Devoted to Christ. Training to enter ministry. Amateur apologist, writer, husband, father, and scientist. Makes this hat and jacket work.

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American Christianity has created a culture of theological permanence, where individuals are expected to learn a set of beliefs and latch onto them for the rest of their lives. Many of our first theological beliefs were probably taught to us in Sunday school, which was part of a church, which was represented by a denomination, which had its own parochial schools and Bible colleges.

Theoretically, Christians can go from preschool to seminary hearing the exact same religious doctrines. Theologies are often considered too “valuable,” “right,” and “holy” to change or question. Therefore, pastors debate instead of dialogue, professors preach instead of listen, schools propagate instead of discuss, and faith-based communities ultimately reject any form of honest questioning and doubt.

Indoctrination is preferred over critical thinking, certainty is favored over doubt, and we expect our leaders to offer black-and-white answers. A change of theology is viewed as weakness, poor exegesis, and a sign of insecurity. “If they change their views now, how can I believe anything they say in the future?” Christians often perceive change as a break in trust and a loss of identity.

Imagine if John Piper suddenly altered his views on Calvinism and became an Arminian, or if Mark Driscoll publicly became an egalitarian? They would be publicly rejected and humiliated, and their followers would be lost, angry, and confused.

But theology — our study and beliefs about God — should be a natural process involving change instead of avoiding it. Our God is too big and too wonderful to completely understand by the time we graduate high school, or college, or get married, or have children, or retire. Our life experiences, relationships, education, exposure to different cultures and perspectives continually affect the way we look at God. Our faith is a journey, a Pilgrim’s Progress, and our theology will change. And while we may not agree with a person’snew theological belief, we need to stop seeing the inherent nature of change as something negative.

Imagine a church where the members are incredibly close, yet they aren’t overly concerned about one another’s political affiliations. Imagine a church where the members don’t know one another’s view on the rapture. Imagine a church where the members don’t know one another’s theories on the millennium - and really don’t care to know them. Imagine a church that has only one pursuit, one obsession, one goal, and one grand purpose: to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ.

Frank Viola (via foundworthy)

I mean, I get the point here that these are secondary issues and should not be the focus, but I really don’t know how much theology you could be discussing if no one knows any of these things about each other at all. And discussing theology should certainly not be viewed or treated as (or, for that matter, allowed to become) a hindrance to loving Christ and each other.

This is the drawing I did last night to warm up while I was waiting to see if anyone had any requests.

This is the drawing I did last night to warm up while I was waiting to see if anyone had any requests.

If Christ hadn’t risen, I’m pretty sure food would be my religion.

tenkenryu:

n1ghtcrwler:

spac-elizardp0rn:

readytolift:

ashleeshaddix:

No one loves food as much as The Rock does.

Absolutely impossible to pick a favorite

It’s almost as if you can smell what The Rock is cooking in these photos.

I try this and suddenly it’s “destructive behavior” and I need to “see a doctor”

Tell me your secret, Mr. Rock.

The secret is he works out a ridiculous amount to burn it all off and keep that muscled-up physique.

Ridiculous.

spac-elizardp0rn:

readytolift:

ashleeshaddix:

No one loves food as much as The Rock does.

Absolutely impossible to pick a favorite

It’s almost as if you can smell what The Rock is cooking in these photos.

I try this and suddenly it’s “destructive behavior” and I need to “see a doctor”

Tell me your secret, Mr. Rock.

http://joshuadparker.tumblr.com/post/93447043698/it-is-clear-that-we-have-more-than-twelve-names

It is clear that we have more than twelve names, and it is also clear that John has a special list and otherwise unattested stories. The Fourth Gospel emphasizes otherwise unknown disciples (Andrew, Philip and Thomas) and also gives a substantial role to an otherwise unknown disciple…

We ( anachronistic-vibrancy and I) were actually talking about this the other day, on a walk. We didn’t get into the differing lists, but did note that there are at least 13 apostles given in scripture (the twelve, minus Judas Iscariot, plus Matthias and Paul), possibly more depending on how one defines the office, so the entire idea of talking about them as a set group of twelve doesn’t actually work then, and certainly wouldn’t have worked better earlier.

b-lynninja:

good:

In 2001, New York City had over 1,000 outdated subway cars on its hands. When they were first introduced in 1959, the old Redbird trains were gorgeous machines, but after four decades of service, it was time for the battered cars to be permanently retired. But rather than take them to a slag heap to be salvaged for scrap or crushed into little metal cubes, the city took 619 of the cars, stripped them of their windows and oily undercarriages, steam cleaned them, and then hauled the 20,000 pound metal boxes down to Delaware on a freighter ship. Then they dumped them all into the sea.

That seems like a waste.

Generally, when this sort of thing is done, it’s to help provide places for sea life to live. It’s actually a really good practice, if done right. I suspect the OP left off a lot of clarifying detail.

b-lynninja:

good:

In 2001, New York City had over 1,000 outdated subway cars on its hands. When they were first introduced in 1959, the old Redbird trains were gorgeous machines, but after four decades of service, it was time for the battered cars to be permanently retired. But rather than take them to a slag heap to be salvaged for scrap or crushed into little metal cubes, the city took 619 of the cars, stripped them of their windows and oily undercarriages, steam cleaned them, and then hauled the 20,000 pound metal boxes down to Delaware on a freighter ship. Then they dumped them all into the sea.

That seems like a waste.

