Blogroll update and New Visitors

17 09 2008

I have added a couple of people to the blogroll …

A very belated welcome to Fran, of Fran I Am who is one of the most savvy bloggers evah!  I had the pleasure of meeting her for dinner once in my ‘hood and we had a wonderful time getting to know each other. She’s warm, funny, beautiful, smart, and she also makes me think.  Go visit if you don’t know her already.  I’m dead serious.  Don’t make me take the corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility after you.

Another new friend is the Wayward Episcopalian, originally from Texas currently living in Idaho.  I look forward to getting to know you! Also check out Rev Bosco Peters over in New Zealand.

If I have forgotten anyone, please let me know.

Secondly, the list of visitors from around the globe just continue to grow. In addition to NZ, we have our first visitor from Africa … South Africa, to be precise.  Wonder Woman has also made her mark on my map as I see her over coming in from Canada…Edmonton, is it?

There’s also China, Japan and some little island off in the Caribbean off the coast of the Dominican Republic.  I pray  you guys survived all the storms and are recovering just fine.  God’s peace upon you all.

Welcome to everyone!

Guest blogger

10 08 2008

I have the privilege of being a guest blogger today over the Doorman Priest’s place while he is in Estonia for five weeks. Instead of a lectionary reflection, and since I am speaking to a different audience, I posted about how this former Baptist becomes an Episcopalian. If you are interested, please follow the link … I may also post it here at some point.

Blogging for Doorman Priest

28 03 2008


Today I’m guest blogging over at the Doorman-Priest’s place while he’s at Vicar’s School.  As usual when religious people get together, I am sure there is much liquid refreshment.  I hope DP is being a very good influence (read:  influence of good whiskey) on his classmates.

Scripture and Salvation

2 03 2008

Over at the Doorman-Priest’s dance hall, he has been leading a series of discussions over the past week on Salvation.  The current discussion is about how Scripture fits into the whole thing.  He says there are basically four ways to understanding scripture (quoted below)

•Not to believe any of it (which isn’t much of an option for those professing a Christian faith).

•To take a Fundamentalist approach and argue that scripture is inspired literal truth and is to be accepted as the Word of God without question or interpretation.

•To follow a Conservative line which suggests that the Bible is the word of God filtered by the cultural and historical context of those who felt inspired to express their views.

•To accept a Liberal interpretation which says that the Bible contains the word of God and which also recognises allegory and myth as valid literary Biblical genres.

and then quotes the passage in the Gospel of John (taken from this week’s Gospel reading) where Jesus heals a blind man.  Our friendly neighborhood bouncer with a heart of gold wants to know:

So, ignoring the atheist viewpoint, which of the other three viewpoints above reflects a belief in the inerrant word of God? Do they all in their own way? Is our attitude to scripture determinative of salvation?

My response is as follows:

My view of Scripture is somewhere between the Conservative and Liberal points of view.
In one of my discernment interviews, a well-meaning evangelical on my committee asked me about whether i thought Scripture was a good roadmap for living a holy life. I told him that I saw Scripture more as a guidebook than a roadmap.  Roadmap has the connotation of showing “this is what you must do to get to where you want to go” and is more about the destination. A guidebook tells you all sorts of wonderful things … stories, places to go, things to do, but doesn’t have many real hard or fast rules and is all about the journey.

The purpose of Scripture in my opinion is not to lay down a set of rules or to point to the miracles that happened in some by gone age.  It is a revelation of how God has revealed Himself in history … first in Creation, later through the Law and Prophets, and then finally through Jesus….God’s ultimate self-revelation.  This does not mean that every single verse, jot or tittle in the Bible is without error.  On the contrary, it was written by very fallible human beings living in a certain cultural context with all the social mores and taboos and permissions of the day.

When it comes to things like the miracles or the flood, I believe they happened.  If I were to find out that they didn’t happen the way the bible said they did, would that shake my faith and cause me to forsake my religion?  No.  My faith is not in an event or a book.  It is in the person of Jesus Christ.   Muslims say that Christians along with Jews are “people of the book.”  That statement could not be more farther from the truth, in my opinion.  Christians are the people of the Person.  How one views Scripture is not determinative on Salvation.  Salvation is not found Scripture, but in Jesus Christ.

Take today’s Gospel story as an example. The blind man did not believe in Jesus because of the miracle of gaining his sight.  He believed because Jesus revealed himself as Messiah, then the formerly blind man worshiped.  His salvation was found not in a miracle, not in being a professing Jew, but in the one who revealed himself as Son of God.

A Must Read on “Born Again”

19 02 2008

As one of my Lenten disciplines, I wanted to really focus on the Epistle readings from Romans when writing my lectionary reflections.  I was really looking forward to exploring what St Paul was saying when he said in Romans 4 (emphasis mine)

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his [Abraham’s]  descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

We believe in a God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.   A God who not only calls into existence “things” such as the earth, sky, trees, animals and so on, but life where there is death.  Love where there is hate.  Faith where there is confusion.  Light out of darkness.

This would also be a good lead in into talking about a phrase which causes most progressive Christians to have apoplectic fits, a phrase out of our Gospel reading, and that phrase is “born again.”  Or you could translate it “born anew” or “born from above.”

When I stumbled across Sheila’s gem over at Good News in the Wilderness, I realized she was saying things much more eloquently than I ever could.   THIS is a gifted preacher.  Please check it out.