Wednesday, November 25, 2009


"If you are really a product of a materialistic universe, how is it that you don't feel at home there?"
CS Lewis

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless--I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality--namely my idea of justice--was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."

~C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Derek Webb Live and Up Close

Quite possibly my favorite anti-americanity musician (who am I kidding? He's the best!), Derek Webb came to campus last weekend for a small private acoustic concert for Fuller students. Yep, my roommate and I scored front row seats. Lucky Derek doesn't spit when he sings, we really were that close. Just sayin'.

This man and his music are worth checking out, if you haven't heard (of) him before. His lyrics may push you, but take the time to examine what he's saying, and how it compares to your Bible. You may be surprised to find that He's giving us more Biblical truth than you favorite cable news network.

A word to my baby-boomer friends: this isn't the Christian music you may be used to, but it will shed some light on where we X'ers and Y'ers are coming from. It became infinitely more clear to me last spring, as I participated in a round of the Truth Project at my church, that there is a huge generational gap in perspective at work within the american church. So many still believe that this is a Christian nation, literally Christian. So so many of us know it isn't. At least not any more. I'm not saying we should pack it in and go into hiding; I'm just saying that our perspective has a huge influence on how we interact with others. If we are coming from the misapprehension that everyone already knows who Jesus is, and that we just need to get this country 'back on track' we're sadly mistaken.

There are so many people right next to us who don't know what our Jesus-lingo means, and the only representative of Christ that they are getting exposed to are defensive talking heads who condemn. Of course we all have sin, and I'm not saying that God's just fine with it. But stop for a moment and consider, if you didn't know what sin is from God's perspective, and someone pointed their finger at you and told you that you're terrible and that you're damned for eternity for being who you are, would you be enticed to listen to anything they want to call 'good news'?

We do everyone a disservice if we think we're all on the same page. Maybe fifty years ago the nation was churched enough to know what all the lingo meant. But we're not in Kansas any more. And America is not the New Jerusalem.

Quote of the Day

"Unfortunately, art itself seems to be in a crisis. It, too, has forgotten its service to beauty. May philosophers of art and art critics have lost conviction that art has any connection to the beautiful. Art has become, instead, a self-conscious dialogue with itself."
Alejandro R. Garcia-Rivera

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Quote of the Day

"People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, 'If you keep a lot of rules, I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the other thing.' I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a Heaven creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is Heaven: that is, it is joy, and peace, and knowledge, and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other."
~C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Monday, November 2, 2009

An up and coming ministry you should know about

I returned yesterday afternoon from a beautiful retreat center nestled in the lovely village of Montecito. I found out about the retreat from the professor of one of my courses at Fuller, and signed up for various reasons, not knowing what to really expect. To my delight, however, the lovely leader, Kristen, came into our class the day before the retreat to briefly speak. She was a total kick in the pants, even a kindred spirit. It was for this and several other reasons that I was embarrassed and shocked when one of my peers in the class was so condescending to her. Here was an intelligent, articulate and studied woman trying to make a point, and when she paused to gather her thoughts, he raised his hand and offered "can I finish your thought?" and proceeded to tell her in essence, that she should have children because they are "healing" (see her blog where she recounts the incident with more detail). There are enough things wrong with what went down in that moment that I could rant out a whole other post that would probably not glorify God nor do anyone any good. So I'll get back to my point.

Like I said, I wasn't sure what exactly to expect at a retreat focusing on the issues involved in women's sexuality and what we could really address in less than 48 hours together. I have been part of two or three Bible studies that attempted to address this topic, and often it took weeks before participants were willing to be honest about their self image, the things that had hurt them, or past experiences. I was surprised at the speed at which the leaders took our topic to the heart of the matter, rapidly creating an atmosphere of trust and even blunt honesty that I wish could happen just as quickly and gently at all women's retreats. I was blown away at the number of women I could think of that I wished could have been there to participate. NOT because I could think of a list of women who were troubled, or needed fixing, but simply women who'd been hurt, or neglected, or believed a cruel word said to them. Women who still experience guilt or shame over some aspect of their body, appearance or femininity.

This retreat wasn't a quick fix. In fact, I left holding onto permission from Christ that I am not some broken woman who needs to be sent off to be fixed--as if there is a one-stop-shop Jiffylube womanhood mechanic that can wipe my memory, lipo my belly, and do my hair and makeup in an afternoon. Sure, there's some tender spots that Jesus and I can work on. Some grace I need to accept. This is something I think so many women need to recognize about themselves.

So, without further ado, I direct you to Kristen's ministry: A Beautiful Mess. Please visit her site, wander around, read her fabulous blog, get your mind spinning.