Monday, December 1, 2008

Responses, Explanations, and Apologies

Preliminary Stuff (you don't really have to read this)
I really like the dialogue that Nate, Austin, and I have going on our blogs. It's very helpful to be able to interact with others' ideas and receive feedback for your own. I also appreciate the feedback I received from others. Thanks Brenda for your comments. They were helpful. Thanks for those of you who emailed me reactions to my novel attempt at a novel. According to my facebook blog network, I have twenty something readers. If there are really over twenty people reading this thing, shame on most of you! The purpose of this blog is conversation. I want to learn from our interactions. If you read my blog without giving me feedback you're cheating!!! But I'll forgive you, for now.

A quick and unnecessary apology
My 'Hell-pful Answers' to my 'Hellish Questions' were completely unhelpful. I know this. These are some questions that I am intending on considering in the near future. I just began by trying to raise some questions to get us thinking. My one sentence 'answers' were not intended to settle the question or explain the issue.

Brenda and Keith,
I have tried to subscribe to your blogs but for some reason I get an error message every time I try. I don't know why that is. Any ideas?
All right enough of that....

Engaging with my Blogging Buddies, you have to read this...
Nate's blog has two new posts since my last interaction with it. His first is a reflection upon the Mystery of God. The book of Job, which he mentions, has rocked my view of God. The essence of God's reply to Job is 'who are you puny little man to question me?' God is so much greater, so much wiser, so beyond our understanding that any attempt to fully comprehend Him is doomed to failure. The universe is not only beautiful and glorious, but complex and so huge that we will probably never know how big it really is. How many stars are there? The puniness of man is indeed a humbling thought. Yet God wants us puny humans to know Him. Eternally growing in our knowledge of God will indeed be a highlight of the eternal state.

Puniness brings me to Nate's second post. Most all of us will be very small players on this world's stage. I may sometimes dream of greatness, but in all likelihood, the vast majority of people on this planet will never even know I existed. The willingness to be a small player in God's plan requires a lot of humility. But humility is the most important attitude for us as we approach God. The proud may be applauded and praised by this world, but God delights to use puny and insignificant people. The willingness to submit to this is vital if we truly want to be used by God.

Austin's blog asked for more definitions! May he be thirsty in battle!!! What does spiritual mean? C'mon SURLSY!!! You're killing me man! It means whatever you want it to mean! Haven't you been paying attention? We're postmoderns now! Tell me what it means to you and I'll tell you what it means to me. This interchange is not for the purpose of debate. Whatever works for you is fine, just respect my truth please.
Okay just joking - kind of. If you are talking to an average joe, I think you'll find that they mean different things by 'spiritual' than the Bible means or we seminarians mean. I haven't seen the negative connotation that Heather and Drew are talking about (see comments under Surls' post). I think that spiritual usually relates to one's 'inner self'. Someone who is spiritual is someone who is in touch with himself, nature, God, or whatever. Someone who is spiritual is someone who believes in things besides what you can see. I think it has very little relation to objective truth. It's not truth that you can see but truth that you feel. It's not truth that you persuade others to, you just experience it for yourself. Its not something that can be proved, only felt and experienced.
I do not think we should use the word 'spiritual' without making sure that others know what we mean. I think that the concept is very confusing and murky to most people.
Scriptural definition? Too difficult for me to do quickly. How's this? Spirit is immaterial substance. God is nonphysical. Spiritual is that related to the nonphysical or to the Holy Spirit. But we must not divorce the spiritual and the physical worlds. What we do in the body physically is related to our 'spiritual lives'. This is crappy but I think its the general idea. What do you think Surlsy?

The picture by the way is postmodern art. Tell me what it means to you....


Nate Duriga said...

I see Matt Richey's wild hair, and half of his face is a lily and the other half is a vague, deformed, scarred blob. I think it speaks of your conflicting torment between your two alter egos. One side of you wishes to be something pure, fragile and lovely, while the other side of you...okay, I just ran out of cleverness. But it's a very spiritual picture.

VentiAmericano said...

Matt Richey pure, fragile, and lovely?

Maybe more like Matt Richey is an imp! [That's what it means to me]

I think will talk about (not bring up questions about) post-modernism next post!

About Me

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Tacoma, Washington, United States
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." Fyodor Dostoevsky. I'm a Northwest Baptist Seminary graduate (MDiv) and current student (ThM). I plan on someday going to Africa and teach Bible and Theology at a Bible College or Seminary level. I hope to continue my studies and earn a PhD, either after I go to overseas for a few years or before. I'm a theological conservative, but I like to think outside of the box and challenge conventional thinking and consider myself a free thinker. I am currently serving in my fourth year as a Youth Pastor at Prairie Baptist Fellowship in Yelm Washington. My blogs will reflect my thoughts on both seminary and ministry life, though not (of course) exclusively. I enjoy literature and occasionally try my hand at writing stories and poems. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..." Paul