Preparations in the Dark [SSL88]

Preparations in the Dark [SSL88]

It’s time for another Wednesday audio delivery of Spark My Muse.
This is Soul School Lesson 88
 [SSL88]

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Eps 107: Pete Enns says the Bible is for Normal People

Eps 107: Pete Enns says the Bible is for Normal People

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Peter Enns (Ph.D. Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University (St. Davids, PA). He has taught undergraduate, seminary, and doctoral courses at numerous other schools, including Princeton Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, and Temple University.  Enns speaks and writes regularly to diverse audiences about the intersection of the ancient setting of Bible and contemporary Christian faith. He is a frequent contributor to journals and encyclopedias, and has written, edited, and contributed to nearly 20 books, including The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, and The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins, winner of the 2012 ForeWord Review Book of the Year Award in Religion (adult nonfiction).  Enns resides in suburban Philadelphia with his wife Susan.

 

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Eps: 83 Ryan J. Bell and Life After God

Eps: 83 Ryan J. Bell and Life After God

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

DETAILS:
• Each FRIDAY, guests join me in a conversation.
• Come back each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek) for a brief Soul School “lesson”–something for your interior world and common life.


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SHOW NOTES:

Today, my guest is a follow podcaster and blogger Ryan J. Bell. Ryan came into some notoriety when he, as a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor, decided to blog about living a year without God and he gained a large following as a columnist on Huffington Press as well. What happened next and what he’s up to now makes for an interesting story. Listen in.

AUDIO PLAYER:


MIN 1:00
Ryan’s blog: yearwithoutgod.com (The Blog)

A year without God at patheos.com

The PODCASTlifeaftergod.org

About Ryan’s religious background, education, and pastoral experience.

humanities studies

7th Day Adventist explained in brief

Restorationist movement mid 19th Century

some Methodist and Deist roots.

• Stone Campbell 

• Churches of Christ (similar off shoot)

prophetic interpretation and end times predictions

lost truths that mainstream Christianity left behind.

MIN 6:00

He started reading theology that differed from the framework he came from. It was less restrictive and exclusive toward others.

9:00

Atheism and the blog “A Year Without God” started in January 2013

9 month break,

Spiritual but not religious, American, individualism version of spiritual experience:  “Everybody is having their own private isolated experience of wonder.”

Religion for Atheists – Alain de Botton

He submitted his idea of “middle space–between belief and non belief” for the Huffington Post Religion Page and it was very popular.

15:00

People approached him because they didn’t have anyone to talk to about their doubts and questions.

Space for dark spots of doubt.

19:00

Do you hang on to any spiritual practices or vestiges of your old life?

Coming to a centered place in the now and in focused and non judgmental way and noticing feelings.

22:00

What have you done with “The Big Other” and the baggage from your upbringing?

Do you have gratitude toward the Big Other, or how is it expressed?

Not locating a destination for his gratitude.

26:00

Morality of an atheist. Being good for goodness sake.

A bottom up thinker

27:00

Draw to Judaism because it had created a theology around a community not a community out of a theology.

Judaism: Built around love, work, sex, food–the whole life lived.

Norms and wrong & right

29:00

Why he started the Life After God podcast

The response to the question:

“How do we community, both online and in person, in both groups and one-on-one, ….to help people around their changing viewpoints.”

Dealing with the challenges and life issues after a life where people stop believing in God.

32:30

A community of revolt coheres poorly. -Lisa

Atheists that move into Humanism (a secular moral philosophy to guide life)

35:00

• Jennifer Michael Hecht – A LOVE FEST SEGMENT-

Jennifer’s episode on Spark My Muse:

Poetic Atheism (as opposed to what Ryan called “Vulcan Atheism” -a logical-focused (MR. SPOCK from Star Trek) approach to the world)

Denying our humanity by letting beauty shape our decisions at times.

When we deny those things that give us beauty and awe, we are repressing, fighting or resisting the idea that we are deeply emotional creatures.

DOUBT (the book)

40:00

Aeon.com What is “soul” – emotional seat in our brains.

Religious words and language. Words can hold larger meanings.

Tad DeLay (Our conversation)

Outside of religious contexts:
• Soul – can mean awareness

• Spiritual – can mean aliveness -Lisa

Part of the human experience is beyond words so we have to use what we have available in bigger ways. -Lisa

Jennifer gives permission to have a deeper (and more artistic) appreciation and ways for living.

43:00

Life After God- the Ex-files

We are storytelling creatures and isolation is dangerous for people.

Post religious and post-theistic communities and progressive communities have a exciting times ahead.

Greta Vesper (episode link)

Sunday Assembly and Oasis meet up.

We need to be challenged and comforted regularly.

47:30

Curiosity about life and learning

49:30

Asking questions

Power systems (or any one who’s trying to sell something) have something to lose if you ask questions because threats to disturb the status quo.

51:00

lifeaftergod.org

Brian Peck

My Life After God – Insta-journalism

54:00

Trying to understand why atheism is attractive to people and why people lose their faith/belief


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Eps 82: Becoming Wise, my conversation with special guest, Krista Tippett

Eps 82: Becoming Wise, my conversation with special guest, Krista Tippett

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

DETAILS:
• AUDIO is released each WEDNESDAY.


