Blog(s)

Job's Poem: Victory is a Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Our scripture today sounds like a cacophony, does it not? All those voices. Job, scratching his sores in the ashes of his life with a shard of broken pottery. Elijah, splitting a bull into four blood-soaked pieces and calling down the fire of God to defeat the prophets of Baal. Sort of a my-God-is-bigger-than-yours. St. John of Patmos telling us that if we trust ourselves to the sword we will be slain by it. And then the Roman centurion. The boss. He recognizes power in Christ because he himself has power on earth. Heal my servant! he says My earthly power is profane next to yours. And Jesus does.

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

Pages