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Lo-Fi Monk

Posts Tagged ‘God’

Making Sense of the Incarnation Notes

Simply knowing that God has moved into the neighborhood is not the same thing as living like God has moved into the neighborhood. Said differently, you may know God is near, but how do you interact with this God? What difference does the Incarnation make in your life or the way you live your life? God is in our midst! The Kingdom of Heaven is within you and all around you! So what!?! Read More »

God’s Voice in The Shack

“I am what some would say ‘holy, and wholly other than you.’ The problem is that many folks try to grasp some sense of who I am by taking the best version of themselves, projecting that to the nth degree, factoring in all the goodness they can perceive, which often isn’t much, and then call that God. And while it may seem like a noble effort, the truth is that it falls pitifully short of who I really am. I’m not merely the best version of you that you can think of. I am far more than that, above and beyond all that you can ask or think.”
God, The Shack

Are We Willing to Make Adjustments to Heed God’s Call?

Many of us ask God for an assignment, or look hard to see where God is at work, but then hesitate or refuse to make necessary adjustments. Jesus exemplifies willingness to make an adjustment: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Other Biblical examples: Noah could not continue life as usual and build an ark at the same time (Gen 6); Abram could not stay in Ur or Haran and father a nation in Canaan (Gen 12.1-8); Moses could not stay on the back side of the desert herding sheep and stand before Pharaoh at the same time (Ex. 3); David had to leave his sheep to become a king (1 Sam. 16. 1-13); Amos had to leave the sycamore trees in order to preach in Israel (Amos 7.14-15); Jonah had to leave his home and overcome a major prejudice in order to preach in Nineveh (Jonah 1.1-2; 3.1-2; 4.1-11); Peter, Andrew, James, and John had to leave their fishing business in order to follow Jesus (Matt. 4.18-22); Matthew had to leave his tax collector’s boot to follow Jesus (Matt. 4-18-22); Saul (Paul) had to completely change directions in his life in order to be used of God to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9.1-19).

God Really is Loving Transformation

God is love. God’s story of redemption – or recreation - can be found in both Testaments of the Christian Bible. God’s loving re-creation first involves reconnection between the person and God. The Biblical narrative consistently portrays God as holy reconciler. God desires to enter into authentic individual and communal relationships with all people. Read More »

The Symbols for God and Our Creative Imaginations

We use a lot of symbols to articulate our understanding of God. I think a lot of unnecessary arguments between believers occur as a result of a misunderstanding of symbols and symbolic language. Symbols are relative constructs inherently linked to the communities that create them. Said differently, our symbols for God are not immutable or exhaustive constructs. God is immutable and exhaustive, which is the reason for our need for evocative symbols in the first place. How does one articulate with words the reality of an immutable and exhaustive God without a transient, culture-bound, symbol? Read More »

The Narrative Wonder of the Christian Storybook

God intends to be known. We all desire to know God intimately, deeply, and personally. Our instinctive longing for authentic intimacy with God is often hijacked by a subtle and deceptive misappropriation powered by a variety of seductive, carnal, and detrimental vices and temptations of a corporeal nature. It’s quite hard to figure out what to do with this “God-shaped hole” living deep within each one of us. We are offered a myriad of substitutions, fillers, and replacements, but the real thing is the only thing that will ever do. We all need God. So, where do we look for God? Where can we hear from God? The answer to this question is ridiculously simple, in spite of the seemingly endless stream of audible ideological voices and philosophical sales pitches persistently vying for our immediate attention and allegiance. Read More »

What Difference does Theological Thinking Make?

I recently stumbled upon and purchased a very, very interesting read: Theology That Matters: Ecology, Economy, and God, Edited by Darby Kathleen Ray. The book is constructed upon a very important question: “What difference does theological thinking make?” Theology does sometimes seem totally irrelevant, as far as the big and immediate picture that is life and living are concerned. Theologians tend to spend much time and energy on insider jargon, ecclesiastics, and apologetic-based arguments designed to meet the needs of an insatiable academy and its spiritual-sounding but extremely individualized ritual of cognitive calisthenics. Read More »

God’s Plot: Your Life as Narrative!

What is your story? You are aware that you have a story, aren’t you? You do! Your story is undoubtedly rich, complex, inspiring, challenging, heartbreaking, heartwarming, compelling and authentic. All of these things – and so much more - are an integral part of your personal narrative. More integral than any of these is, however, the part played in your story by God. Yes, God is there! God is there, acknowledged or ignored. Life is narrative; if life is narrative then God is the ultimate narrator. Your life, just beneath its barest surfaces, may read as if no author was present, but your very existence and/or presence points toward story and story points toward an author. God is the ultimate author. Life is God’s story. Your life is the most beautiful narrative ever crafted! Do you live as if it were true? Read More »

Finding God in Our Difference and Diversity

Note: I am presently participating in a seminary class re: Judaism. Thankfully, it is a class actually taught by a Rabbi, rather than the more familiar academic and experiential fiasco that is a Christian prof. attempting to teach Judaism. There is an authentic difference. This class is one of my semester highlights, to say the least. Jesus of Nazareth, my Lord and Savior, was Jewish, after all. Right? At any rate, onward toward conversation … Read More »

David Bentley Hart: On God’s Omnipotence.

I was recently introduced to David Bentley Hart, an Eastern Orthodox theologian and author of “The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth” (Erdmans). He has also taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas, Duke University and Loyola College in Baltimore. His book “The Doors of the Sea: Where was God in the Tsunami?” is a required text in my independent study re: the problem of suffering. My take so far on the theologian and his book? A few words instantly pop into my mind as I reflect on what I have read thus far: “Awesome.” “Deep.” “Challenging.” “Orthodoxy.” This is one serious theologian. He is the real deal. I think he is fantastic. Why? I will offer an example of this man’s theological thinking in the following excerpt from “The Doors of the Sea” which specifically addresses a historical problem. Read More »