Monthly Archives: October 2006

what do you think?

Jesus wasn’t very good at math.

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

So, the guy asks for one law, and Jesus gives him two. Sometimes I don’t understand how the guy could let Jesus get away with giving him these laws (plural) when he asked for the most important (singular) one. I think I probably would have spoken up if I were there:

“Jesus, I just asked what’s the most important thing to God. Not what the most important two things are. Help me out here.”

“I told you, that is the most important thing. Love God and love people.”

“But, isn’t loving God more important? By the way, why are you speaking with a British accent?”

“It doesn’t work that way, and I only talk that way when I’m acting in movies. Sometimes I don’t even blink.”

“Ok, fine. But, if you had to choose what’s more important, which one would it be?”

I guess there’s bound to be some communication problems when a North American Christian living in the 21st century interacts with a 1st century Middle Eastern man. I think much differently. Why do we continually take the words and deeds of Jesus and put them in the context of our affluent and individualistic lives?

Jesus was completely incapable of separating the two commandments, yet we continue to elevate one above the other. I wonder why we think we have to separate them, and am still trying to understand exactly what happens (to our relationship with God and other people) when we do.

Lately, I’ve been trying to understand why we think the way we think, and how the way we as North American Christians have been taught to think affects our understanding of God and our outward expressions of our belief in Him. Quite a complex sentence and subject, I know, but just think about it!

(the stoic Jesus pictured above is from the movie Jesus of Nazareth. Watch it sometime and count how many times Jesus blinks.)

letter to a christian nation by sam harris

To me, the title of this book sounded like what could be someone’s attempt to write what God might say to the church in America. God’s 8th letter in Revelation, perhaps. Well, not so much. Sam Harris can be considered a frontline opponent to any theistic belief system, more specifically Christianity in America (as the book title suggests). I just ran across a video of him speaking at a conference in Canada where he actually opened by saying, “I’m probably going to offend a few people here.” Let me get this straight: he was in Canada, at a conference with people just like him, and he said he’d offend people? I actually heard chuckles in the crowd. I guess he was expecting some opposition. I would link to it here, but decided I really didn’t want anyone who reads this to actually click on it, thus wasting even a moment of their life listening to him. Listen, I’m not the type of guy who would say something like that just because this guy’s goal in life is to “destroy the intellectual and moral pretensions of Christianity in its most committed forms” (that means your faith in God). In fact, I encourage Christians to know why people are atheists and on what grounds. I just honestly think what he has to say is complete foolishness. I was sort of expecting him to logically run through some arguments for his disbelief, but really, the entire speech was a bunch of long words when he could have just said “Christianity in America is stupid.” Honestly, after listening to him for a few minutes, it just made me sad. I like what Albert Mohler has to say about him.

So why did I even post on this at all? Well, its late, I ran across it, was bored, and if anyone asks you who Sam Harris is, now you know.

protection, from what?

“…there’s no issue more important than protecting the American people. It’s the calling of the 21st century. The most important job for the federal government is to protect you.” – President Bush

 

Safety and security. Two good things that I believe lead to two bad things in complacency and self-reliance. I’m certainly not advocating for bombings, war, instability and insecurity in America, and I hope this is not read as a “President Bush is stupid” post (although he does provide some great humor right?). But sometimes I feel like we are only being “protected” from complete and total reliance upon God. Read Acts 14:19-20:

 

“Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city.”

 

Let me get this straight: Paul gets stoned to the point where he’s a bloody mess, he’s unconscious, people thought he was even dead. After his health was restored (what exactly happened when the “disciples gathered around him” anyway? Did they heal him?), he goes back into the city? How reckless. If there was one guy in the world who didn’t care about his own safety, comfort and security, (in light of his calling to serve Christ) it definitely had to be, well….. Jesus, but Paul would have to be a close second. I want to be like those guys. If it’s reckless, crazy, insane, whatever, that’s what I want to be. (and yes, that is Will Ferrell in the picture)

 

ccda conference

ccda.jpgIf I planned my life better, I probably would have at least attempted to go to the CCDA Conference this year in Philadelphia. There were a few seminars that looked really good. Fortunately for me, all of you, and everyone in the world, each of the workshops and plenary sessions are available on the website to download. I haven’t listened to any of them yet, but the first one I’ll download is the plenary session with Ray Bakke. Check them out.

dodgers clintch

Gia surprised me with tickets to the game yesterday. I woke up with tickets under my pillow, so apparently she’s already practicing for when we have kids and they lose their teeth. So the Ticket Fairy came two nights ago, and I didn’t even have to lose any teeth. Dodgers won, clintched a playoff berth, and it couldn’t have come at a better time or place. You might think the Dodgers clintched behind a solid Maddux performance. Perhaps the win was due to aggressive base running that saw Kenny Lofton and Jeff Kent score on plays that they shouldn’t have. Maddux even got into the action and swiped a base (after he slid into 2nd, I honestly didn’t think he would get up). You might think Saito had something to do with the win by shutting the Giants down again in the 9th. You should think, however, the Dodgers won because Davis was there again on the 161st game of the season. In 2004, on the 2nd to last game of the season, I was at Dodger Stadium to watch the Dodgers win the division, and again in 2006, on the 2nd to last game of the season, Davis was at it again. Clearly the Dodgers can’t get into the playoffs unless I watch them play on the 2nd to last game of the season.

Aside from all the nonsense in the last paragraph, it was a great game. There were so many Dodger fans there it honestly didn’t feel like we were in San Francisco. After the last out, the place seriously errupted. It was pretty awesome to see the Dodgers celebrate on SF’s field. Believe me, I’m not gloating. All I’m saying is it’s about time Giants fans understand what it’s like to be a Dodger fan.