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navigating between the everyday and theology

updating & innovating for today

Echo of the End

We live up against The End. Not the end of the world or the End Times … just The End. The economy (capitalism), democracy, media and war are now empty echos of former expressions.
The church is always trying to reform, revive and redeem an echo of an ancient broadcast.
The current configuration is insufficient for the contemporary situation.

Here is 10 min video introduction – an Invitation to Innovation

Fake/Real part 1

In my studies I have found an amazing line of concern/critique of our media saturated consumer society. In the coming months I will be talking about some of the implications for the spiritual life of our faith communities.

In this video I introduce some of the ideas and frameworks that will punctuate this theme. I am also employing this theme for the conversations at the church I help facilitate (the Loft LA) in our Sunday gatherings this month.

Let me know what you think or any additional topics you would like to address.

__________

Just in case you are interested, here is a short invitation to the series (on Vimeo)

 

Image Is Everything from Bo Sanders on Vimeo.

3rd Way not Middle Way: bust the binary

Dualism offers us binary options that must be challenged. Evolution & Creation, Male & Female, Church & World, Jihad & McWorld, East & West, Think & Do etc.
This short video is in response to requests for alternatives to the either/or frame work that we have inherited.

Church Present and (near) Future

In this short video I speculate about some trends of the N. American church. I would love to hear your feedback and if you want any of the concepts expanded upon.

This is a summary of a multi-day presentation.

Real Fake HyperReal Cynicism

It can be difficult navigating our hyperreal, liquid, fluid digital culture with any amount of discernment and sincerity. Disney Land is plastic and fabricated while branding itself the ‘happiest place on earth’.

Vampires, Zombies, Super Heroes and demonic exorcisms populate our movie theaters. Comedians are great at doing caricatures of TV preachers and faith healers. Surely there is something real somewhere in all of this.

In this 10 min video I use Rumsfeld’s ‘Known Unknowns’ as a model (and Zizek’s addition) to propose an idea about the Real/Real, Fake/Real, Real/Fake and Fake/Fake.

I’m working off of Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco in looking at the hyperreal.

Let me know what you think!

Halloween is a watered-down substitute for something we actually need

Halloween is a watered-down substitute for something we actually need.

Unfortunately it is a heavily diluted version of what it could be. This is tragic because our culture is in deep need of a formidable challenge to the systems of oppression and marginalization. The old notion of Carnival was a least a vacation from the repetition and redundancy of the status quo. Carnival was a suspension of social norms and expectations. It provided an opportunity to examine and challenge ‘the way things are’ and to turn upside-down the domination of the established order.

The problem is that Halloween has become nothing more than a distraction from the way things are. Instead of wetting our appetite and creating a desire for something greater – we are easily satisfied with mass-produced candy and slightly risqué costumes.

Our costumes and rituals bring us closer to reinforcing problematic gender stereotypes than they do to challenging us in reexamining our assumptions about sexuality within the essentialist binary understandings that we have inherited.

We miss the opportunity to boycott the drunken capitalist system and its insatiable market driven orgy of perpetual consumerism. Instead, we reinforce the very system of marketing and goods that daily bombards us with commercials of manufactured desire and unrelenting need.

It’s not that I don’t like Halloween, it’s just that it makes me sad to think about what it could be and to know what it has been distilled from. I wish that it was an intensified version of what Carnival points toward, rather than this – a compromised and impotent cartoony descendant that actually reinforces that very structures and institutions we need to challenge.

Anyway – those are my thoughts during a quick study break from exam prep … now back to the books.

The Kin-dom Strikes Back

Kin-dom thinking is so different from the ‘kingdoms of this world’ that it calls into question translating what Jesus was talking about as ‘the Kingdom’.
‘Kingdom’ has been compromised and corrupted through the centuries.

Kin-dom is not top-down, unilateral or coercive. We are the children of God who have been adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15 & Galatians 3:26).

This is a follow up to a previous post ‘There is no Kingdom of God’ [link] as there was some interest in more details about what the shift might look like.

Wisdom of the Wesleyan Quad

The Wesleyan Quad is my 2nd favorite theological concept.

  • Scripture
  • Tradition
  • Experience
  • Reason

In this video we look at those 4 configured as a living web of interpretation. I hold that it is far better for community discernment than a foundationalist approach (the classic sequence).

Let me know if you have questions or concerns – especially about the little game of 3 minus 1.

There is no Kingdom of God

The ‘Kingdom of God’ is a bad translation of the Greek basileia tou Theou. It comes with too much baggage and not enough emphasis on the counter narrative embedded in the phrase.

Jesus’ kin-dom is both ‘not of this world’ and completely un-like the kingdoms of this world.flamine sword

I look forward to your comments, questions and concerns.

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