MARCH 20th, 2016 8pm ET – Watch LIVE or view the REPLAY
With Chris Shea and me.
MARCH 20th, 2016 8pm ET – Watch LIVE or view the REPLAY
With Chris Shea and me.
I was a sweaty, nervous wreck on my first periscope.
It’s comical…did anyone ever see Broadcast News (the movie)?
I needed two tissues for my sympathetic nervous system.
(Some technical difficulties threw me just before broadcast and I talked SO VERY fast.)
If you didn’t get to see it here you go!
THE #1 Myth about the SOUL…
is that we have one.
But first….we should get on the same page…
WHAT IS A SOUL?
(what are we talking about?)
This is how I’m describing it:
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for soul is nephesh. We might use it this way, “1,517 souls were lost in the Titanic disaster.”
SOUL ≠ dead BUGS BUNNY …like a floating ghost and that sort of stuff.
Not a faint rendering of bugs bunny leaving his body to play a harp on a cloud with Porky Pig. Not something that is ghosty and haunting a house or helping Demi Moore on a Pottery Wheel. (Patrick Swayze-style..google it, young people.)
Ancients thought of the mind and heart differently (the will and the emotions)…
Maybe these verses come to mind…but you’ve been thinking about them in your own context instead of the ancient context from which they were written.
Remember this one?
The heart is deceitful and wicked above all things JER 17:9
(Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
….The writers of these scriptures were not talking about emotions and feelings when they said “heart” (like we associate the heart today…they were talking about the HEART as one’s will and control center of a person…(the thing we now associate with the mind.)
For them, the emotions (the heart for us in our context) were associated, instead, with the bowels. Perhaps a bit gross..but there is some
MEDICAL TRUTH/correlation : anxiety and stress are closely associated with disease and problem that happen in the intestines…like….ulcerated colon, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (bloating, constipation, gas, and other fun things), digestion issues, food sensitivities and problems in that part of the body. These are extremely related to one’s emotions and levels of stress.
Think of the SOUL as a gem and the facets are ways to see the soul.
You can go as far as saying other things beyond these are facets:
family of origin, social economic situation, skin color (if that has been a defining factor in your life)
education, the country you live in,
Even Christianity is a facet. A worldview is a facet that we can gain a kind of look at who we are.
Grace is central to Christianity, for instance. We can look at our soul through the facet of grace.
When light is added to a stone you can see its flaws and imperfections and you can see its quality (color, cut, clarity, caret)
UGLY soul? Is that possible? what do you think?
In his book Care of Souls, David Benner writes, “We can define soul care as the support and restoration of the well-being of persons in their depth and totality, with particular concern for their inner life. Soul care is done in the context of community.”
The vantage point of Soul Care views struggle or failings not as fatal flaws or illness to be “cured”. Not therapy or self-help.
It’s a sustaining endeavor for our interior lives and our relationships, like water and food is for the body. Incidentally, caring for the body falls within the bounds of Soul Care.
Ten Signs that You Need the Renewal of Soul Care
1. Fruitlessness. Are there observable deficits in the enacted your Fruit of the Spirit? That means, is there any lack or slack in the
areas of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control? (If not, I think E.T. went home without you. Phone again. You might want to text, and retweet as well.)
2. You find yourself perceiving things others say as personally offensive, or as direct attacks.
3. You are “venting” more in person or online.
4. You feel unloved.
5.You feel increased frustration, restlessness, or disconsolation.
6.Your fears and anxiety are more prevalent.
7.You have increased tension in relationships.
8. You struggle with one or more of the “seven deadly
sins”: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
9. You have problems sleeping or bad dreams.
10. You’re in a creative slump.
THE #1 myth about the soul is that…. you have one. You don’t have a soul you are a Soul. You have a body. George MacDonald, in 1892 (C.S. Lewis quotes him and the quote is mistakenly attributed to him sometimes)
Think of the Soul as “the real you” the essence of you. contained in a body, yes, but made up of everything about you in a pure sense.
Some might say the soul gets extinguished or goes to paradise or gets absorbed into the great Life Force (God) …but in terms of what you need…you always need Soul Care, because you are a soul and that include both the visible and the invisible.
All this more and much more is available in my book. Shame-filled plug.
