Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Untitled

Let's be honest, I can't think of anything original to call this. "Cheesus" was already taken...

[HT: Chris Rosebrough]

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Photo Friday


A couple photo's today. A little late I know, but I was on call at the hospital last night and then all day today. The first photo was featured on the front page of Chicago Public Radio Thursday.
Also today (14th) is my sister's birthday. She's 22, but you wouldn't know that because she's getting a bike for her birthday. I think. That's what I was told at least.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Keller in Chicago

I was finally able to convince someone to with me to hear Tim Keller at the University of Chicago Friday night. My roommate's non-girlfriend, Kelly, headed down with me and we made it right on time, but were put in the overflow room. They had a nice video projector up and it seemed like the sound was going to be great, but when Tim got up to talk, the problems started. It was very annoying and distracting throughout, but I know the sound guys were freaking out about it more than anyone else in the room. Parts of the audio were lost, or truncated, at times, but, Lord willing, the message overcame. Oh, and they were using Macs, unlike another popular pastor.

In typical Keller fashion, he was able to come across winsomely and intelligently. He clearly explained that everyone is believing in something. Whether it's Christianity or Atheism, both are based on empirical arguments that have exclusivity claims. When he went to frame the Gospel, he did so in a very unique way. Instead of coming out and saying "here's the Gospel" or now listen to this, he first joked that "Now, I'm going to solve all our problems. And you can say you were here when it happened." Then he told us Christians to listen up, because he was talking to us, but he wanted the skeptics to overhear.

The Q&A was very well done, having both written comments and personal questions being asked. Further he answered very well, first deconstructing their argument and then answering them in a non-offensive way. One example: some one asked about the Christian sexual ethic. First Christianity has a way of offending someone from every culture. Jesus says to forgive 70 times 7, and we say "Yes, of course. Forgiveness is good." But then we question when sex is brought up. "Sex only between a man and a woman in marriage? That's crazy." But if you go to India, they say, "Yes, sex is only between a man and a woman in marriage, but forgiveness is a horrible idea. Vengeance is the way." But as Christians we are called to love our neighbor. So, in Tim's words, my neighbor who is Indian, I love. I care for him in whatever way I can. But he's not an elder in my church. Every community, he continues, has its standards for who's in and who's out. That's what defines a community. Christians are just the same.

I don't know how many people who read "me" know who Keller is, but he's the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, NYC. He just put out a book called The Reason for God, which I did end up buying Friday night. If you haven't heard of him and don't want to drop the $14.95 at Amazon, he has some great audio out there. On the website for the book, there are some downloads, but the three that I would suggest one listen to are from a Resurgence conference (sessions 6, 7, 8) he did a couple years ago. Further, Steve McCoy has a bunch of Keller audio on his site. And I just found, Veritas has his talk that he did at Columbia University.

Below are my notes from the evening, which may or may not make sense. Please enjoy responsibly.

Tim Keller- Veritas Forum
7 March 2008 UChicago

  • Doubting
    • Jude "Be merciful to those who doubt."
    • Matt. 18 "Please help my unbelief."
  • Why are people so skeptical?
    • The exclusivity claims of Christianity
      • divisive, narrow.
      • Yes, they are one of the main reasons.
  • Five ordinary ways people deal with the exclusivity claims
    1. Hope it away
      1. The Still Born God, Mark Lilla
        1. The liberal mainline god
      2. science
    2. Outlaw it away
      1. China-- just makes it more indigenous
    3. Argue it away
      1. deconstructs evolutionary thought
    4. Condemn it away
      1. It's exclusive
    5. (I don't have this one)
  • Jesus: John 14
  • All religions are equally right?
    • Utterly impossible
    • Jesus says "I am God come to find you"
    • All other religious founders say "I am here to show you God."
    • Elephant analogy
    • It's not narrow to make an exclusive truth claim, everyone is trying to make an exclusivity claim.
    • Narrowness is your attitude toward people, not toward other beliefs.
    • Cultural claims are exclusive.
  • Tim's Suggestions
    • we need to realize our secular world-view as privileged
    • Christians need to recognize that we have been part of the problem, only then can we begin to be a part of the solution.
  • Moral performance narrative
    • Hard not to look down your nose.
  • Grace narrative
    • Christ went to the cross and died
    • A salvation that is accomplished in weakness can only be accepted in weakness.
  • "Have you ever seen an Amish fundamentalist?"
  • Depends on your fundamentals
    • A man dying for his enemies
  • Christianity absolutely atrophies when it gets into bed with power.
  • Cultural Biases
    • Sexual vs. Forgiveness ethics
  • Figure out which 2/3s of your beliefs g-kid's won't accept.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Photo


