Time and the Violation of Values (SSL 66)

Time and the Violation of Values (SSL 66)

 

This is Soul School Lesson 66 (SSL 66)


Why Rich or Powerful People Act Beastly, and So Will You.

The social psychology studies on this revealed surprising answers that can help us find, and keep our way! (scroll down for the AUDIO PLAYER)


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Soul School – Lesson 20 – The Most Common Mistake About Beliefs

Soul School – Lesson 20 – The Most Common Mistake About Beliefs

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Today’s episode is about the crucial difference between belief and values/virtues and also the common mistake most of us assume about beliefs and identity.

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Episode 17 Shane Claiborne on the hunger for community

Episode 17 Shane Claiborne on the hunger for community

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~Lisa

FB-Timeline-470-Shane-Claiborne-2015-REVISE
Evangelical Seminary is proud to host Shane’s talk. Click the image and learn more about a school that teaches and promotes incarnational servant leadership at a core level.

Shane’s Bio:

Shane Claiborne graduated from Eastern University and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Eastern. His adventures have taken him from the streets of Calcutta where he worked with Mother Teresa to the wealthy suburbs of Chicago where he served at the influential mega-church Willow Creek. As a peacemaker, his journeys have taken him to some of the most troubled regions of the world – from Rwanda to the West Bank – and he’s been on peace delegations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Shane is a founder and board member of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. He is married to Katie Jo, a North Carolina girl who also fell in love with the city (and with Shane). They were wed in St. Edwards church, the formerly abandoned cathedral into which homeless families relocated in 1995, launching the beginning of the Simple Way community and a new phase of faith-based justice making.

Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. Shane’s books include Jesus for PresidentRed Letter RevolutionCommon PrayerFollow Me to FreedomJesus, Bombs and Ice CreamBecoming the Answer to Our Prayers – and his classic The Irresistible Revolution. He has been featured in a number of films including “Another World Is Possible” and “Ordinary Radicals.” His books are translated into more than a dozen languages. Shane speaks over 100 times a year, nationally and internationally.

His work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, Christianity Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been on everything from Fox News and Al Jazeera to CNN and NPR. He’s given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame. Shane speaks regularly at denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe. Follow him online at:

Facebook: ShaneClaiborne
Twitter: @ShaneClaiborne

 


Shownotes (with links) from my conversation with Shane Claiborne

MIN 4:00

About 15 years ago Shane Claiborne and a few friends founded The Simple Way in the poorest section of Philadelphia where drug and sex trafficking became the main “industries” when the factories closed. Ever since then, he and his friends have been living in a communally within the neighborhood and serving the residents there in many ways.

I ask Shane, How have they sustained their communal lifestyle for so long?

Shane shares some things that have helped:

1. We are not attached what it should look like in expression or form as much as we have chosen to love each other and Jesus well and allow community to flow out of that.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If you are in love with your vision for community you will actually destroy it.”

2. Allowing it to change over the years, from a house with 12 people sleeping all over the place in one house with one bathroom to a village of 10 or 20 houses all in the same neighborhood.

3. Helpful wisdom from the outside from others who’ve been doing communal living for a long time (The Benedictine order, for instance: 1,600 years)

6:10

What is “new monasticism” anyway? Shane explains.

6:30

“Folks are really hungry for community.”

7:20

“In Western culture we’ve lost the art of community.”

In other parts of the world this is how people have survived.

7:40

Economically impoverished communities can be community-rich (places) because they need each other.

7:50

“It’s no coincidence that in some of the richest places in the world we have the highest rates of loneliness..and depression, and suicide.”

8:00

“We are made to love and be loved.”

8:20

Even the mega-churches put in a lot of effort into making small groups work well (because that’s how you find community).

8:40

New Monasticism (as lived out in the U.S. or other wealthy Western countries) connects us with an ancient practice that continues on (and is “life as normal”) in many places in the world.

9:20

What communal living in Christian communities looks like in different contexts…

“Sometimes it’s about renouncing materialism and the Kardashians.”

