Dion's random ramblings

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The best advice on the Intraweb! (on the lighter side of life... well darker side... well you know what I mean!?)

Have you ever wanted to know how you can get your dog to walk through walls (so that you don't have to let it out on cold mornings?) Ever felt like there are hoards of black cloaked killers following you, just waiting for you to slip up (I know I have! In fact I have discovered, it is just ONE individual.... His name is 'Roger' and he's a Ninja!)

Take a look at this this http://askaninja.com.

The Videos are HILARIOUS!!!! Dowload one and you'll be hooked.

Laughter truly is the best medicine!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Has popular Christianity forgotten Jesus along the way?

Just last week I was teaching my first year Systematic Theology class one of the fundamentals of Christian Doctrine, namely, that 'doctrine' and 'faith' are not the same thing.

Anselm spoke of Theology as "Fides Quaerens Intellectum" (Faith Seeking Understanding).

Doctrine is something that we construct through a process of reflecting upon our faith (what we believe). Neither of these are without their faults. Why? Well, because we rely on our own interpretation of what God reveals to us (both through creation - often associated with epistemology, and through our inner experiences - often thought of as phenomenology). And, once we have formulated our 'belief' we have to communicate it using the symbols of human language. So we end up saying things like "God is my rock". Does this realy mean that God is brownish, heavy and cannot be moved? No! We all believe that the symbolism is expressive of things that we believe which are difficult to describe without refering to what we already know. Sometimes we even use symbols such as "God the Father...". Of course, many people have begun to adopt such symbols as absolute truth, thinking that God truly is male, or old, or some such nonsense! Anyway, enough of the first year lesson...

You can well imagine that I read a fair amount. In particular I read a fair amount of Christian theology. I have been struck by one problem with much modern theology I have been reading in recent times... It is all so anthropocentric. What does that mean? It means that so much of what we believe about God centres around ourselves! how much God loves us, how God wants to deal with us etc.

Last year I had a paper published in the Journal of Catholic Reflection - Grace and Truth. The issue focused on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the Catholic Priest and paleontologist. The title of the article was: Post-human Consciousness
and the Evolutionary Cosmology of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
(I have in fact linked to this article in a previous post).

The article argued a point that Teilhard's evolutionary cosmology presents, namely, that God's purpose for the whole of the created order (what is commonly referred to as the cosmos) is NOT the fulfillment of humankind. In fact, God's purpose for the cosmos is the fulfillment of Christ! Jesus is the point of all creation (just read Col 1:16-17 for a clear Biblical example of such a theology). Jesus is God's point for everything. That is what makes the miracle of the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus such an incredible miracle.

I think that many Christians have forgotten this reality. In much of what I read, and in fact much of what I think, I see that we have placed ourselves at the centre of God's Universe! Somehow, we have come to believe that we are more important than Christ himself.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that humanity is not important to God. In fact the opposite is true! We are VERY important to God. However, there is no way that we are more important than Jesus!

In a strange way that makes me feel kind of special (not important, just special)... To think that even though Jesus is so much more important than any of us, God still chooses to have Jesus die for us! What a miracle of grace!

Anyway, this is just a thought. Perhaps the next time we think about the world, about how we make decisions, about what we think is really important, we should stop and look away from ourselves and look towards Christ.... Christ is the point of the cosmos!

Here's the article again if anyone would like to read it:

Teilhard article.doc

Friday, February 17, 2006

Is your hair falling out? Are your joints getting loose? Don't despair! There's someone who loves you!

Have you ever felt unloved, not worthy, just not good enough?

Well, then maybe today's podcast is for you! It is based on God's view of you as it can be found from scripture. The Bible is full of wonderful affirmations of who God has created us to be!

The link for this message comes from that wonderful story, "The Velveteen Rabbit". Here is a short excerpt:

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it. "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." ?Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." ? from The velveteen rabbit by Margery Williams

You can download the sermon notes here (in MS Word format):

Sermon notes.doc

You can download the MP3 audio rile here (about 9MB's):


And, of course, I always value your comments and feedback. Simply click on the comments link below to leave a comment. Or, you can send an email to digitaldion@gmail.com

God sanctioned vandalism!

Doing things that are out of the ordinary seem to appeal to my non-confirmist sensibilities!

One of my favourite passages in the Gospels is the account of the four friends who decide to smash a hole in someone else's roof so that their friend can be brought to Jesus for healing. John Maxwell's, in his book "Think on these things", asks the question "What kind of person would be brave enough to bust a hole in someone else's roof?" (this is my rough paraphrase).

This sermon was inspired by that question. I hope it will encourage you to be more than just ordinary. I hope that you will find in it something of value to help you in finding your true created purpose and reason for being.

Click here to download the sermon notes in MS-Word format:

Sermon notes.doc

Click here to download the MP3 file: (about 8MB's)


As always, would value feedback! Simply click on the link below or send an email to digitaldion@gmail.com