Tuesday, March 22, 2011

random: piston hips and wintry mix

-i'm mad at spring.  under no circumstances should the words "wintry mix" be allowed once spring starts.  and yet there it is, staring at me from it's spot on the forecast right under the words "high of 39 degrees" in tomorrow's' forecast.  it's about this time of the year that i begin wondering if there is as need for methodist pastors in the caribbean. 

grace methodist church, bermuda

-if anyone follows the happenings in the christian culture, then you've undoubtedly read about the controversy surrounding rob bell's new book "love wins," which just came out.  for weeks before its release it has been a hot topic, as many of the more conservative voices have been calling him a heretic (again).  this time the accusations are that he has become a universalist, or that his new book, which deals with topics of heaven and hell, teaches universalism.  i haven't read the book yet, so i comment on that in particular, but i can say this: the words "love wins" do an absolutely fabulous job of summing up my theology.  that's what i believe about God and the universe - that in the end, love wins.  for me to believe that, and yet still believe that God will allow millions of souls to burn in eternal torment and suffering, is a very difficult line to walk theologically.  i'm not saying it can't be done, but it certainly seems like it is something worth asking some questions about, and as i understand it, that's all bell is doing in this latest book.  he's asking questions.  he's looking for truth in the gray areas of our doctrine, and not being afraid to ask the hard questions.  i have no idea who will end up in heaven or hell, and the moment i start to pretend like i do is the moment i need to seriously reflect on the state of my own heart/life, but i do believe this: love wins.  i'll be reading the book at some point, and i'm sure i'll have some more commentary then. 

-tomorrow i'll be teaching on the sevens.  at 7am i'm doing a devotion at one of the lutheran churches in town at a lenten breakfast they'll be holding.  i'll be teaching/talking about the part of the lord's prayer where Jesus teaches us to say, "thy kingdom come."  then, at 7pm i'll be preaching at my own church, continuing my lenten series on experiencing the "5 senses of the passion."  we'll be taking a look at this whole passion narrative through the lens of hearing.  with all of that, plus preparation for more evening services, my regualar sunday services, and maundy thursday and good friday services, i'm going to need a vacation when easter is over.  maybe to bermuda?

- i saw hines ward on dancing with the stars last night.  no, i'm not watching that show.  i just can't bring myself to do it.  but shannon had it on while she was reading and she called me in to see hines when his turn to dance came.  after he finished, the judges said things like, "sparkly," "light on your feet," and "you need to pump your hips like a piston."  sigh.  still, i was happy to see franco there waving a terrible towel, and i hope hines is at least mildly successful, but i sort of hope he doesn't get too far into the competition because then i might actually have to watch, and i'm not sure i can handle that. 

-now listening to: sleeping at last's march ep

-now reading: the girl who played with fire by stieg larsson, the yellow leaves by frederick buechner


Emoly said...

I would like to share something along the lines of Rob Bell's book: at youth group one of the kids said, "What do you think Bob Marley is doing up in heaven??" (the emphasis being the action, not whether or not he's there -sorry, the inflection doesn't come across in type.)

It made me laugh and honestly my first thought was, "is he really in heaven?" And then I immediately dismissed it because I have no say or idea whether or not Bob Marley, Hitler or even Mussolini are in heaven. But I loved the innocence of our youth, assuming that Bob Marley made it there (and then the conversation went on about what he might be doing there, we did squelch some of those ideas...)

Eric said...

Bob Marley is one of my favorite theologians! I did a series of devotions for sixth grade last year on ¨reggae theology.¨ Bob sings a fantastic translation of Philippeans 4:6... ¨don´t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright.¨

At the time, I was teaching at a Christian school on a Caribbean island, actually, and the kids loved it. Probably my most successful devotionals all year!

Emoly said...

Eric: our discussion was a result of a new "beverage" that some of our youth (Jr. high) found and tried and then discovered what was in it... I have nothing against Bob Marley just to be clear.

here's the link to said drink...


Eric said...


Haha, wow... the things they come up with these days. I hadn´t seen this one yet. It´s all good, anytime I can drop Bob Marley and reggae theology, I try too, haha... gotta love youth group discussions!

greg. said...

i love it! two of my friends who never met one another discussing bob marley and theology on my blog!

i've finally made it as a blogger.


seriously, it delights me that there was a mini-conversation here. i am always hoping for some dialogue and feedback, and this was about as close as i've gotten, so thank you!

as to bob marley, i don't have much to say as i am not an aficianado. however, as to whether or not the king of raggae is in heaven, i can only say that God's grace is a whole lot bigger than my legalism, so i'm not counting anyone out.

this blends into another topic (about which i've written before) that the conversation shouldn't be about who is "in" or "out." the conversation should be about how reckless and furious is the love of God for every one of us.

Emoly said...

that is very true greg! I hope we conveyed that to their young minds, although I'm certain they were already off on another topic before we could think of a retort/answer/deep theological thought. They are very much the, "ooh shiny!"