Foxy and Toy, originally uploaded by notashamed.

I don't have any new photos-- haven't been able to get out lately. I have been catching up with my readings though, so that's a good thing.

This is an old one of Foxy. I've been dreaming about and seeing Boxers all over the place, sometimes when they're not even there.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

In Memorandum

I received an email this morning-- the first one that I read-- relaying that the first floor guys' bikes were stolen out of the basement. As I had my bike stored down there also and needed to do my laundry, I gathered my dirty clothes and headed down quickly. When I turned the corner and looked, where my bike had previously rested, it was no longer. I set my basket down and tore my clothes putting on sackcloth and ashes. I do admit to shedding a tear for my stolen bike.

Some of you may scoff and think, who cries over a stinking bike? Beyond the monetary loss, it held many memories for me. After my first bike that I had in college was stolen, I worked over the next summer and saved up enough to be able to purchase my Sugar. I logged many hours and miles on that baby. It was my primary escape when I was in college. It went with me to Colorado and carried me to and from work. I flew over the handle bars many times. But she treated me good. Her plush hindquarters allowed me to fly over rocks and roots with ease. I bombed down major sections of trail and she carried me to victory over my friends multiple times.

Since getting to Chicago, I've only ridden her a handful of times, but I always kept her by my side, knowing that some day I would have the opportunity to get her back out on some respectable terrain. And so in memory of my Sugar, I present the following montage. All the photos were taken in Manhattan, Ks my last semester at K-State, when Michael and Steve came to visit and I attempted "the jump." Steve, the cameraman, cut my head off in my second to last attempt, and encouraged my to do it "one more time." In the last photo, you can see the result of the "one more time." Good times, Sugar. Good times.





Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Storytellers: Pearl Jam

Just last night I was recounting the story of how I got into rock music back in middle school. I can remember going over to Michael's house one afternoon after school and him telling me that he found some new music. He put it in his Aiwa and turned it up. The CD was Pearl Jam's Ten. Songs like "Even Flow," "Jeremy," "Once" moved me to be a lover of the guitar and rock. Pearl Jam is on Storyteller's this afternoon and Vedder tells the story of the song "Alive." Of how the autobiographical song and the phrase "I'm still alive" was redefined.

ER || Chaplaincy

I've been meaning to watch this clip for a while. I didn't get to see the original airing of the episode of ER, but had heard about the next day during my CPE time. It's a very powerful presentation of actual needs that people have during their pain.



Speaking out of my own chaplaincy experience, I haven't been in such a situation as the above. It's hard, though, to know when to stop asking clarifying questions, leaving people to deal with their own theology and when to come forth with Gospel-centered, Jesus-saturated truth. Knowing when those moments are is difficult and if you miss them, in the words of Donnie Brasco-- Fugget about it.

I was pushed to that point last Tuesday when I went to visit a single mother who was about to lose her baby at 17 weeks, who, again, was conceived out of wedlock. Her poignant question came about an hour into the conversation. We were talking about whether the loss of this baby was punishment for having sex outside of marriage-- which she rightly understood as sin. She asked, "But isn't there punishment for sin?" "Yes, yes there is. But for those who are in Christ, that punishment has been paid by Jesus on the cross." It wasn't the time to ask what she thought; it was time to offer her hope in the midst of her pain and loss. It was time to offer her the Gospel.

Just before I saw the above clip I saw the below one. In it John Piper offers a much different picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.