I really thought that a post on N.T. Wright might generate some interesting conversation that would take my mind off of the presidential election for awhile, but I see that didn’t work. I suppose I could join in the fun of wallowing around in the angst of Anglican politics, but that always seems to me to be too much of a distraction from God, Christ, the gospel and the mission of the church. True, it’s one way of enticing a lot of commentary, most of it indignant self-righteous b.s.. But it’s almost a form of idolatry; No, not almost, it is! For a little arm’s length entertainment there is always the Canadian election, which, unlike how Canadians are supposed to behave, seems to be as adept at slinging mud as Americans. Washington football is no better considering the performance of the Seahawks, U. of WA and WA State. What I’m actually exploring in my own mind right now is the nature of stewardship. After all, we are also in the midst of stewardship season, and I’ve always felt that it should be more of an expression of worship and evangelism than a thing by itself. But as far as I can tell, nothing in the last century or so has worked to make it so.
5 thoughts on “Incoherent Ramblings”
I am sorry that no one took the bait and gave you comments on your essay on N.T. Wright. I started to, then thought better of it, but here goes: Wright is a reactionary theologian, reacting against the current wave of liberal theology, which tries to reinterpret the Christian faith to reflect contemporary social values. In its way, liberal theology is as dishonest as current fundamentalist attempts at twisting centuries of Jewish and Christian scriptures to give a unified, coherent message, ignoring or explaining away the contradictions and narrowness of large parts of scripture, even New Testament scriptures. Both sides virtually ignore historical criticism, while the liberals pretend to follow it, while selectively taking only the parts that do not embarass them! By the way, \”Surprised by Hope\”, Wright\’s title, owes a lot to C.S. Lewis\’s \”Surprised by Joy\”. There. You got a comment. Hope to see you again soon.
re; anon, WOWanyway, didn\’t mean to leave you in the lurch there, I am having some interesting thoughts on \”theologians\” so I am in a space not comfortable with commenting on such things.Your question on \”STEWARDSHIP\” though is interesting. Stewardship season is a fairly new thing for me, So odd that it is called a season. I have gone from a parish that makes it ,,, well more than one should go through (multi million dollar budget sort of place) to a struggling parish that kept looking at how they could get funds beyond their worship community, to now a place where I have heard nothing at all about giving of financial means even though they are on the verge of \”not making it\” financially. The last place, the place where I feel I have finally found a spiritual home, views stewardship in many ways, from money to what you can do, to allowing yourself to be healed in Christ, or at least in this community.PeaceBruno
Bruno,I don\’t like the idea of stewardship season, but that\’s what it is since most congregations need to know what kind of financial support they are going to have for next year\’s budget, which usually starts on Jan. 1. And that\’s the problem. No matter how much \”we\” want stewardship to have a very broad meaning that, at least, masks the distaste of grubbing for cash, the fact it that it costs money for a community of faith to engage in the work God has given it to do. At the same time, no matter how much we might object to it, one\’s willingness to support that work through giving says something important about one\’s relationship with God and God\’s work. So, I think I know what biblical stewardship should be, and I think I understand how stewardship actually works, but I have not yet discovered how to truly bridge the gap between them. All the \”stewardship\” material I\’ve encountered so far sounds great, but falls as short in practice as a politician\’s promise.Here ends the diatribe,CP
In thinking further about N.T.Wright, I cannot help but be reminded of that other Anglican apologist, C.S. Lewis, whose works I read extensively in my youth. Lewis satirized the Enlightenment in his \”Pilgrim\’s Regress\” in the character of Mr. WorldlyWiseman, who rides by in a horse and buggy dressed in the fashion of about 1790, smug and self-satisfied in his opinion of himself as knowing everything. He satirized his colleagues at Oxford in the philosophy area in a modern professor who had progressed from \”Empiricism to Pragmatism, thence to Logical Positivism, and thence out into the Void.\” Lewis regarded Academic Objectivity as a false pretense and a snare set for intellectuals by Satan to drive them away from religion! I think it was a writer in TIME magazine who called Lewis \”the Apostle to the Intellectuals.\” If I remember correctly, I think that, toward the end of his life, he surprised his admirers by not being totally hostile to some historical criticism of the Scriptures–the idea that they were written by human beings with human limitations. (I may be mistaken)
Dr. B. (Anon),Taken as a whole, the Enlightenment may have been a bit self absorbed and arrogantly dismissive of a lot of religion (which they knew primarily as Christianity), but it hardly seems to me to have been satanic. I recall that even in my undergraduate days we had the pro-enlightenment and anti-enlightenment professors who spoke as if this was last week\’s development. I recall my own thinking at the time was something along the lines of OK, the Enlightenment gave us some good stuff to work with along with some silliness, now let\’s get on with life after the eighteenth century. That was over forty years ago and it seems like some folks just can\’t move. If those guys were generals we\’d still be working on improving the flintlock and debating the design of knightly armor. On the other hand, I keep running into well educated people who don\’t have a clue of how much their apprehension of the world is in Enlightenment terms even as they tout their modernity, or is it post modernity, or perhaps post-post modernity, or post menopausal modernity. I don\’t know.Dr. B., you have always been for me a source of helpful enlightenment on matters such as these. I look forward to hearing more.CP