Search This Blog

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Corinthian Lifestyle

     Paul has written a letter in 1 Corinthians, chapter one, to a church he began on a small, 4 mile isthmus, connecting the north and south parts of Greece together. It was small in size, but Corinth had a big reputation for serving up a good time to rich merchants and sailors. Every nation in the civilized world, Arabia, Phoenicia, Libya, Babylonia, Cilicia, Lycao and Phrygia all had reason to visit this small, but very important piece of property, because it linked them to Rome. Instead of sailing around Italy, sailors saved 202 miles by hauling boats and their goods across Corinth, and launching them on the other side of the island. Corinth had much to offer a tired, hungry and lonely sailor. There was the temple of Aphrodite that loomed above Corinth, on the hill of the Acropolis, home to the goddess of love and her 1000 sacred prostitutes. But there was nothing sacred about their evening journey to work their sex trade on the streets of Corinth.

     Paul is addressing certain actions that are everywhere evident in our culture today. I don’t know about your town, but we have more bars than grocery stores, only 50% of our teens graduate from high school (CASA 2010), and there are a host of habits and addictions keeping us from holy. I like the way Eugene Peterson decribes holy in Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, as something blazing - a community bonfire. But is there a desire to be holy in our culture today? We want heroes and idols, but do we want holy?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

History Repeats Itself Again

     It’s not the first time Egyptians have been oppressed. Possibly, sometime between 1300-1200 BC Moses was given charge over approximately 1.5 million complaining people. They were oppressed by Egyptian leadership. The book of Exodus describes a God who saw this evil oppression and was intensely personal in His response.  He hears their cry in the midst of their oppression and comes down to rescue and deliver them from the power of the corrupt Egyptian leadership. God also gave them a picture of where they were going – into a land that was already occupied. They will have to fight to get it back. It could be described as a '12-step' plan. This didn't happen overnight. Like an alcoholic who has given over the land of his mind, body and soul to consumption, he must fight and battle his way back to possess the territory of his heart. Once again, Egyptians are fighting oppression and I hope and pray they receive their land. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Write With Precision and Restraint"

This week on PBS Newshour, Art Beat, Journalist and Author, Roger Rosenblatt talked about his new book, Unless it Moves The Heart, The Craft and Art of Writing. He believes that what we write must be useful to the world, and it’s important, because what we write can make suffering endurable, evil intelligible, justice desirable and love possible. He is teaching the craft of writing because he wants to give himself to others for an hour or two each week, and encourages others to do the same – give to others.

The noun he says is important. Emerson said the noun carries its own power, and Twain said a writer must find the right word, because it’s the difference between the lightening bug and the lightening. And so Rosenblatt tells his students that they are in the lightening business, and so, strive for anticipation rather than surprise, imagination rather than invention and make the world better. He calls this the ultimate definition of useful.