Christ is risen and beyond the reach of death, yet his followers are not yet beyond the reach of death, but it is only through their hope that they here attain to participation in the life of the resurrection. Thus resurrection is present to them in hope and as promise
– Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope, Pg 161
Ever since last week my life has been a non-stop blur. Monday and Tuesday I spent the majority of my time getting caught up on everything I had missed the week I was on the mission trip and getting ready for Wednesday’s trip to Cedar Point. Yesterday I finally had a chance to slow down and relax, and last night I slept for over eight hours: today is my day off.
I am really enjoying my new MaBook Pro. It’s been literally years since I’ve used a Mac on a day-to-day basis but it has come back to my quicker than expected. The 15.4 inch glossy screen is simply to die for and the speed, especially when running optimized applications is incredible. Perhaps most interesting is Parallels Desktop Software, which allows me to run Windows inside of Mac OS X. But unlke past emulator programs, like Virtual PC, this one (because the processor inside the machine is an Intel) is really really fast – in fact, it’s the fastest PC I’ve ever used. However, the Intel Core Duo processor is also exceptionally hot – so the machine itself feel like a brick that has been in the fire for a while.
My reading has taken a hit in the past couple weeks as I’ve gottten busier. I had hoped to finish Jurgen Moltmann’s Theology of Hope before August 6th and I may still make it, but probably not. I continue to be impressed by Moltmann’s ability to work through Hebrew thought forms and New Testament Scholarship, particularly the work of Earst Kaseman, in developing his theology.
Today I am going to finally replace a light in our kitchen that has not been working right and hopefully get in a run.
My reconversion is beginning, this morning I got my new MacBook Pro that I’ll be using for work. I was a full-time mac user years ago (back when the PowerPC was a new technology, rather than something that has just recently been replaced) and then switched when I went to college and through seminary. However, the time to return to my first love and begun….
After a week in Newport, TN I am home safely. Myself, four other leaders, and 21 fantastic high school students spent the week at a Youthworks camp and participated in a variety of ministries within the community. I will have more to say at a later date but it is sufficent for now to say that it was an incredible, albeit exhausting week with an amazing group of people that I am excited to get to know better and minister with in the coming months.
When it comes to discussing my favorite theologian, Karl Barth, it does not take very long (usually after the disucssion of his influence and the shear size of the church dogmatics) for someone to bring up his relationship with Charlotte von Kirschbaum. Ben Myers has posted some thoughtful reflections on their relationship here. This post was in response to Ben’s piece, “An Imagined Conversation between Bultmanna and Barth, which is quite entertaining in its own right and deserves a read.
If I had to choose my favorite passage from Paul’s Letter to the Romans it would be the lectionary reading for today: Romans 12:9-21.
In it, Paul lays out the ethical guidelines for living the Christian life in light of his discussion in the first 12 Chapters. In the first part of this chapter Paul writes that we as followers of Jesus Christ should be renewed by the transforming of our minds. Paul’s admonitions in this part of the chapter are in some way the guidelines for ethical living that he Paul presents that should result from the renewing and transforming of our minds.
My favorite are his comments about violence:
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and no not curse” (v. 14)
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil” (v. 17)
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written “It is mind to avenge, I will repay” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If you enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head”. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
These aren’t my favorite verses because I’m a strict pacifist – I am not. I agree with Barth that there are certain “limiting cases” in which the command of God to war/violence. However, those are the “limiting” or extreme cases.
In our day to day lives, both Paul and Jesus teach us that rather than overcoming our enemies through power and revenge, to overcome them with love. Why? Because, love disarms. If someone has an intense hatred for us and we respond in hatred back, it merely intensifies the situation and makes it worse. Whereas if someone has an intense hatred for us and we respond to that person in loving concern, it can often disarm the situation and make it considerably harder for the other person to maintain that hatred for us.