procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


a question i've raised once before (here) has asked itself again, courtesy of a new film, sunshine.

without giving too much away, this film is set in the not too distant future, in a world where they've discovered that the sun is cooling down a little, and they need to "zap" a little more life into it!

so my question is to what extent will we (humanity, God's image bearers) be witnesses to the destruction, collapse of the physical universe?

this idea of the dying sun is not a new idea (arthur c. clarke thought of it yonks ago, and my recollection is that j.g. ballard also mooted the idea half a century ago), it is simply a device for bringing cosmic catastrophy into the present (much like that asteroid film with that guy and the girl and the father and stuff).

the waning sun postulated in the film is one thing, but:
what of the bomb-race that looks like it's getting a second-wind?
what of the disastrous state of the evironment?
what of the increased ability for those who would do great harm to many, to accomplish their desires?

at what stage is enough going to be enough? will ther ever be any of us around to see that day when evil will be completely vanquished?
OR, might there be a similar pattern to the death and resurrection of Christ?

ie, all that is evil - conquered. all that is good - gone.
then, bursting forth, the Lord, with (to quote Jude quoting Enoch) ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

that would include, i guess, doing their very best to destroy this good world that we have been given stewardship over, perverting this good creation for their own wicked ends.

but then again, i wonder, might it ever get that far?

*no points for guessing what i've just been preaching on!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

theo blogs

i have no idea how this happened, but apparently, as of yesterday, YOU reckon i'm the 22nd most popular theo-blog in the universe!
that's according to unspun's top theology blogs list
however, 77 people had voted almost 900 times between them! always look at the fine print...

a blog list AND a novelty sweet! aah, the life.


guns and people

to start on a light note - have you seen the street art stating,
people don't kill forests, Gunns kill forests?
i always chuckle (and then feel sad when i look at photos of the environmental raping of old-growth forests and the incactivity of both tassie state, and aussie federal governments)

but moving into my main point, we’ve seen this week with the shocking events in Virginia in the US, listening to virginia trioli's interview on 702 ABC sydney the day afterwards with a representative from the seemingly omnipotent gun lobby, i couldn't help reflecting on the fallen state of mankind.

i heard again the same old thing dragged out – guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
The way to prevent mass shootings like this, claims the omniscient gun advocate, is to educate people - in the home, in the schools - to be nice to one another, to teach them they don’t need to kill one another, there are other ways to deal with issues.

Which is fine, is good, is a great idea – but it denies something that we’ve seen all through history, all over the world:
The state of man is fallen - we’re stumble-prone.

Jeremiah 17:9 is a top verse to remember. it says:
The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
who can understand why the only option remaining is to shoot dozens of people, to blow up bombs in a market, to carpet-bomb a city?

the desperation and frustration we feel with injustice and insecurity is not something that can be solved with violence;

but as long as people seek for justice anywhere else but in the judge of the world, in the Only Just God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, maybe it's not such a great idea to supply them with semi-automatic weapons?

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Monday, April 16, 2007

jude's saucy sources

anyone who may've been trying to keep up with jude, may well be asking the question, "where did he get it from?"

this table* shows us where he gets them from, the sources he's drawing on for his attacks on those who would pervert the grace of God into a license to sin.
click on picture to enlarge
now, don't go trying to find the Assumption of Moses - it isn't the Testament of Moses, nor is it the Apocalypse of Moses, fun as they are to read. it hasn't been sighted for over 1500yrs.

you can get a hold of Enoch if you want tho - enjoy the 119 chapters of hilarity, hijinks and slap-stick action, as the good angels take on the bad angels, in a do-or-die battle of cosmic proportions (the film version will be called License to Sin, or it should be. i still don't know why the makers of Bond chose against it.)

but both Enoch and Assump. Moses are typical examples of this apocalyptic, pseudepigraphical literature that was going around back in the day (ie C1 BC - C1 AD and thereabouts). Hence my attempts to contemporise his message with a previous post.

to really make sense of Jude's letter, copy it into a word document, and delete or move aside the examples, it's a really clear and easy read then, and when you put them back, Shazzam - It's super straight-forward!

big ups to mark for making that plain to me!

it's been really helpful in the way i read apocalyptic literature - thinking about the big picture, not getting ground down trying to understand the minutae - it's actually been an emancipating experience, not to put too high a note on it!

anyway, have a try, tell me what you think.

*not sure if you can make a table in blogger, hence the screen grab...

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

my best line

still tapping away, trying to get this sermon sorted, but i thought i'd share my best line so far:
i'm trying to explain the harshness of the examples jude uses from the OT, 1Enoch, the Assumption of Moses (a non-extant text - we have the rest), in terms that we might understand today.
... it's like saying, "these turkeys are as useless as wet toilet-paper, as destructive as the asian tsunami, as untrustworthy as paedophiles, and as mentally unstable as britney spears."

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Chocolate Jesus

i was reading this post on byron's blog, as i am prone to do, and recalled one of my fave songs by tom waits.

more or less a twelve bar blues if you want to sing along:
Don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way
Bit I know Jesus loves me
Maybe just a little bit more

I fall on my knees every Sunday
At Zerelda Lee's candy store

Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Keep me satisfied

Well I don't want no Anna Zabba
Don't want no Almond Joy
There ain't nothing better
Suitable for this boy
Well it's the only thing
That can pick me up
Better than a cup of gold
See only a chocolate Jesus
Can satisfy my soul

When the weather gets rough
And it's whiskey in the shade
It's best to wrap your savior
Up in cellophane
He flows like the big muddy
But that's ok
Pour him over ice cream
For a nice parfait

Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Good enough for me
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Good enough for me

Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Keep me satisfied

this song written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, from the albumn mule variations. if you ever get a chance to listen to it, the song eyeball kid is sublime.

Monday, April 02, 2007

jude & today

for my upcoming sermon on Jude, i'm trying to work out, who are these people today?
4 [...] certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

and what about these kids?
10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.

i've been listening to some sermons from the US - talk about a different world! they're talking about pastors who receive 7-figure salaries, viewing themselves as CEOs responsible for big companies, and should be rewarded as such. there are some extravagant churches around, but i think by-and-large any who have pursued such excesses are recognised as having [...] abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error [...](v11)

so can we say is it even talking about the church of today? who should we be looking out for? who is it today perverting the grace of our God?