Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

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Shownotes for Episode 13  Wine lovers have God to thank + guest Doug Jackson


First, I want to feature the book Doug and I wrote …

entitled Dog in the Gap because of a C.S. Lewis quote “Man and his dog close a gap in the universe”.

 

And there’s a BONUS EDITION with lots of goodies!
Read a sample here!


Will you fan the spark?

Inspired by how musician Amanda Palmer put it, “Don’t make people pay [for art]. Let them,” I am altering how Spark My Muse stays alive…from bottom to top (literally).

How does it work?

It’s up to you. I need at least $75 per episode to keep it solvent.
Every little bit helps!
So, I invite you to just listen, read, and give as you can.

 

Thank you! Enjoy the show!

With love,

~Lisa

WINE SEGMENT:

Who do we have to thank for wine?

God and the Church, actually.

Wine lovers in Western civilization have the Church in Europe (and the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire–which was neither holy nor Roman ) to thank for the large-scale production, the prevalence and the excellence of wine!

Why? 

Because liturgy involving wine for communion was central to Christian religious practice. Wine was ingested as the saving holy blood of Christ (and bread as the holy body of Christ), usually each and every day. The sacraments of Communion served as saving grace afforded to the Church.

As Roman Empire became officially a Christian Empire (circa 313 CE) many vineyards had to be planted, properly cultivated, and harvested. Grapes had to be made into a lot of to support the daily practice of communion throughout the Empire.

Communion served as wine was the norm among Christians world-wide until recently–in the era of pasteurization. To keep juice from grapes in a state were they would not ferment meant it had to be sufficiently boiled so the natural yeast would die. 

Vehemently opposed to alcohol, Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician, dentist, and Methodist pastor from Vineyard, New Jersey, figured out the process in 1869 with Concord grapes. Most churches did not accept the switch as proper and stayed with wine.

The juice later became more popular during Victorian era because of prominent values of abstinence. A shift then began in the U.S. that made grape juice the main communion beverage (at least among certain Protestants sects).

Several hundred vineyards operating in Europe today can trace their history to monastic origins.

In the 9th-15th centuries almost 1,000 monasteries dotted Europe. They were centers of education, stability, and technical innovation. Monks and nuns could read and write–this was quite uncommon then.

Monasteries cared for the sick, helped the poor, created places of education, and invented Universities. They could not fund all this through donations. Surplus wine was sold to finance ministry work (and also beer, fruit brandies, and cheese, among many other things..even prayers and Salvation ..which–in hindsight–appears to have been a mistake ) .

So, basically, thank God (and many monks) for wine!


 

Sparking your muse

 Enjoy the fantastic chat with Doug Jackson!

Doug-Jackson

Douglas Jackson, D.Min.
Director of the Logsdon Seminary Graduate Program

Doug Jackson came to SCS in 2006, after serving as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, since 1993. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Jackson functions as a liaison between Logsdon Seminary and local churches in Corpus Christi. His areas of specialization include spiritual formation and pastoral ministry. Dr. Jackson has published and presented several articles and essays in religious and literary venues, including articles and lectures on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis.
• D.Min. – Truett Seminary (2006)
• M.Div. – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985)
• B.A. – English Literature, Grand Canyon College (1982)

His blog is here.


 

Interview / chat notes:

 

MIN 8:00
on Doug preparing for a his Fall class.

A resource he is using by NT Wright – “The new perspective on Paul”
The covenant people God has saved.

8:50
Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.

9:00
Confronting individualism
and thoughts on human flourishing.

9:50
on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”

10:30
on his work about CS Lewis

Mere Christianity

11:00
The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.

12:30
on his Oxford lecture
Owen Barfield an influential life-long friend of CS Lewis

Another lecture on Walter Miller – A Canticle for Leibowitz
Apologetic self-proclaimed validity on the rational scheme of knowing.

“Scholarship is about knowing more and more about less and less so that eventually you know everything about nothing.”

14:30
James Sire

15:70
Malcolm Guite https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.guite
Chaplain of Gerton college and Cambridge
“Faith Hope and Poetry”

He covers the imagination as a way of knowing (an epistemology).

Holly Ordway
Houston Baptist University
“Not God’s Type”

Her 2-track movement toward conversion

18:00
Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)

19:00
on Spiritual atheism

….if we come up with a system that covers everything (Christians and Atheists alike)…

“Humans are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable to a wasteful degree evolutionarily speaking…highly valuing the arts.” (Lisa)

Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monk and Abbot
Philip Lawrence, New Mexico
…slipping in and out of atheism….

21:30
HG Wells, and the fundamentalist reaction to him and others of his ilk.

on how science and religious circles have had an absolute unwillingness to be in one another presence and (have not wanted) to admit any weaknesses and (instead) just shout louder.

22:20

“The best apologetics can do is make Christianity credible and I don’t think it can make it inevitable.”

