Sunday, June 1, 2008

What's the alternative to doing laundry?

Before church this morning, I loaded my car for laundry, but the prospect of laundry was unbearable after church and I headed home. So I think that today's more cerebral. I started out the day early with discussion questions on Shelfari for chapter I of J I Packer's Knowing God. A few of my responses were lost into cyber space because I pushed the wrong button.

When I came home I watched the ending of the movie Time Out - which was very French and very moody and I gave it five stars (out of five). The actor Aurelien Recoing resembles Kevin Spacey in that he has a receding hairline, expressive eyes and dimples.

Then I tried yet another time to read N.T. Wright's article on Heaven that appeared in Christianity Today a while ago. I found it too difficult for me to follow, so I spent a few hours on the web reading related interviews, blogs, Wiki articles, and a few detours. What I've got so far is that I was right to distrust "Left Behind" popular theology and the LifeWay Sunday School drivel I've heard. But what Wright describes as a replacement is still confusing to me. I have images of myself picking arguments during funerals.

Now I'm watching a video from the National Cathedral. Wright is speaking about his book Simply Christianity. It is a lot easier for me to understand Wright's speaking than his writing. He uses a lot of commas in his speech and his writing, and they are a lot easier to follow with body language. (I add this later: It is an hour long, but it is a very worthwhile lecture!)

Well, now I still have to face molecular biology and my laundry.


Christopher said...

I'm only vaguely familiar with the "Left Behind" series. (never read the books, but have heard of them)

I find that I'm more forgiving of secular entertainment, because I know it's just that; entertainment. Not to say that is absent of negative moral and spiritual influences. With spiritual/"christian" themed media, I'm more cautious even skeptical, because I think that there can be a tendency to just go with something on the basis of it "sounding" right.

I had to weed through some things a while back that sounded as though they had some weight and validity to them, but as I surmised, ended up being more religious agenda than Scripturally based Christian doctrine, or so I believe. :)

Grace and peace be with you.

cathy b. said...

What turned me off about Left Behind was not the theology ... as my latest post hints, I'm not too good at coherent theology ... but it really bothered me that the main character is driving a well-equipped SUV.
Actually that does relate to NTW's critique of the idea that the earth is just place we consume and leave.

Christopher said...

Interesting view of planet earth by NTW, a co-worker shared this similar thought with me; though I'd have to disagree given that Adam was charged with the responsibility by God to work and take care of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15).

I've heard some say that the responsibility angle fro being good stewards of the earth are out the window since man has fallen, thus corrupting the original covenant.

I personally don't hold this view, as it's too close to playing into the idea of the 10 Commandments being voided since we are in a state of grace.

Anywho.. I think your hangup with the SUV has a little something to do with having a sense of stewardship. ;)

Grace and peace be with you Cathy

cathy b. said...

I'm not sure I've stated NTW well. He says that Heaven is on this planet and he's critical of the idea that heaven is in some place "out there".

Judging from others' comments, I'm guessing that NTW's ideas are like "soul sleep" which my former Sunday school class said was a ridiculous idea. (But I thought was as good as any) After some googling, I found that there are a wider variety of thoughts about heaven - and hell - that I'd imagined.

The NTW video also does a nice job of describing gnosticism and its influence on today's popular Christianity. ... and, as usual, I can't paraphrase it.

cathy b. said...

--- On Fri, 6/6/08, Christopher Stallworth Friday, June 6, 2008, 7:18 PM


I tried several times this evening to submit this comment, however I received no confirmation that the comment was held for moderation as usual, so I'm assuming that there might be a technical issue.

At the risk of sounding "preachy" or argumentative , I have to counter NTW's claim about where Heaven is. Not that I know where heaven is, however I believe from Scripture we get an idea of where it's not:

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
9"This, then, is how you should pray:" 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,10 your kingdom come,your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.

These were the words of Jesus, & notice that in His speech, He made a distinction, between the Fathers will being done on earth as compared to as it (the Father's will) is done (practiced) in heaven.

Here's something else from the Bible to consider also; from John 14:1-4, again Jesus' words:

1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going."

I realize that those verses may not give an answer to the question of where exactly is heaven, but I think they offer evidences that counter NTW's idea(s)on the "location" of heaven.

I did a little research this afternoon over NTW, found an interesting interview, of which there are many aspects that I agree with." target=_blank

Sorry for the long winded emial/post,but I felt an obligation to point out & share this with you.

Grace and peace be with you

Dear Chris,

Did you read NTW on the topic?
I'd hate to be the one to paraphrase or argue on what he has to say.

I really like this from the Wittenburg Door article you recommended
"Too much debate about scriptural authority has had the form of people hitting one another with locked suitcases. It is time to unpack our shorthand doctrines, to lay them out and inspect them. Long years in a suitcase may have made some of the contents go moldy. They will benefit from fresh air, and perhaps a hot iron."

The man IS gifted.

Christopher said...


First I would like to apologize to you, it occurs to me that yesterdays comment could be received as being antagonistic in attitude. This especially since I seem to have confused what he is saying, my train of thought was thinking present tense while he obviously was not.

For the sake of brevity, & focus on my part. :) , I do admit that what NTW is saying does appear to have weight. Spent some more time reading scripture & the articles last night. I'm not sold completely though, given John14:1-4.

Nonetheless, I hope that I don't come off as sounding like one of those folks with a locked suitcase :)

The bottom-line is that there are Biblical topics that are going to perplex us from time to time. As much as I would like to have in my mind a concrete answer to this puzzle now; I realize that the goal is not to be able to answer some cosmic quiz at the end of this journey, but rather to be accountable for living up to God's standards.

My brain feels like a slice of bacon frying on a griddle. :)

Grace and peace be with you Cathy.