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Today, my guest is Krista Tippett.kristatippet
Krista is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author. She is the host of On Being, a radio show and podcast distributed to more than 400 stations across the country, a program which often ranks among the top 50 podcasts on iTunes. Krista is the author of several books, including, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, published in April, 2016.

In 2014, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal at a special ceremony at the White House, and honored by President Barack Obama for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.”


(Share audio using the app below. Share by TWEET some of Krista’s most memorable quotes when you see the blue bird icon.)

SHOW NOTES

MIN 1

The twist on the question Krista usually asks her guests.

Silvia Borstien

Our children are watching us more than they are listening to us

Learning to not see people with distinctions and to not see people difference.

MIN 5:30

Nostalgic and loving view of religion of the grandfather. Hymns

MIN 7

Her own spiritual practice

Karen Armstrong – my work is my prayer

Krista writing a prayer, bare bones liturgy, gratitude,

“I don’t know what I mean when I say I pray, but there is something essential and grounding about having this as part of my life.”

Prayer is also an orientation to mystery. My prayer now has very little to do with asking for things. via @kristatippettTwitter

MIN 12:00

Going to Divinity School in the 1990s and the life of the mind and keeping the eyes of a journalist on the world. The important issues of theology and human life were discussions that were missing in public life.

MIN 16:00

Religion, politics, and values

MIN 19:30

The puzzle about human beings and doing “what we ought”, and power, agency, and will and choice, and being people of integrity that need cultivation and our need for each other.

MIN 21:30

We can value that we have the knowledge that we know what’s right and we can learn to get companion for ourselves.

MIN 23:00

Does one need to suffer to become wise?

Suffering is not optional. via @kristatippettTwitter Suffering offers rich ground for becoming more wise but it can take generations. via @kristatippettTwitter

MIN 24:30

Krista on her own depression and how it deepened her wisdom.

Suffering is seedbed of wisdom but not the only seedbed of wisdom. via @kristatippettTwitter

MIN 26:00

Hefty wisdom and also the kind of wisdom children possess.

MIN 28:00

How have the wisest people you’ve spoken to continued to learn and grow in wisdom?

Wise people find a way to stay soft in the face of what ever life will present next.via @kristatippettTwitter This lessens the suffering.

MIN 30:00

Hope is borne of struggle

A toughness and courage

MIN 32:00

The connection of Empathy and Wisdom and how it’s embodied.

Wisdom is a quality of presence. via @kristatippettTwitter If we walk through our sufferings and losses desiring to learn from them and to grow and deepen, empathy is a natural effect. via @kristatippettTwitter

MIN 35:00

The most foolish people get all the attention.

As a culture we seem to be growing distance from each other and less empathic–what can be done?

Fear is an empathy killer. via @kristatippettTwitter

We can become paralyzed and think we can’t do anything.

If many of us could take up the calling to be ‘calmers of fear’ and really close to home. via @kristatippettTwitter We really need to be leaning into the better angels of our nature to stand up to the challenges of the 21st century together in common life.Twitter

MIN 39:00

We are talking about work that is stitching a new fabric of common life that has to start at a very personal level.

Being a non-anxious presence for others

MIN 41:00

We are not taught to be a non anxious presence as powerful people or to be powerful this way and we need more postures in our common spaces; and it won’t feel intuitive.

MIN 43:00

Human drama will remain after the (2016) election and we have to be equipping our selves to reckon with that and be present to that.

MIN 44:00

Krista answering the “so what” question for herself in public life and presence in the world and moving away for being the On Being organizational direction.


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Eps 73: Spoken Word brings Life- Guest Anita Scott

Eps 73: Spoken Word brings Life- Guest Anita Scott

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

It’s like we dance a samba.
(I bring you something to enjoy and you give me some money to cover the cost.) Thanks for your generousity, today.

 

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Today, I feature the lovely, effervescent, and talented, Anita Scott.


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VISIT Anita Scott’s website
F
ollow her on Twitter: Twitter.com/poetanitascott

SHOW NOTES:

Anita reads her poem

About her background

Min 2:30

Chicago Poetry slam event (she performed “Mary Go Round” – see link below to watch)

• Mudroom (Anita’s page)

• Tammy Perlmutter (her own website)

The TWO EPISODES in which Tammy is my Spark My Muse guest:

What it’s like living in an intentional urban communal arrangement as a family.

Follow-up episode answering listener questions & on the power of confession.

MIN 5:00

Reads All Seasons (NOV 2007)

MIN 8:30

How Anita got started in poetry?

and her family background and education.

MIN 10:00

Her introduction to rhythm, poetry, and rap music to express emotions

11:30

Her spiritual formation and rediscovery of her faith as an adult.

MIN 14:00

D Boy and Preachers in Disguise (PID)PID

Reverend Rhyme

Being homeschooled

Teaching 7th grade

MIN 19:00

Deciding who you want to be.

Bringing poetry into the classroom.

