18 September 2007


This is a sermon by one of my professors at Seminary: Dr. Fred Gaiser. He is an Old Testament Professor and has spent a great deal of time living in the prophets. All this talk about idolatry made me think about this sermon. It is convicting of all our modern idolatry of fame and money and sex.

It is a beautiful sermon, and speaks to the idols that I myself need to watch out for on a day to day basis.

Yoga and Christianity

It seems that every one is weighing in on this Christianity/Yoga debate, so I figured I would speak my mind on the conversation. I agree with some of the critiques of Doug that he spoke naïvely about yoga in the new program, and about yoga’s potential to distract people from God. I believe that we must be aware that when we borrow/reappropriate things from other cultures, belief systems, and religions that they can have elements which distract from God. I believe that Doug’s apparent naïveté comes from the great experience he and others around him have had with using yoga stretches and poses to connect with the goodness of God’s creation – and with the harmony of God’s love for the world and all that God has created.

It is very good for our faith and our experience of God to be more than just intellectual, but to also be physical. The problem is that much of the Judeo-Christian practices of physical prayer and meditation have been lost. Many of these practices didn’t fit in to Christianity any more because neo-platonic equations were imposed on Christian thought. Simply put the thought goes something like this: God = good And earth = bad. Thus: God has little or nothing to do with our physical existence here and now. This is how MacArthur lays the foundation of his argument against yoga. God’s separation from us is not a Biblical concept, but instead based on Greek philosophy (I will talk a little more on that later.)

If we have lost our traditional physical ways of connecting with God in our world and with God’s creation (part of which is our bodies that are created in the image of God) we should find ways to do that: being fully conscious that this practice is for the Glory of The One True God. The Triune God. There is no other God before God.

The main argument against yoga is that it distracts people from God, because Yoga is the product of another religion/philosophy. This for me is where the argument against yoga loses all of its steam. Christianity as most of us modern day Christians express it is anything but pure in origin.

We can look at Neo-Platonism and how it completely changed Christian thought: Augustine’s neo-platonic background colored deeply all of his theology, which has in turn shaped nearly all theology since then. This was a religion/philosophy that was part of a polytheistic society, which lead many away from Christianity and justified persecution of our Christian and Jewish forefathers. We can look at the celebration of Easter. The word “Easter” comes from the name of a pagan fertility Goddess, hence all the eggs and (fertile) bunnies – we attached the birth of Christ onto a pagan festival so that the Christian faith could reach more people. Good or bad, this is where our current faith stands.

Christmas’ rampant materialism clearly distracts people from seeking God. Many of us Christians are more upset by stores not saying “Merry Christmas” then we are about the fact that our High Holy Holiday celebrating the birth of our Lord is used to increase profit margins. We can even look at the philosophy of pure reason which underlies much of science. This philosophy has taken many people’s thoughts and eyes away from God, but very few are the Christians who won’t use electronics, cars, mobile phones because they grow out of a culture that make logic and reason its gods.

The purity of Christian practice is a myth, so arguing against yoga from that foundation is extremely flawed. However, if we borrow poses and stretches from other cultures/religions/philosophies we must not ignore their source completely (as it Doug appears to do in the interview) but we must be honest about where they come from, and how we are allocating them for a new purpose.

16 September 2007

MWM Emergent/PoMo Pastor seeking long term relationship with like minded organization...

I guess maybe I should have posted this sooner.

Lauren and I are right now looking for what is next in our lives. We are looking at small churces, large churches, house churches, neo-Monastic communities, non-profit social justice organizations and other places where we may shine God's light on the world.

If you are interested in hiring me, or even talking through future ministry options check out my resume here.

News at my Corporate Job

Sorry for not posting - I get to find out just how many people read my blog by creating an unfinished cliff hanger!

I was part of a 6 person team. That team has been separated and integrated into a large 30 person team. I am part of the "Compliance Team" - so myself and Kris, my audit buddy, remained my teammates.