 

22:30 “Any belief in any ideal is still a leap of faith for anyone… like Justice, Love, Hope…” (Lisa)

23:30
on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)

24:00
Theories of “survival behavior value” for Morality and Justice kicks the can. or it lands on simple absurdity and meaninglessness where suicide becomes a valid option.

25:00

Doug answering the question….”Is fundamentalism evolving”?

26:00
Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”

27:20
A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.

28:20
How the psalmists had to cry out to God when the answers didn’t suffice any longer. For us, this is a return more than a departure.”

“I have gained the gift of being able to respect other traditions and admire things they bring us, but I talk to people across that spectrum that have that experience.”

29:30

“We go from trusting our denominational address or theology address to trusting Christ but it doesn’t mean an abandonment of it. Choosing a room in the same house to live in.”

30:10
Spiritual disciplines most meaningful to him:
On solitude and privacy (the difference). Henri Nouwen explains the difference.
 Henri Nouwen explains in “Out of Solitude” 

Doug: Solitude is for battle. Privacy is to be alone.

31:00
Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.

32:00
Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…

33:30
My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)

34:00

“(My) Inability to be with people was driven by a failure to have a real self.”

34:30
“you are nearer to me than my own self.” Augustine

Doug realized:

“My real Self can’t be with people because it’s threatened by them, because they’re going to colonize my Self and going to make me into something I’m not. As opposed to having a real Self that can listen because God is protecting that Self.”

Father Francis Kelly Nemeck wrote
The way of Spiritual Direction (his director)
…Doug and I discuss Detachment and Holy Indifference…

39:00
St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)

“the nada” (God is “no thing” the silence before God

40:00
…on staying in the problems and not panicking.

41:00
…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology

44:30
(unknowing) Apophetic theology

“John of the Cross didn’t want that we should abandon the metaphors but move through them.”

45:00

“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”

(which is terrifying but life-giving)

46:00
[GOOD NEWS]
Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!


 

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Episode 5 – The god of Wine and re-thinking the nature of creative process

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Shownotes

Episode 5 – The god of Wine and re-thinking the nature of creative process

dionysus

Today’s episode is about the Greek god of Wine and rethinking our ideas about the process of creation, and a better understanding the notion of “creative genius”:

 


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wine segment

What the Greeks thought about wine is reflected in the god of wine that they worshiped. (I don’t recommend worshiping the god of wine, or any god except the benevolent Creator.)

• Dionysus was the Greek god of wine and grape harvest

• The only god to have a mortal parent. Born from Zues’ thigh. That’s because his mother burnt to a crisp when Zues showed himself to her in his glory. Whoops.

Symposium means “drinking together”.

Additional note: These originally-small gatherings were for upper class men and with carefully imposed rules about consumption. They occured for leisure and thoughtful discussion.

• I will be offering a symposium-stlyle web-event where we will all have a glass of wine at the same time and discus a topic–possibly in July. Only patrons will get to come. This is your invitation. :)

If you want in, or you are curious about the rewards for being a sponsor of the show, go to Patreon.com/sparkmymuse

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• Most of the great Greek plays were initially written to be performed at the Spring feast of Dionysus. . . .when the buds of grape leaves start to open. It was a most sacred festival.

• Dionysus was a patron of the arts!

For Greeks, Dionysus was credited with creating wine and spreading the art of viticulture (the horticulture of grapes).

• He had a dual nature; on one hand, he brought joy and divine ecstasy; or he would bring madness, brutal and blinding rage–a good depiction of the dual nature of wine.

• He was brought back to life…like grape vines that undergo brutal pruning and look dead, but then burst back to life.

• Blood and red wine are often linked for the ancients.

(Blood gives the body life, wine has powerful bodily effects.)


And now to spark your muse!

——

• Nikolai Berdyeav

“All the products of a man’s genius may be temporal and corruptible, but the creative fire itself is eternal, and everything temporal ought to be consumed in it. It is the tragedy of creativeness that it was eternity and the eternal, but produces the temporal, and builds up the culture which is in time and a part of history. The creative act is an escape from the power of time and ascent to the divine…”

Today we’re thinking of the creative process as re-imagined and being “divinely co-operative”.

We (commonly) think of genius as applied to us in a personal way like a characteristic. A natural capacity, but the Greeks seem to have a much healthier view of what the process of creation is truly like…

• For the Greeks …divinity is always present.

• A genius = an unseen guardian, or custodial and protecting spirit…who gives a human inspiration: For the Greek, we each have one. (It’s not us; but it will help us.)

Three reasons why depersonalizing our part in the creative process is helpful:

1. Failure is not personal

2. Success shouldn’t cause arrogance

3. Patience and giving up control (not forcing it) will reinvorgate your creativity

What do you think?

Is the creative process a “divine cooperation”?

