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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Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

Getting my Monk on this Lent. [Blogs and Bondage]

Getting my Monk on this Lent. [Blogs and Bondage]

wise wizard and guide Gandalf from Lord of the Rings

 

Today, I’m getting all Jesuit. I’m here with some monks, spiritual siblings, and the Holy Spirit doing an inward gaze with a Lenten focus.

Why? Because it’s good for me.

One of the genuine spiritual perils of blogging is becoming a slave to the blog, and technology in general. The fact is, when I use social media to promote my blog then more people read it. The unintended consequence is that I grow obligated to tend that thorny patch to keep things going.

The fine line between obligatory blog promotion and bondage is a surprisingly fine one. I check my stats. Is this post working? Which tweets helped the most? Who’s retweeting and passing along the message? When and how should I thank him or her? round and round…

The quick result is little carved out time of true unplugging. Something that will directly refresh my soul, establish healthy spaces and balance, sharpen my awareness to God’s will, and in fact create reservoirs in me for better blogging and interactions later.

It’s like going too long without water. Once dehydration sets in you stop feeling thirsty…when water is necessary to put things right again.

As bloggers (or any kind of humans) we must block out time for this true rest. Put it on the calendar in pen, and schedule it in like any other appointment. Otherwise, the urgent crowds out the crucial space and genuine pause we need. And, trust me, we suffer for it.

Have you ever gone on this sort of retreat? You know, a time away with…quiet, prayer, silent or common meals, great scenery, no technology, and maybe even a kind of spiritual Gandalf type guide to help you along the way?

I haven’t been to a monastery for a retreat, so I’ll be excited to share some of what I learn. FriendsPlease pray for me today.

See you on the other side!

Coffee bowls and 2-handled mugs- Jehovah Java

I’ve posted two other posts on coffee, (Free coffee post,and “is coffee spiritual” post) and how the enjoyment of it is a true spiritual practice. I’ve wanted to find more information about the Carmelite monks who use no handle mugs so they can be fully present, and appreciative to their Creator during their daily practice of sipping their warm brew.

Jehovah Java-the God who provides coffee? Okay, I’m not sure about the Hebrew on that one, but here are more information and links for coffee lovers, or people who love them.

What is a coffee bowl? Used is Peru, France, and various other places in the world, a coffee bowl is grasped with two hands and coffee is sipped. This also keeps the hands warm. (You can locate the one pictured below, here.)

coffee bowl
café au lait bowl

 

Here’s another item that promises to warm up hands when filled with hot cocoa or coffee. (find it here)

no handles

This “Mystic Monk (2-handled) Mug” looks like a practical joke. It harkens back to the idea of the hands-on method of drinking coffee, and it’s a bargain among the others here, at only $6.99. Mystic Monk Coffee is a brand created and Carmelite monks in Wyoming who roast their own blends to support their solitary life of prayer. They have many varieties, including a fair trade blend, Carmel, Cowboy Blend, Hermit’s Bold Blend, and Midnight Vigil, among them. They also have a sampler pack with free shipping, and a coffee club-how handy.

Modern monk style mug
Modern monk style mug

 

 

Coffee Taste-tester Monk
Coffee Taste-tester Monk

 

What’s your favorite container to hold coffee, and why?

Free Coffee to spiritual adventurer…

 

coffee 

A little while back, I responded to a reader asking if drinking coffee, (and other such things) were actually spiritual. You can look that up if you want to, if you want to read the post in full. But, in the post I talk about a truly interesting spiritual practice monks have used with coffee.

It gives me pause to realize how I may incorporate what I usually think of as “secular,” or everyday/common things, into the realm of sacred. This way, all of life is both a physical and spiritual experience, and a way to revere, love, and acknowledge our Creator. It is doing all of life as prayer.

As for me, I love coffee. I have since age 5. I would wait until my dad wasn’t looking, and I’d slurp down his milky sugary mixture, even if it had gone cold. Spiritually it does play a part in my life. It’s a way to sit back, and take in life, and to be more “in the moment.” I love to remember God is not apart from me, “over there,” or “in the sky,” but always with me. And, I enjoy realizing he delights in my enjoyment of things he has given me, even such things as simple as a good hot brew. So, I invite him into that experience fully, (when I have the right mind, and will to do so.)

I have a bag of delicious coffee to give to the visitor who best reveals, in the comment section below, how and why coffee (or tea, if you must) is, or has been, an enjoyment to them, or even a spiritual aid to their journey with God. Have at it.

If you know a coffee lover, point them in this direction. Hopefully, we can contribute to the dialogue on this topic.

Keep on brewin’! :)

Joel asks… "Is coffee spiritual?"

Joel wrote… “You talk about everything being seen as spiritual, what about ordinary things like my walk at lunch break, or my habits I really enjoy, like my morning coffee?”

Joel, when we can look at the world with “spiritual eyes” our existence will awaken as we view the whole world like Brother Lawrence described as, “God’s book with messages for us.” In this way, many things become beautiful that may have been ordinary or common before. A walk can be a time of gratitude for health, nature’s beauties, or God’s goodness. In fact, monks are notorious for thoroughly enjoying coffee, and being spiritually present in the moment of doing so. Some monastic traditions have purposefully crafted coffee mugs with no handles, and made vessels too large to be gripped with one hand.

That way one can cradle the mug, sip the warm aromatic brew slowly, and relish the whole experience. God may be welcomed into even the morning coffee experience, Joel. Fill it to the rim, and enjoy! I’ll drink to that. Mmm.

Now-on to another big question! Any coffee brand suggestions out there?

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