I still have a job, actually I have more hours - I am upto 32 hours. I will have some additional project management responsibilities and should be busy at my job - which was one of my biggest struggles. I also have been struggling for a while at my job with lack of direction - I feel that my new manager and the structure around it will help get things moving with decisive and motivated action plans.

This job is a gift of stability for Lauren and I, but it is difficult as Lauren and I figure out what is next for us - following God's call. Churches, neo-monastic communities, house churches, non-profit community service organizations are all in the running for our future call. Crazy adventures on the way.

12 September 2007

Big News Tomorrow

Every since I graduated from Seminary, Lauren and I have been talking a lot about what is next - where we feel called to serve God. Part of that equation is my job at a large Minnesota corporation - some days it is tolerable, and others I have a hard time surviving the day. But it is a good job, they compensate me well, and respect my skills and abilities. We have been in re-org limbo for the last 2.5 months, and tomorrow we find out what is next - who my manager will be and what my new responsibilities will be. This is great to know what they want of me, and what I can offer them.

11 September 2007

33 minutes

Just an FYI, last Friday 9/7 - I got home in 33 mintues! Best time yet.

Dying to Self

There is a simple illustration of what it means to die to self, and why Jesus asks humanity to do this (Matthew 16:24-25). I experience this on a regular basis:

I am walking out of the door at work, and the person infront of me completely ignores me - and the door nearly slams in my face. I get so upset about being neglected by the person in front of me, I do the exact same thing to the person behind me.

I get so wrapped up in my "entitlement" that I completely ignore my obligation to serve those around me.

Slaps me in the face every time I do it - I see how much my obsession, with what I am supposed to recieve stands in the way of my ability to be a blessing to the world.

06 September 2007

Message from a mobile phone

I know other people have been doing stuff like this for 5 or 6 years, but I am just pleased as punch that I can post to this blog with my mobile phone. I will end up looking like Doug with his little "You have a Picture Share" posts if I am not too careful.

P.S. For those of you who are curious, this is a dinosaur lamp that sits on my desk at work.

Art or Vandalism

Lauren and I have been seeing some pretty miserable graffiti around our neighborhood - Longfellow in South Minneapolis. It seems to get worse every week. This brings up the debate for me - of is it art or is it vandalism. Being involved in the underground culture on the East Coast you learn a certain respect for Graffiti.

It is similar to the "Art or Pornography" debate in some ways - aside from the vandalism portion. For a long time, the best definition I had of pornography was the classic "I know it when I see it." In a class I took at seminary about women in the Old Testament, I heard the best definition I have ever heard: "Pornography is the commodification of a person's sexuality." This allows us to see nude paitings as art, and advertisments for Victoria's Secret as pornography when it is.

So what aside from my "I know it when I see it" feeling about Art vs. Vandalism feeling with graffiti, how do you define the difference between something like this:

That simply soils a place that the public uses (what we are seeing in our neigborhood). And something like this by Banksy:

The difference to me right now would have to be with the intent of the piece - is it to better the neighborhood - to bring a smile to some one's face or make them think? Or is it to claim your turf? Don't know, but it is definitely a scourge in our neck of the woods - no creativity there.

05 September 2007

Great Article on Senator Craig

WARNING: This article is a little graphic, but it is talking about elicit sex in public restrooms - so what else would we expect?

This article is in the Gay City News... I can't say I have read this news publication much before. But this article about Senator Craig is one of the most thorough and includes many many perspectives and insights into the situation including but not limited to:
Additional Witnesses to the Senators Behavior in both Washington and Boise.
Entrapment, and constitutionality of the sting operation.

I don't agree with the article in its entirety - it gets a little politial at the end, but it has a lot of details and perspectives that have not been covered in other articles - and not just "Pro-Gay" or "Anti-Conservative" perspectives.

Have you heard the audio of the interview done here in Minneapolis? This is a crazy story.