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).

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”. 


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Announcing the Artists Advent Project

Advent is a season of expectation and generousity.

The Artists Advent Project is a kind of Do-It-Yourself artistic initiative where individuals or groups create and give toward a collective goal. This is not organization, or a formal program. It’s a grassroots effort to share art and creativity. Oh, and it doesn’t cost anything (other than your time and art supplies).

Today, is the launch of the Artists Advent Project.

What is an “Artist”?

In this case, if you’ve done something creative visually, or in writing, you are an artist. (So…you know, Everyone.)

What’s Advent?
Advent starts November 27th. Now is the advent before Advent. (Advent means awaiting. Waiting for who? Jesus! Little baby Jesus to be precise. Everybody likes babies, and everybody likes little baby Jesus. That’s a Rick Bobby reference. Here’s the video on that.)

As I was saying…Advent is a time, spiritually speaking, when millions of Christians throughout the world focus and prepare their hearts for the time of celebration during the Christmas season. It is set aside to be mindful, grateful, and worship God as we consider and meditate on the profundity of the Incarnation, when God sent his Son to earth, as a weak and helpless babe.

It is a hopeful time, expectant, and purposely filled with sacred spaces and meaningful acts meant to draw us into deeper intimacy with God, and others. That’s what the Artists Advent Project is all about.

What’s the “Project”?:
The Project is many working toward one goal.
Today
, is the first day promoting the Artists Advent Project, so when the Season of Advent is here, on November 27, you’ll have something creative or artistic to contribute, or you’ll have time to select from things you already have. (Again, the specifics are here.)

On this Launch Day, I’d like to point out 2 things:

First, notice there is a new page for AAP featured at this blog. It’s a tab at the top of this page. Do you see it?  Or click Here. That will work too. The specifics are there for anyone to read. If you know an artist, or are one, get in this loop.

Second, notice the snazzy Artists Advent Project Button on the Top Right. For bloggers, this button is for you. You can grab the code and paste it into an “arbitrary html text” widget (wordpress users) to support this seasonal giving effort. This button shows that you support the efforts of artists and creative people worldwide who will share some of their work freely this season, without regard to personal benefit, or monetary gain.

Thanks for your help, my friends, and for your creativity and generosity.

(Contact me with any questions, comments, or ideas on how we can spread the word.)

-Lisa 

Guest Writer: Shane Tucker ‘Aesthetic Spirituality’

I invited Shane to post here, chiefly because I feel a kinship to Shane. The artist and the spiritual formation learner I am jives so nicely with Shane’s outlook, and what he does as his life’s work. Writers, artist, thinkers, creatives, musicians, and so forth bring vital perspective to Christian Spirituality, and walking with God. Shane tends to this group, which is not an easy task.

 

 

Shane Tucker

 

 

Who is SHANE TUCKER?
Shane lived in Ireland for eleven years with his wife, two daughters and son. Visit his site. He works with the arts, spiritual disciplines, evocative messengers, and symposiums to engage people in their journey with Christ. He is passionate about seeing people live into their purpose in life, and he finds applications for that as a ‘soul friend’ (spiritual director) via Soul Friend (www.ArtistSoulFriend.com). He can be reached via either website or at shane dot tucker at gmail dot com.

Please enjoy Shane’s post, and feel free to offer your insights, comments, or questions.

Aesthetic Spirituality
by Shane Tucker

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
-ThomasMerton

We have an innate quality to notice beauty at every turn. To know that something is ugly or unattractive we must, of course, know that true beauty exists . . and in some way, to have experienced it. We resonate most strongly with that which seems to offer wholeness or a sense of completeness to our lives. That resonance may also be experienced as a deep hunger. Seldom do we know ourselves well enough to be able to express those yearnings in a coherent fashion. Itʼs in those times we need a bridge – something enabling us to connect, to integrate disparate elements into a whole. . . into a sense of being whole.

Art – any method or medium of creativity – can often serve as this necessary bridge, this connection, between what we know and what we long or yearn to know. Art gives us the tools, the words, the motion to live into what we sense is already there, but as of yet remains unseen. In this sense, art itself is a means by which we find ourselves by moving beyond ourselves. Through art (the highest sort) we are transported into places and spaces where we can lose ourselves. Itʼs a gift to be fully present to, and fully absorbed into, a situation or individual where weʼve forgotten to be concerned with our own desires or even aware of our image before others. Iʼve had a few experiences like this directly and by extension.

One of those experiences occurred three summers ago while I was attending a festival of creativity in middle England. I sought out a band I wanted to become acquainted with and unexpectedly, during their set I was in continual awe. Through their skillful use of music and visual elements, I was caught up in the moment and I forgot myself. Classic. Iʼve had similar experiences standing on green, broad, bald hilltops around Ireland as I drank in the arresting landscape around me. Another example are Christmas mornings since my three children arrived on the scene. Experiencing the uninhibited enthusiasm and joy demonstrated by these little people as they open gifts and share their excitement with the family – these are moments of pure bliss.

In times such as these we are given the gift of losing ourselves . . more specifically, concern for ourselves. The end, however, is not the experience of forgetting oneself in beauty, wonder, and awe; or even that of knowing a deep resonance which affords us the equivalent of tonal tonic through lifeʼs journey. Itʼs knowing Him. I hear, see, touch, taste and feel the Creator in this God-saturated existence called life. Heʼs made Himself ever- present in the created order and ever-accessible. He has, in fact, painted Himself into the portrait, written Himself into the narrative and sung Himself into our lives – even into existence, in Jesus Christ. When we recognize His overtures of love, our moment is to respond whole-heartedly, in trust, recklessly abandoned. In His hands, we then become the artwork by which He invites others to lose and find themselves in Love.

“Those who want to save their lives will lose them. But those who lose their lives for me will find them.” – Jesus, Matthew 16:25

by Shane Tucker / Soul Friend (Spiritual Director) / www.ArtistSoulFriend.com

Thank you, Shane.

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