 


In the next episode we will cover “the proper rites of friendship”  and skinny on “wine spritzers”. 


[powerpress_playlist]

The Berry on the Vine? (Wine Series)

I plan to take this series and broadcast it…as a podcast!

The Spark My Muse podcast is coming in May and a “wine for newbies” segment will be on every show.

Two shows are finished so far, and a few more will be completed before it launches officially.
Stay alert for updates!


 

If you want to make sure the podcast can happen as planned, you can help.

Be a patron!

See how on my new Patreon Page!

Each level has special rewards.

It only takes $1 to help.

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Be a patron! click here to see the page.

So, about those grapes!

Grapes are actually classified as a berry. They are berry cool.
(shout out to Strawberry Shortcake, yo!)

What’s so interesting about grapes is that only taste like grapes if they are eaten fresh or squeezed into (unfermented) grape juice at just the right time, with few exceptions.

• Fermented grapes seldom taste likes grapes (among those few exceptions are Muscat, Niagara, and Concord).

• Instead, once grapes are wine they taste like a whole variety of fruits and other things.

The chemical compounds in fermented grapes are even more complex than blood serum and taste far better (unless you’re a vampire).2854238804_a8b92961e9_z

Wine takes on characteristics of many different sorts of fruits, depending on the variety and where they have been cultivated. Additional taste notes happen during fermenting, refining, filtering, aging, and so on, done by the vintner (wine-maker).

Here’s a very short list of the many fruit notes (subtle tastes) that fermented grapes can offer in both sweet and dry (non sweet) types of wine.

Citrus Fruits:

lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, etc…

Pome Fruits:

Apple, pear, quince, etc….

Stone Fruits:

Peach, plum, apricot, etc….

Tropical Fruits:

Mango, pineapple, star fruit, passion fuit, papaya, etc….

Seed Fruits:

Pomegranate, persimmons, etc….

Berries:

Strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry, blueberry, etc…

Wine takes on other qualities too, such as vegetal notes, herbal notes, mineral notes, and many more.

Never underestimate the grape!

Do you have a question about wine?

Ask me!

Prayer of Communal Lament: For Franklin Regional HS

FR

 

My small hometown–Murrysville, PA–is undergoing a time of shock and pain because of the Alex Hribal’s attack. Two steak knives and a blood bath. Many heroes were made, but the event was and is traumatic–rocking the community to its core.

My young niece (the daughter of my brother’s who is a Franklin Regional Alumnus from the 1990s) was not allowed to attend her classes at the elementary building at Franklin Regional and her street shut down as FBI, State Police, and legions of first responders, media, and others have swarmed the scene. 

My family’s church, the church were I was married, mourns as an entire community and feels trauma and pain deeply because several from their youth group teen were wounded. Some of them have undergone surgery.

All are expected to survive. Praise be to God for that grace.

It would be easy to say this youth of 16 years old is a monster, but students attest that he was very nice. Answers for why it all happened are left unanswered at this time.

 

In these times, the community of faith raises its voice in communal lament. We are comforted by each other and by a good God who is with us in our pain.

Sadly, violence has become a normal occurrence in school settings… and it may be your hometown that suffers next. But, parish the thought!

If not that, than surely you and your community will encounter pain and loss.

 

For that, here are some thoughts on Communal Lament.

 

1. About 1/3 of the Psalms are songs of lament. They are meant to be sung as prayers. They can be read with that in mind.

2. God invites us to cry out in our pain, not to suppress it, or put on a “happy face”. That kind of honesty dignifies our feelings and helps us feel our emotions fully,  so we can move toward healing.

3. Communal laments are always meant to be expressed in the context of ongoing faith and trust in God. 

4. Our laments (communal and individual) are a normal response to the pain and loss of life and living; they help us experience greater bonds of community and healing from God.

5. Laments of the psalms are unvarnished. That is an important quality to understand. They depict the anguish, desperation, pain, and messy feelings that often smack of ill-intension toward enemies and abusers, in parts. They may seem to condone retaliatory violence. But, that’s not the end of the story (song)…

6. If the reader or hearer pays close attention, she or he will notice each song ends in hope and trust in the Lord. This is key to the communal lament. All is left in God’s hands. 

(In this way, our burdens lift and our faith grows.)

7. Communal laments are a cry from a whole group for Justice (things to be put to rights) and this ultimately necessitates the elements of…

• Mercy

• Forgiveness

• Reconciliation

• Restoration

• Redemption

 

Here is a resource on the types and categories of Psalms. May they be of comfort to you.

 

Join with your community and raise your voices in lament when your hearts are heavy with sadness, pain, and grief.

 

For your reflection:

Psalm 63

A psalm of David, regarding a time when David was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.

6 I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
7 Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.

9 But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.
They will go down into the depths of the earth.
10 They will die by the sword
and become the food of jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God.
All who trust in him will praise him,
while liars will be silenced.

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