MIN 21:00

The role of the arts during times of trouble (including the current racial tension and tragic recent event like the slaying of police officers in Dallas)

MIN 23:30

Anita’s thoughts about seeing racial violence and violence against police unfold right in front of her in her own hometown.

MIN 25:00

Nothing will get back to order if there is no justice.

What the arts can do for the issue of Justice.

MIN 28:30

Performing poetry that relates to racial and social justice issues–now seems even more powerful.

Anita performs “In Memoriam of Morality: end quote

It’s hard to look for a good laugh

when so many of our channels expose the madness

of what seems to be consistent harassment

of what some might call . . .

 

How do you converse and talk about

videos and uploads from people on their walk about

showing millions and millions what to gasp about

because honestly to see so many videos about . . .

 

Well, that might be where we get stuck

or unable to label true stories or fables

either over dinner or all too often under the table

dealing with people who . . .

 

Well that might make things sticky

when hearing only one side of a story sure makes things iffy

and so we are left with a tricky . . . 

 

What is race?

And is that the question?

Or what is racism

and is that the conglomeration of too many. . . swirling in one population

with too many nationalities, ethnicities in one or several locations?

 

Again, is that the question?

 

I watched videos of the recent incidents

and no lie, I felt completely absent from joy

and completely different from indifference

but also distant from revenge or payback. 

I honestly felt more under attack

not from a color, but from a sin

something within every human

and because we are fallen

we lack the courage to say what C.S. Lewis so eloquently expressed:

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

 

end quote. 

 

Isn’t that utterly ridiculous and even senseless?

But, oh dear friends, he is speaking to our present day existence. 

 

We take Jesus out of schools

and are stupid enough to demand and look for values.

We sanction abortion, 

but lock up thieves.

We “Hooray!” same sex marriages

and question why little boys and little girls struggle with identity. 

 

We laugh and mock politicians,

but stay out of the polls

and then when we turn on the tv, 

we have the audacity to ask, “What is going on?”

 

So is that the question?

 

What channel should I watch just to get away from this humiliating madness?

What channel can I view to escape the constant harassment?

 

To be honest, friends, 

when I watch these videos again and again, 

I fall to my knees in utter repentance

because I start to see color when I see brutality. 

I start to see race when I see crimes against humanity.

And I only feel that way when I lack the courage to say these words from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Judging others makes us blind whereas love is illuminating.”

 

end quote. 

 

Then no wonder we can’t see.

Our judgements have burned down these cities

and we wrestle all night

wondering who and what color will be the victim of our fights

like 2 wrongs ever made a . . . 

 

Mother Theresa smiled and said, “God will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?

 

end quote. 

 

Is that the question?

 

That question will expose the reality in our hearts 

as we 60-mile-an-hour brick through windows

hoping that will cover up the anger and grief in our souls

and so we submit to temporary exhilarations 

contributing to an ongoing deviation

of how not to deal with a systemic situation

as we watch those bricks shatter bank accounts

but do we even take into account

the morning after the one night stand

when fumes consume the inability to resume

the life we presume or desired. 

 

I have a question because I can’t put out this fire:

How do unjust deaths lead to grocery buggies with flat screen tvs

car trunks with microwaves and DVD players?

Yeah! I’m a hater. 

What are we doing and what have we done?

We’re teaching a younger generation that sin has a color

and revenge is the other route to avenge

and we’re letting them grow up with another lie. 

Why are we quiet?

If we choose to send a message of silence

we are inevitably advocating the violence. 

 

It’s hard to see through the anger in our hearts, 

the unforgiveness in our carts, 

Add to cart

the grudges in our cart

Add to cart

the vindictive actions that tasted sweet but only backwash tart

Add to cart

 

Check out!

HECK NO!

Some of us need to check in and ask yet again “What is the question?”

 

What can we do to get away from this stench of sin covered in revenge

covered in avenge someone’s death.

Our plight has us fight against skin, 

but the only real fight is the one against sin,

but how do you fight a force you can’t grab, you can’t choke?

Is that why we burn down buildings because at least with smoke

we can see the ruin of our demise

and yet even when I close my eyes

I can’t shut out or shout out the images inside.

I’ve already seen them – the punches, the chokeholds, the funeral and in these last days my brothers and sisters, get ready for more turmoil. 

 

All men sin and fall short;

that’s nothing new to report

accept with that terse verse feel free to rehearse your own shortcomings.

May not have involved a chokehold or a gun

but a sin is a sin, and in the end,

we all desperately need repentance. 

 

Don’t we?

 

Isn’t that the question?

 

end quote.

MIN 37:00

Civil Rights movement

Black Lives Matter movement

MIN 41:30

What do you think people with light skin can do to make things better?

MIN 43:30

Having conversations about privilege.

Telling our stories and making sure the friends and connections you have are very diverse.

MIN 47:30

On diversity in community

MIN 50:00

Making adjustments to deal with the events of the summer.

Poetry resources

• Nikki Giovanni

• Langston Hughes

MIN 54:30

poetanitascott.wordpress.com

mudroomblog.com

A reading of

Bellows

VIDEO of Bellows (Spoken Word poem)

 

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