Monday, October 31, 2011

Scot McKnight on Junia – Part 1

Long-time readers know that I've followed Scot McKnight's blog, Jesus Creed, for several years now. So, naturally I wanted to see McKnight in person when he came to Fuller last week, sponsored by our school's continuing education department (and by the Burner Blog, which is produced by that department).

McKnight spoke on two occasions during his visit. The first was during our regularly-scheduled weekly chapel gathering, at which he spoke on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Although this was a challenging message worthy of commentary, I'm going to instead focus on the evening event, during which McKnight spoke about Romans 16, and specifically about the apostle Junia. The title of the lecture was "Junia is Not Alone in the Church."

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Reflectionary: Scripture for Worship on October 30, 2011

Here are the passages for October 30, 2011, the 31th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). All links are to the CEB via BibleGateway.com, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead (either with your own Bible, or via the drop-down menu at BibleGateway.com).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not a God of Unconditional Apathy

It has been said that the opposite of love is not hate, as is commonly supposed, but rather apathy. While I've heard this for a long while, I was nonetheless surprised by something said in a sermon I was listening to recently (but which was recorded a couple of years ago) that gave it a twist I'd never heard before.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sacred Place

A couple of weeks ago, the pastor at my church preached a message drawing from Genesis 22, where Jacob has a vision of God at Bethel. In it, the pastor pointed out how the passage took care to mention several times that Jacob was in "a certain place," and how Jacob marked that place after his experience there. The pastor then talked about the ways that God is experienced in certain places in our own lives. While he was careful to acknowledge that God can be experienced in any place, the pastor paid attention to the ways in which the biblical narrative calls out specific places as having special meaning to God's people, as was the case for Jacob at Bethel. We were invited to think of those places in which we experienced God, and although I ultimately was able to come up with several, the first location that came to mind was Montreat.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Reflectionary: Scripture for Worship on October 23, 2011

For those who've kept track, today's supposed to be the end of the world (less "again" this time and more "still"), according to Harold Camping. After the failure of the May 21st prophecies, the media hasn't said much about the "final end" that was supposed to come today. Although I've really already dealt with that issue back in May, I do want to at least mention the fact in passing.

That done, and since I have every reason to assume we'll all still be around, here are the passages for October 23, 2011, the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). All links are to the CEB via BibleGateway.com, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead (either with your own Bible, or via the drop-down menu at BibleGateway.com).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Humans Among Transformers Toys

Although the Transformers franchise has always been primarily about giant transforming robots, the folks behind the fiction have generally sought to include a human element to the saga from the very beginning. But the proportion of human representation in the toyline itself has always been fairly low. While this perhaps isn't an exhaustive accounting, I'll try to cover the bases.

The first attempt to include figures of human characters came in Generation One, with the advent of the Headmasters and Targetmasters (and, later, Powermasters). Technically, these aren't humans, but an alien race called Nebulans. However, in the Marvel comics, Nebulans were all but indistinguishable from humans, so I'll include them (and, Spike, the "Nebulan leader" who came with the original Fortress Maximus, was a human).

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Myth of the Middle Way

Fork in the road - geograph.org.uk - 1355424"The Truth Lies Somewhere in the Middle." I've been trained to believe this mantra for most of my life. "Everything in Moderation." "Don't go to Extremes." It's certainly easy to understand the appeal of such a teaching, especially in a world where extremism seems to be the cause of so many of the world's ills. But as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that there are certain areas where "the middle" is not only not always the best solution, but it may actively be worse than either of the poles it seeks to bridge.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Reflectionary: Scripture for Worship on October 16, 2011

Here are the passages for October 16, 2011, the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). All links are to the TNIV via BibleGateway.com, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead (either with your own Bible, or via the drop-down menu at BibleGateway.com).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not So Long Ago

Sherlock Holmes - The Man with the Twisted LipAlthough in some sense I consider myself a fan of pop culture, and even make that claim on this blog, it wouldn't take very much scrutiny of that idea to quickly learn that, in many respects, I'm rather behind the times. I'm only familiar with the popular music stars of today in the vaguest sense, I watch more television via Netflix than I do first-run episodes, and I spend more of my time in the car listening to Old Time Radio podcasts than I do to anything actually broadcast live.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Memories Evoked by "Brazil" and "Babka"

The students sat lined up behind the tables in opposing rows of four, square black pieces of plastic wedged firmly in their hands in anticipation. The moderator began to read the question.

"What third world country...?"

A buzzer sounded, cutting the question off. In Quick Recall, unlike the modern version of Jeopardy!, interrupting a question is actively encouraged. This has the potential payoff of rewarding a good prediction by getting a response in before the other team has even figured out what is about to be asked, but it also has the obvious risk of potentially requiring an answer before the crucial clue has even been revealed.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Reflectionary: Scripture for Worship on October 9, 2011

Here are the passages for October 9, 2011, the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). All Scripture links are to the CEB via BibleGateway.com unless otherwise noted, but if you prefer another translation, feel free to use that instead (either with your own Bible, or via the drop-down menu at BibleGateway.com).

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