Friday, August 16, 2013

Social Media, Henri Nouwen and Loneliness

This year I spent nearly every waking hour with the 11 other people in my
program.  Even my sleeping hours were shared, since I had two roommates.  It was likely one of the least lonely times in my life.

st anthony
St. Anthony
Those who led the program wisely planned days on the calendar for us to seek silence and solitude.  These were not days to "get away" from each other, but rather days to practice an ancient spiritual discipline.  I turned off my phone and computer (warning family beforehand) and sought to be alone before God for 9 hours.

Solitude?  Isn't that considered a punishment?  Only sometimes.  I would like to consider the relationships between being alone and being lonely and between solitude and social media.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

the King Jesus gospel - some resources.

As you may have noticed, I've been doing quite a lot of thinking about church and the gospel.  On one level, it's all quite simple.  This is something I am reminded of time and time again when I celebrate communion.  This is why anyone - old and young, educated or not, rich or poor - can know and follow Christ.  Each one of us responds to God in our lives in a simple but profound way.

On the other hand, I know from experience that - paradoxically - beginning to understand this 'simple' Gospel is far from simple.  A couple of authors in particular have been very helpful to me in connecting the dots and helping me get a fuller understanding of who Christ is and how he fits with everything else in the Bible (or maybe how everything else fits with him!).

The first is N.T. Wright.  This New Testament scholar and prolific writer clearly loves Christ and cares deeply about his readers.  His writing is refreshingly good, and he makes efforts to speak to several different audiences.  I will note here two books I have read and one I would like to read:
             
The first is written to any Christian who is thoughtful about their faith.  The second two are more aimed at seminary students and pastors, I believe, but I think they are well worth the read.  I have only read the first two; Jesus and the Victory of God is on my reading list)

The second author is Scot McKnight.  On a recent family road trip, my dad suggested we listen to a series of talks McKnight gave at Regent College in 2012. (If you think this is a strange road trip activity, you don't know my family yet!  Now you can see where I get it from...)  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND listening to these talks.  Yes, you have to pay a little for them, but Regent is a great school to support.  Alternatively, you can read his book.  I haven't read it yet, so my recommendation is given cautiously.
Here is the link to his talks on the King Jesus Gospel.

Happy listening/reading!  If you do read/listen to these, I'm happy to discuss them with you!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Delight

The thread of delight weaves its way through our lives, oft-unnoticed but essential.