Generally, when this sort of thing is done, it’s to help provide places for sea life to live. It’s actually a really good practice, if done right. I suspect the OP left off a lot of clarifying detail.

Cities have the illusion of being hotbeds for sin, corruption, and human depravity because they are more physically exemplified and witnessed within the context of hundreds of thousands of people living within a very small geographic proximity. Thus, the sins of the city are much more obvious than the ones of the suburbs and more rural areas — but not less prevalent.

In some ways, people living in cities have a faith that is much more honest and transparent because they are open about the issues they are dealing with. Meanwhile, it’s much easier to hide struggles, fear, and sins in churches that are less used to observing and dealing with conflict. Therefore, non-urban communities sometimes live under the fantasy of having fewer problems, even though data proves that rates for divorce, drug use, alcohol use, addiction, violence and, crime are nearly identical — and sometimes even higher — than those of urban areas.

Many Christians have a confidence problem. They love Christ but are ashamed of everything associated with him. They want to be known as a Christian — just not that type of Christian. You know the type: the Westboro Baptists of the world; the scumbag televangelists on late-night cable; the fear-mongering preachers spewing apocalyptic prophecies; the proselytizers that scream at people outside of baseball stadiums; the celebrities claiming stupid things in the name of God; the “friends” who post bigoted messages on Facebook; the politicians who manipulate faith communities to serve their agendas; the anti-science, anti-environment, anti-women, anti-homosexuality, and anti-everything Christians who basically spread negativity wherever they go — the people who drag Christ’s name through the mud.

But the Gospel of Christ is a story of redemption, and even the Christian legacy — filled with violence, greed, duplicity, exclusion, and injustice — can be set right by the love of Christ.

serialdoubter : Yes

brutangel22 : Okay, so, he compares an individualistic view pf personhood, which he attributes to the British, with a corporate view of personhood, which he attributes to the Irish (it is likely that one or the other fits equally well with other nationalities, of course, but he is specifically looking at the history of these two and their interactions in this book). He introduces the idea by talking about a specific politician named Campbell, whom the British exclusively discussed as a singular individual (as they do with all persons, famous or otherwise), while the Irish spoke of him as a Campbell, bringing the entirety of the family line into consideration on such discussions, as they do with all persons. He later ties this idea to one’s personal history, citing that the British talk at length about where a person is or where they are going, but the Irish talk about where they have come from, to the extent that they will discuss one’s childhood well before discussing their policies. In one place, he says that the Irish man “carries the family mansion about with him like a snail; and his father’s ghost follows him like a shadow.”

serialdoubter : Yes

brutangel22 : Okay, so, he compares an individualistic view pf personhood, which he attributes to the British, with a corporate view of personhood, which he attributes to the Irish (it is likely that one or the other fits equally well with other nationalities, of course, but he is specifically looking at the history of these two and their interactions in this book). He introduces the idea by talking about a specific politician named Campbell, whom the British exclusively discussed as a singular individual (as they do with all persons, famous or otherwise), while the Irish spoke of him as a Campbell, bringing the entirety of the family line into consideration on such discussions, as they do with all persons. He later ties this idea to one’s personal history, citing that the British talk at length about where a person is or where they are going, but the Irish talk about where they have come from, to the extent that they will discuss one’s childhood well before discussing their policies. In one place, he says that the Irish man “carries the family mansion about with him like a snail; and his father’s ghost follows him like a shadow.”

Some English Socialists, it may be remembered, moved by an honourable pity for the poor families starving during the strike, made a proposal for taking the children away and feeding them properly in England. I should have thought the more natural course would have been to give money or food to the parents. But the philanthropists, being English and being Socialists, probably had a trust in what is called organization and a distrust of what is called charity. It is supposed that charity makes a man dependent; though in fact charity makes him independent, as compared with the dreary dependence usually produced by organization. Charity gives property, and therefore liberty. There is manifestly much more emancipation in giving a beggar a shilling to spend, than in sending an official after him to spend it for him. The Socialists, however, had placidly arranged for the deportation of all the poor children, when they found themselves, to their astonishment, confronted with the red-hot reality called the religion of Ireland. The priests and the families of the faithful organized themselves for a furious agitation, on the ground that the Faith would be lost in foreign and heretical homes. They were not satisfied with the assurance, which some of the Socialists earnestly offered, that the Faith would not be tampered with; and, as a matter of clear thinking, I think they were quite right. Those who offer such a reassurance have never thought about what a religion is. They entertain the extraordinary idea that religion is a topic. They think religion is a thing like radishes, which can be avoided throughout a particular conversation with a particular person, whom the mention of a radish may convulse with anger or agony. But a religion is simply the world a man inhabits. In practice, a Socialist living in Liverpool would not know when he was or was not tampering with the religion of a child born in Louth.

G.K. Chesterton, “Irish Impressions”

I was reading this paragraph, and there were two really good points in it that I wanted to quote, but I couldn’t decide which and the layout of the paragraph is such that I’m not even sure how to split one from the other. So, I apologize for the massive wall of text, but I hope you read it.

So I’m reading Chesterton’s “Irish Impressions,” and he has a few times now come back to the difference between how the Irish view families and histories and how the English do, and I am growing more and more surprised to learn that there are people who don’t view it in the manner he describes of Ireland. I guess things have carried over surprisingly well.

I have no plans today. At all. I am continuing to take requests for drawings, and my ask box is open for pretty much anything.