Looking for the ? Click here.

When the Wheels of God Become the Wheels of the State

Kurt Willems asks whether or not nonviolence helps or hinders evangelism. I believe that some of our metaphors for personal change and God, when read in the context of a violent state, are rendered utterly terrifying to late modern people in the United States. That is to say, the church must differentiate itself from the State through nonviolence, or our concepts of God will be read as totalitarian and frightening.

"Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple."
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NRSV

Why Bother With "Idolatry of God?"

People have asked why I critiqued "Idolatry of God," and pointed out that Rollins' earlier works were much clearer on God. Oddly, there seems to be a criticism/dialogue phobia in the emergent church. As for me, I find spiritual and intellectual critique invigorating and healthy and was rather baffled by the strong response Micah Bales' post got.

So I found my old copy of "How (not) to Speak of God" by Peter Rollins, and started poking around (it was lost for the last few weeks).

Waiting for God in the Dark Night of the Soul: On Peter Rollins' Atheism for Lent

I love Peter Rollins' honesty about his dark night of the soul.

He's popularized a term for the intellectual position accompanying the dark night of the soul: a/theism. I interpret Peter's thought as being in relation to an experience of God's absence. [Note: corrected this paragraph's content from "even coined" to "popularized. Turns out another author coined a/theism."]

highlighter

my books are my mind

spilled out in pages
scattered across shelves

i am sifting through my ancestors
the sacred and profane
remembering and forgetting

i am becoming

my path is a line of green
highlit fire

I am a thousand flames
words
called forth
from the black ink

to think
is to divide:
each letter
infinitesimally smaller:
the beating of a heart

Waking Up in Washington, D.C.

it is 9 o'clock in the morning

and my brain is full of tongues

i woke
to a president's plan
for an ailing economy
pressed through
a recalcitrant congress
ground finer still
by the pecking fingers of reporters
stuffed into the airwaves
like a sausage.

my dreams were cobweb
clinging in my mouth

I prayed
in the light
as I waited for the snooze
my dream persisted
like hope but soured

a sharp toothbrush punctures
my reverie
not unpleasant

i elect Ira Glass
soft king of my ear
for breakfast
a small truth
etched deep
into five acts

there is coffee
moving quickly
and I go
full
before the dawning fluorescence
i was predestined to arrive
a little late

i know how to empty myself
but where does it go?

time swept me
like the metro

Praying for a Holistic Food Movement in the Household of God

To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of creation. The point is, when we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, is is a sacrament; when we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration...in such desecration, we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.
-Wendell Berry

If we're going to reform our nation's unsustainable agricultural system, we're going to need to tackle economic inequality. That is to say, when you can't afford fresh arugula, you definitely can't afford organic fresh arugula.

Firefly in a Jar

The echoes

of a night
drift
through my screen mesh.

A man explains
fervent
against a Crown Vic's
acceleration.

Crickets pulse
aloof
as tree branches
rustling above.

And why
does a horn slice
insistent
across the rustling
of dry leaves?

Anonymized
by distance,
a dog yelps
in pain
incomprehensible.

Our city
vast as starscapes
whose lights
yet travel
to our eyes.

i am a distant hope
i make no sound
my ballpoint
is a ninja.

How much less am i
than a single cricket:
whose sound brings sex
the thousand-throated drums
of pheromones in ecstasy?

While yet
my pregnant wife sleeps
through her symphony
of ninjas.

One evening soon
the rain will fall.
I will watch
the smallest inifinty
of sound
blanket her all.

Hope begins

Occupy Church Photo Gallery

Remember the Occupy encampments? We set up a church there. Here are pictures of us in prayer at the encampments. In those days, it felt like the Occupy movement was a fulcrum so placed as to move the world.

(sorry for the overflow, remote Flash isn't themable, and my blog's theme isn't very accommodating!)

i am (i am) among the 9 thousand

the day barks:

a hound set to guard
by inner clockworks
officious, vigilant

exhaustion
nine thousand anonymous
lapping at the will
an attriting ocean

once again it bays
thirsting for work
and feed

"i am (i am)"

yes, and i am
i say
but less
in the dawn

oh the ceaseless dawn!
calling me to life
from wordless desire

ah how it tracks me
9 thousand distinctions
shattered from a single pane
and the wind carries a howl
through the broken glass

"i am (i am)"

i see that you are!
and i am less!
who am i this morning?
who was i last night?
who shall i be today?
why do you track me
you bloodhound
where do you come from
on the coattails of my grief
to the citadel of my self
where i had thought to rest

"i am (that i am)"

again you are?

excerpt from the dystopian scifi novel i'm writing

Energy swirled around the book: what secrets were trapped between those dense pen marks? Histories bled through its thin pages when held to the light. He studied it in secret and hid it deep beneath the hoarded Vac bric-a-brac in his closet.

There was a time before the Mind when all information, all knowledge, was stored in these inert paper volumes. Isaac knew from some distant memory that the secret to books lay in the study of their pages, with the eyes scanning back and forth. He knew their pages contained knowledge in a symbolic form, that somehow the black shapes represented spoken words. He knew this intellectually, but Isaac had never known any form of stored knowledge but the instantaneous pictograms of the Query Daemon.

the leafcutter ants

I remember the hammocks
staring up
into the meshed leaf canopy

a midwesterner in paradise
still working

i remember the hammocks
of paradise

high in the leaf canopy
i strove against the leafcutter ants
against the green-hued sun
to build a haven
where all things stay
where put

i remember the hammocks
where i strove in my mind
as my body rested.

Subscribe to