Showing posts from August, 2013

I am Miley, I am Thicke, I Too Am Sick

In the first article I wrote about Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke's performance at MTV's VMAs, I argued from the standard of beauty.  I judged the performance to be less than art because it was not meaningful nor did it add virtue to our society.  Instead it exposed us as illiterate fools because we did not discern the song long before we saw the dance.  In that article I wanted to offer a more secular response; examining ourselves as a society, appealing more to the ideals of excellence and intelligence that should exist in virtuous art and culture. Even though my argument may have pointed out (to those who received it well) some very important issues for us as a culture, the best we can do in response is to either do better or to dismiss it all together and see what happens next year.  The article may provoke us to scan our children's iPods before we plug them into their ears.  It may cause us, as a member of my previous congregation had done, to watch the Walton

What to Make of Miley

One Monday a year bombards us with highlight reels from the freak show circus that is the VMA's (aka MTV's Video Music Awards).  Yesterday was freak show Monday. The normal topics on freaky Monday are the run of the mill, garden variety things like: Who dressed in meat? Who kissed who (and that one could go in any number of directions)?  Who cussed more?  Who was more drunk? Who dissed who? Which stoned person interrupted another stoned person's performance with some sort of social, environmental issue rant?   Other than a 43 second out of shape and overweight, backlit NSync reunion, the freaky moment of the night went to Miley Cyrus.  The girl we watched grow up on Disney's Hannah Montana has been the news since Sunday night.  All of the snippets of the performance show Miley barely clothed and barely off of pop sensation Robin Thicke.  For those of us who grew up in the '80's, basically what we have here is the guy with the mullet that brought us Ach

Genesis 3 in Meta-Narrative

If the Bible is the story that explains why the world is as it is, we should find some profound connections between Genesis 3 and our current state of affairs.  ( introduction to series ) To borrow a philosopher's term, I would call the end result of Genesis 2, the best of all possible worlds .  God is good for all and in all He has done.  Man is good for the world.  The woman is good for man.  The environment is teeming with potential.  The story is given traction because all of it is able to multiply and bear fruit.  The world in this state is declared by God to be "very good." Central to life in paradise is a pair of trees (and yes, there were two despite what you learned in Sunday School; see Genesis 2:9 ).  One is a tree of life.  The idea here is a tree able to keep man living.  As long as he has access to this tree he has what he needs to live eternally on the planet God created for him.  In my previous post I briefly called attention to the idea that implie

Genesis 1 and 2 in Meta-Narrative

A meta-narrative is an overarching story that explains why things are the way they are.  It is the one story that helps make sense of everything else.  It is the narrative of narratives.  If a meta-narrative is true, it will be able not only to explain human history but it will also provide context for your own story. Christians believe that the Bible is this world's meta-narrative.  The reason we exist (creation).  The reason we are the way we are (the fall).  The solution to our problems (redemption in Christ).  The action that will return us to the ideal (renewal).  All of these ideas are connected in the story of the Bible.  If this is true, that the Bible is our meta-narrative, there should be some direct connections between the Biblical story and the world as we know it, that shape our thinking.  This influence on our thinking is known as the Biblical world-view.  In Sunday School your mamaw called it, "doing what Jesus said." I am currently walking through th

Harvest Hope

There is a pattern characteristic to many Psalms.  The Psalmist voices a prayer or a concern as in Psalm 43, "Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against ungodly people . . ."  There is an expression of frustration and confusion as God does not seem to act quickly enough, "For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me?"  Even though He is discouraged, the Psalmist makes a request of God knowing full well what God can do, "Send our your light and your truth; let them lead me."  The writer then ends the Psalm with a note of hope that encourages him in the trial, "Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God." During the good seasons of our lives it is important to harvest hope. It is not difficult to call life to a halt and wrestle with God when we do not like the current circumstances.  When we need vindication.  When w