Tom joined the Emmanuel College (part of the University of Toronto) faculty in 2007. He is committed to an interdisciplinary, practical, and relational vision of theology, and his teaching and research address a range of topics related to constructive theology (particularly the doctrine of God and theological anthropology), theological method, intercultural and interfaith engagements, contextual theologies and globalization, philosophical theology, disability studies, and the thought and influence of Friedrich Schleiermacher.
His recent Articles
Tom on Theodicy – The question of why does God allow suffering and how should we think about suffering.
How would Tom, as a theologian answer the question, “Why would a sovereign God allow a person to be born disabled and encounter such suffering?”
The Why questions and the answers are messy, ongoing, and evolving. These answers are limited and open to ongoing revision.
Reframing needed. Question the question and its suppositions about seeing suffering first and foremost as the issue.
If we are pitying a disabled person and seeing them how we would interpret suffering, we might be off base.
Exclusion as suffering. Social suffering is something we can alleviate as the church or community.
Tom on the central questions of Theodicy.
What would a good world be? Interdependent and that holds up the preciousness and fragility of life and human experience as valuable. Good things can be fragile things.
Does God cause suffering and determine it? Maybe it’s (all) unfolding for us in mysterious ways.
Book of John, chapter 9: The man born blind.
Who sinned? (disciples of Jesus thinking of blindness as a curse)
So the glory of God can be revealed. (What might that mean that we haven’t understood yet. [Lisa])
The story is less about curing the disabled and more about reveal Jesus’ power and legitimacy as the Messiah.
NT Wright author of Evil and the Justice of God
(on the Problem of Evil)
• God as the Incarnation steps into human suffering as a means to assuage it and also, in that, provides us a model for how to encounter it in the world ourselves, practically speaking.
The answers to suffering can become “incarnational”, not cerebral and (held) at a distance.
The why questions signal a (good) unsettledness which can be productive…
1. God is bigger than our questions and we should feel free to engage in dialogue with God and each other about God.
2. And because it calls us to live into the world and the lives of people will engage who ask, “Where are you?” and we can be there in presence and not (just) with answers.
(The heart of Incarnational living.)
In many cases God’s own presence is us to each other.
“Care isn’t so much “doing for” but “being with”.”
1 in 5 families regularly encounters a serious disability of some kind.
We (as a family) chose to continue to come to church even though it was sometimes messy so he (and everyone) could figure out how to make it work. (Lisa)
How can people in Christian Communities or leaders in Christian communities do better when it comes to being truly hospitable and caring well for people with disabilities.
Training ministers to come along side is important.
In his mission and intro to Theology class, what is framed is practical wisdom lived out in relationships of caring regard with other people. (not in the academic halls or in isolation).
On developing the perception to see/understand differently and to see places where people have been harmed by certain ways of seeing these…like the healing narratives…illness as curses from God, or metaphors of seeing and hearing language and attitudes (able-ism) for example.
How to show consideration:
Asking before you assist someone. Or asking how you can best help and not presuming that you know (or know better).
Listen first, then do.
Ministry doesn’t have to be deficit-focused to the “needy”…but rather possibility focused.
As all people of resources and gifts [are] welcome among the community…this turns things upside-down.
Think of people as sites of wisdom that help a community of belonging.
Members having the same care for one another. All can care and contribute.
Living out the image of God with shared affinity.
Transformative and vulnerable communion within our communities…being together.
[There is] dignity in participation. (Lisa)
Allowing people to serve along side means that we are equal.
Equality isn’t sameness. Difference doesn’t mean a hierarchy.
(Tom) Music is my therapeutic other life.
A Call for Help!
Will you help me meet my goal of raising $1,000.00 in August to keep Spark My Muse going? Use the Donate button on the left sidebar. Thank you for listening!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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:
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.
Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.
and thoughts on human flourishing.
on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”
on his work about CS Lewis
The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.
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.”
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).
Houston Baptist University
“Not God’s Type”
Her 2-track movement toward conversion
Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)
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….
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.
“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)
on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)
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.
Doug answering the question….”Is fundamentalism evolving”?
Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”
A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.
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.”
“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.”
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.
Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.
Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…
My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)
“(My) Inability to be with people was driven by a failure to have a real self.”
“you are nearer to me than my own self.” Augustine
“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…
St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)
“the nada” (God is “no thing” the silence before God
…on staying in the problems and not panicking.
…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology
(unknowing) Apophetic theology
“John of the Cross didn’t want that we should abandon the metaphors but move through them.”
“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”
(which is terrifying but life-giving)
Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!
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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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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. :)
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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.)
“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”.