Showing posts from February, 2009

Week of Ash Wednesday 09

I have posted before on Ash Wednesday (or during that week). I'd like to continue that mini tradition. As always on blog, I break all rules of writing process and begin with no idea where I'm heading. Kinda like therapy :)

I begin by noting that the post below is mostly rant. That is fine. If I had time, I'd estimate what percentage of the Psalms could be labeled "rant." A fair chunk, I think. So, I continue that tradition, as well.

My spiritual health has improved since I entered discernment in November; I have no doubt. I have more faith, a stronger connection to God (or if you wish, the Divine) and I feel motivated to begin things at my church, a book study for example, where before I had only nebulous goals and a less focused motivation. This summer I'm thinking of using a novel with religious themes; maybe doing that again in the fall or perhaps doing a gospel study. I'd love to do a blended academic/devotional study of Mark where we read the…

Seeing Seminary

I visited a seminary recently, an Episcopal seminary, and those of you who are in my facebook (which is most of the margin) know the gist: well, part of the gist. Overall, the experience was very powerful, deeply communal, and even though I was scared half the time I was there I felt very centered, very home. I thought again: man, this is what I should be doing, this is where I should be using my gifts.

Since I entered Discernment my spiritual life has clearly improved. I was mired in doubt-dialectic, the obsessive alternative to spiritual experience and faith, but discernment has kicked me into a solid spiritual place for the most part. My wife and I are putting more energy into our little parish; we have decided to stick it out and dig in for now. And I already want to use it as a sort of early field the M.Div., one has to do one or two years of field ed, often at a parish, sort of playing priest-ette, assisting, and getting support during the process. On the j…

More From the Rough

I went back and read the post below and really don't like it. If I am going to bring in Paul's comments in Corinthians I feel I should have a library of secondary sources behind me...I don't. But I want to say one more thing (and I really do wish I had more time for this):

As I note below, some of the more moving (for me) ethical passages in the Torah come when Israel is reminded that they themselves were delivered from slavery and oppression. To me, a very similar thing is critical to understanding Paul.

Paul really does seem to say (and I find Horsley's notes in my Oxford study bible very thought-provoking) that singleness trumps marriage unless the sexual passions are just too powerful. Now, this may be in response to some ascetic sexual practices among the Corinthians as Horsley maintains. But it's hard not to see Paul elevating the unmarried state, and suggesting that those engaged (or maybe, I think I read elsewhere, with virgin daughters) remain celibate a…

Some Opening (Rough) Thoughts on the Bible

It seems the only times I get time to post is when my wife is in bed and I am up later, an infrequent thing. But here I am, at only 10:00, been reading about Rob Bell at BW3's site for an hour (and much on homosexuality); a friend gave me Velvet Elvis and I have read a little. The funky format bothers me, but will read more when I can.

So, this little post is not about Rob Bell.

Nor is it a full treatment of the Bible, homosexuality, or any of the other things I have said I would write on here. But is is a beginning. A snapshot of my current struggle/thought.

My understanding of the Bible must begin with how I read the NT. I am no NT scholar, but I know its contents decently well, with maybe a weakness in Hebrews...for some reason I have never gotten around to reading that entire letter. But the four gospels I know, and the epistles, decently. And let me just say this: I think Paul's letters are just that, Paul's letters. Did Paul have a miraculous conversion exper…

Wind Moving Through Branches

I'm sitting in my office at work with about fifteen minutes before I'm "on," teaching Frost and talkin bout writin. My gig. Not a bad gig.

But I wanted to say a few things: one, I am moving toward a fuller committment to writing on this blog. It's good for me, mostly. And it is something I enjoy. As I've been sorting out what I can and can't do in ministry now and in the next few years, one thing I know I can do: spew here. Having to read the entire bible for Discernment is extremely is like being immersed to my neck in a fast moving river of ideas; I can't help but need to sort through that. I don't attempt formal apologetics here; well, maybe I did years ago a little, but now I would like to say some things on that topic (main point: in my experience, belief and lack of belief in religious experience go much deeper than clean reason). Oh, well, I just want to write more here is all. I'm not BW3 and will likely never b…