Monday, January 29, 2007

SEX... God, again


I thought I'd offer a little update concerning Rob Bell's upcoming Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality, since I know that everyone's eagerly anticipating the book! Chapter 1 is now available for those who can't wait until March for more Rob Bell, or for all the rest of us who are just curious at where the book's going to go. It was, I think, a chapter typical of Bell's writing so far in that you won't agree with everything he says, but for the most part it's an interesting take on everything. Not as good as the start of Velvet Elvis in my opinion, but worth a look if you're curious.

Oh, and the book hits on March 2... 16, and 28, apparently.

-N

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Some "graphic truth" on Abortion

Emily Byers, an opinion columnist for the LSU Daily Reveille, has once again done what she does best and certainly most passionately: she has gone after abortion. A frequent topic of hers, abortion is often shown in its most disturbing and, in my opinion, most revealing light in her writing. This article can be a bit graphic in its descriptions, but it's still certainly one to read and consider. The article.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

from Ben Witherington

I just read an interesting post on Ben Witherington III's blog, concerning both parthenogenesis among Komodo dragons, and, more to my interest(not that dragons aren't interesting), a look into the mind, however depressingly dismal the view may seem, of conservativism, and Conservative Christianity even. The former is not a large part of the post, so read it if you like; it is the latter that caught my attention and that I feel deserves yours as well. His closing paragraph was especially poignant, I thought.
Have a great week!

-N

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is a hard teaching...

LSU's Anglican chapel, St. Alban's, has a weekly "Lunch with C. S. Lewis" event on Wednesdays; this is supplemented by daily readings in the Lewis anthology The Business of Heaven, which we discuss over lunch at the meetings.
Today's lunch saw a focus on a selection taken from a piece of his called Christian Apologetics wherein Lewis is concerned with the debate of the truthfulness of the faith.
One of the great difficulties is to keep before the audience's mind the question of Truth. They always think you are recommending Christianity not because it is true but because it is good. And in the discussion they will at every moment try to escape from the issue 'True - or False'...

This lead us to consider how we are to present these truths. 'Speak the truth in love', yes. But what of the 'hard teachings' that 'no one can understand', to bring to mind Jesus's own audiences?
One of my fellow lunch-goers suggested that there is a mind in American Christianity to see converts now(another influence of the microwave?), and I agree. There is also, I'm afraid, an aversion to the prospect of speaking a truth that is not well received. This aversion seems at odds with the Great Commission and, I believe, would have wiped out the vast majority of the history of the church, were it present then.
My conclusion: the hard teachings must be taught. We can't hold back the more demanding or less enticing details of the call of Christ, i.e. to take up our crosses and follow Him, for the sake of a happy audience. No, we must learn to accept that there will be times when they turn away from us grumbling "who can understand it", and the only other result is that a seed was planted. But, to quote Kevin Whitfield, since when has planting seeds been a failure?

-N

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Scot McKnight on the Emerging Church

This article is on CT right now, with a self-identifying emerging church member is trying to debunk some myths about the "most controversial and misunderstood movement in the church today."
Having heard some rather harsh and seemingly unintelligent diatribe against the emerging movement myself, I'm all for the presentation of a more unbiased(or perhaps simply biased from a different side?) take on the movement. The Five Streams of the Emerging Church. Check it out.

-N

Monday, January 15, 2007

C. S. Lewis Strikes Back


This is from The Business of Heaven's January 9th reading that I thought was really interesting:
We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.


-N

Monday, January 01, 2007

SEX... God


I had(somehow) forgotten about this book until browsing a Christianbook.com catalog a few days ago and stumbling onto Rob Bell's sophomore title, Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality.
Yes... Sex God.
I love how Bell has chosen what, at a glance, could be the most controversial title of a book that he could, with the possible exceptions of Leading the Emerging Church to the Throne of Satan: An Autobiography and Harry Potter and the Gods of Mars Hill. As if Mr. Bell needed more possible negative attention from conservatives.
If you'd like to learn more about and/or order Sex God, check out Christianbook.com or Amazon.

-N