10:00

What happens when people pilgrimage to The Simple Way to learn what it’s about.

Click for resources from The Simple Way

10:30

On the romantic notions of The Simple Way…

Mother Teresa said, “Calcuttas are everywhere if we only have eyes to see. Find your Calcutta.”

11:00

There is a wisdom in learning from other communities. Shane and others set up a network called the community of communities on the web which lists other communities like his. Example: Reba Place Chicago.

11:35

MissionYear.org

This way can get rid of the romanticism and allow people to experience communal living first-hand.

Monthly open houses at A Simple Way are on ramps (to learn about community).

12:20

It’s about not just believing the doctrinal statements but about living differently and finding out what that looks like.

13:15

We are called to not be conformed to this world. God wants us to use our gifts and talents.

“Non conformity doesn’t mean uniformity.”

13;30

On the 2007 fire that destroyed his home and many other homes–leaving about 100 families with nowhere to sleep and live. Shane was left in need within the community he helped.

The very surprising statement the Red Cross relief worker told him.

14:00

There are 700 abandon factories and 20,00 abandon houses nearby.

15:30

Their community has built a park, a greenhouse, green spaces for gardens. See photos at TheSimpleWay.org

16:20

How the neighborhood pulled together after the devastating fire of 2007.

16:40

Shane:
As Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t stock up your treasure that moths… and fires… can burn up and destroy.”

17:10

Ministry is mutual and if we don’t have needs we can’t be blessed. (Lisa)

18:30

One of Shane’s favorite quotes:

“If you’ve just come to help me, you’re wasting your time. But, if you’ve come because your survival and mine are bound up together, then let’s hold hands and we’ll work together.”

18:40

This quote comes in and corrects the posture by which we’ve often come on a mission to help people and thinking with a wrong perspective.

19:20

His friend says, “We are born on third base, but we think we’ve hit a triple.”

21:30

We don’t need has much as we think we do.

21:40

On Shane’s take of the story of “the rich young ruler”:
He wants to inherit the kingdom (entitlement thinking).

(QUICK LINK: Read the short Bible story HERE.)

22:10

“For folks that are independent and self-sustaining it’s hard for us to know that we need God and other people.”

22:30

Independence is not a gospel value. We need interdependence. It’s good to need other people and to need God.”

23:30

Besides people wondering what happened to his dreadlocks, people ask Shane this question the most.

24:20

Sometimes we have to challenge our location. (The places) where we (live) end up or are built around (that which) counters (opposes) gospel values. Like “suburban sprawl” which was created to get away from the urban problems (we should work to fix) and keep us from doing good for others who need it most.

It’s about living a life, not where we do great things, but where we do small things with great love (Mother Teresa). It’s not how much we do, but how much love we put into every act (of serving God).

25:00

We must ask:

What are my skills and passions and how might they connect to this world’s pain and injustice?

Whether it’s being a doctor, lawyer, plumber, or whatever, simply do your part.

26:00

What REALLY happens to the “dreds”.


 

Thank you, Shane! Blessings to you and your work. May we find our place to do good too.


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QOTD: What is the “Calcutta” near you and what gift might you bring to it ?

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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!


 

If you enjoyed the show please give it a stellar review on iTunes here!

Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

Humor Series: Funny to Whom?

funny-old-lady-smoking

Have you heard this one?

Three Humor Science researchers walk into a bar. ….um. Wait. That won’t work. Let me start over.

Get a scientist to talk about humor studies and you get a quick reminder of how science can squeeze the life out of anything.

Dissection is destructive. But no more!

It’s time to find out in a better way:

1. What do people find funny and why?

2. How can YOU become more humorously winsome?

3. How can science and an understanding of human nature and spirituality help us find out?

That’s what this series will be about, and I promise that it won’t be as dull as it’s been when scientists have the mic.

If it’s successful, a long form project will go a lot further and get a lot funnier. That’s up to you.


