Hyper-tension

I wanted to spend some time talking about Dialectical theology today—I know sounds terrifying, but just stay with me for a minute. Around the turn of the 20th century Dialectical Theology became a popular way of thinking about faith and God and all the big questions. Karl Barth may be one of the more prominent theologians who advocated for this approach. The idea here is that we aren’t necessarily looking for answers, but instead, we are looking for tensions. For example, on one end of the spectrum is ideological and on the end is practical. There is a need for both of these approaches, however, if we become completely ideological, we lose our ability to live within the world around us. If we become too realistic, we fall out of touch with the radical nature of the gospel and the places where God is pushing us to pursue the kingdom. Neither approach is an answer unto itself, but living in

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Tight Rope Walking

I am not a terribly big fan of Deepak Chopra, but I think the quote of his that we are using as the opening meditation for the bulletin this week is spot on. “I use memories, but I will not allow memories to use me.” As we continue our journey of letting go and leaving it at the table this week, we hit an interesting topic—The Past. Certainly, there is something to be said about letting go of the hurts and the grudges of the past that have prevented us from being who God called us to be. There is even something to be said about letting go of the victories of the past that have come to cloud our understandings of the present. However, all that being said, there is certainly a need to hold in tension the memories and traditions of the past, and yet, not allowing them to completely take hold of the present. There is perhaps

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Vengeance is…

This week’s challenge for leaving it at the table, may be one of the more difficult for many of us—VENGEANCE. How many of us have something for which we want to get even? How many of us would like to see the people that have wronged us receive their just deserts? How many of us, no matter how many times Jesus says, “Turn the other Cheek,” still want to see that enemy of ours bite the dust? Well the answer is…all of us. This is yet another example of how hard it is to let go of our brokenness. In fact, one of the things that Debi and I used in our Bible Studies this week was a Google NGram search of the word “vengeance.” Google NGram is a project that is trying to add every word written in the English language to a searchable site on Google so that we can see how those words were used over time.

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MIdrash or Echo Chamber?

Dear Covenant Kin, Many of my reflections have centered around how we understand scripture, and there are a couple of reasons for this. First, though most of my reflections feature prominently the ideas of thinkers much more profound then myself, many of the ideas I relate are not necessarily the mainstream or the norm for our Christian culture. A lot of what gets written in these reflections cannot be assumed, and even runs contrary to Christian tradition. Secondly, understanding scripture is a life long journey, and our understanding of scripture should be constantly evolving. All that being said, we are spending time thinking about scripture again today. The Jewish tradition has a bit of a different way of reading scripture (the same scripture) than we do. What I am referring to is Midrash—the idea that to understand scripture we pull together centuries of thought and reflection of great minds upon the same subject. Of course, one important aspect of this

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