the only way to find rest is to publish the work in its current, incomplete form and allow more educated people to obliterate it. The gnawing reminder that I am not a studied, credentialed theologian has kept me from my writing desk, and perhaps that is not terrible. Like any sober person, I am persuaded that shooting anything in the dark is unwise.
Continue reading Biblical Christianity in Four Parts (Prologue & Part I)