 

Here’s the story of how it all started:

A friend of mine asked me to speak at a senior residential home on the topic of community. No problem. I speak at plenty of places on plenty of topics. I wrote my bullet points and picked out an outfit…and then things went bad.

The problem?
I didn’t know she was billing me as “hilarious”.

I found that part out only a few days beforehand. I went into a quiet panic. The kind where your hands get clammy and your sweat smells like bad coffee. You run out of TUMS at times like this.

I’d planned on being friendly and informative, not uproarious. I was going to present material and involve them in cute bonding activities, not split their sides in gales of laughter. My friend had been walking around assuring residents that I was the funniest thing going.

Now what?

Maybe, I could stick a joke in there somewhere:

“Have you ever peed your pants laughing? What a silly question–you’re old people. You peed your pants getting out of bed today. Is bladder incontinence a laughing matter? …Depends.”

Depends is right. This wasn’t going to work.

What if they hated me?  Some of them are in chronic pain. Some are grouchy. Some have little patience for sassy youngsters. These people carry canes and some smell like pee.

I could get the beating of my life! And I would deserve it.


 

The terror of bombing at the place drove me to research the topic of humor scientifically.

My purpose was to help these folks have a good time, not offend them.

What resulted was a quest and many discoveries. I had to find out if funniness can be learned, if public speaking can be improved with a formula, if laughter can be predicted, and if old people laugh at jokes about physical deterioration and, if so, under what conditions.

Well, it turns out the last bit is sort of tricky. More on that in future material.

 

On getting funnier

My research dug up a very good find and it might help you too:

One of the ways almost anyone can get funnier to more people is to appear harmless more broadly.

Does that seem counter-intuitive?
Yes, there are foul-mouthed, raunchy comics aplenty and seem to get lots of laughs, but they are not typically funny to the greatest numbers of people compared to plenty of other things (pies in the face, mistaken identity antics, prat falls, kittens jumping in surprise), and there is a scientific reason why.

What more people (on average) actually find funny hinges on giving them something that is funny at a further comedic distance. This explains why Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, and Bill Cosby (before all that drugging women stuff was found out) have huge followings and continued success, and Roseanne Barr gets more annoying as time goes by.

 

What is Comedic Distance?

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.

-Mel Brooks

In this quote, Mel Brooks underscores what humor researchers are finding empirically true. Distance matters a lot.

If your child falls off the playground slide and bangs himself up, it’s scary. If some man in a cowboy hat suddenly gets kicked in the crotch by an aggressive llama, it’s laughable.

The Kitten vs. Stern Proof

This is why videos of kittens doing silly things trump in spades the popularity of Howard Stern and his radio show antics. The hoards of memes, shares, and overall fans of funny kitten videos means that invariably, kittens kick Howard’s butt. Big time. Kittens won’t squash your dearly held values. Kittens won’t say something gross about bodily fluids. (Kittens are not funny to everyone, but they are funnier on the whole than a raunchy DJ or vulgar comedian. No contest.)

The difference between kittens and Howard Stern is this: Something “dangerous” isn’t personally threatening when kittens are involved.

Comedic distance (whether physical, chronological, or emotional) creates an amusing incident. The surprise pays off and people are thusly amused. If not, that you can get booed.

For me, I played off that my normal Thursday afternoons are spend with prison inmates and that I was REALLY happy for the upgrade.

I was then heckled by a woman who said,

“Don’t be so sure.” (She has it in for a few of her neighbors. It’s been ugly.)

To which I replied, “Well, you are all much better dressed.”

Resounding laughter. A win!


So, see if you can figure out why the photo above is funny (to most people)?

Answer:
The woman has made it to 100 years old and she’s done it her way.
Sure, smoking is dangerous, but apparently not much, in her case.

Having fun?

I hope you are enjoying this series.

Do you have questions about humor theory or getting funnier?
Let me know.

xo

-Lisa

Here are the previous articles in this series:

1. Finding things funny…from birth

2. Humor Studies: Step 1 – Tickle Rats

For the latest info on my humor related projects sign up here.

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