Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When worlds collide


Four words for dealing with difference.

Subversive Fulfillment. 
This comes from J.H.Bavinck via Daniel Strange's  For their rock is not as our rock.

Fulfilment is all very C.S.Lewis. It's the observation that for all of us there are desires that point to a reality beyond where we seek them. You want the right thing but you're looking in the wrong place. It's affirmative and offers Christ. To not do this is to miss a thousand opportunities for common ground in our shared humanity. The only way to life is through death to the old destination.

Subversion comes from a different direction. It says, what you're desiring is wrong. It's Christ the confrontationalist. This feels harder to do. Emotional intelligence tells us to win people, to get onside. But Christ is not only an arm around the shoulder but the one whose arm stands against us in places. The only way to life is through death to our old desire.

Christ is always both of these. Either one without the other fails to connect. Mere fulfilment is lovely but lacks traction and urgency while championing humanity. Mere subversion lacks identification and attraction whilst championing urgency.

Subversion and Fulfilment is a case of both/and. Christ comes as the one crucified to invite us to life by putting us to death in his death. He confronts and comforts. Can I handle both?

Spin & Take.
From Charles Taylor via James K.A. Smith's How (not) to be secular.

Spin is over confident belief. This tends to shut down conversation. Spin is bold and confident but unengaged. Taylor suggests that whether held from a immanent or transcendant view of the world spin is flawed. Spin is overstated and reverts to violence and coercion.

Take is more open handed. Take will discuss and see things from different angles. Take asks questions. Take says - we all still have questions to engage with in ideas and experience. Take invites conversation and journey. Take is prepared to be understated trusting that persuasion is possible.

Spin or Take, it's either/or. Which approach do we take to the world?

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side


Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

Be still, my soul: your God does undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

In you I rest, in you I found my hope
In you I trust, you never let me go
I place my life, within your hands alone
Be still my soul.

Be still, my soul: He anguished in the Garden
Beneath your burden, now become His own
With bloodied brow He toiled for your pardon
That you might never face your sin alone
Be still, my soul: your Jesus wept that night
That at His dawn, your tears might be dried

Be still, my soul: now death is just a slumber
Only three days it fought to keep Him down
Out of the tomb, He rose up unencumbered
Returning home to claim the Victor's crown
Be still, my soul: while death attempts to sting
Its winter now must ever cede to Spring

In you I rest, in you I found my hope
In you I trust, you never let me go
I place my life, within your hands alone
Be still my soul.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

In you I rest, in you I found my hope
In you I trust, you never let me go
I place my life, within your hands alone
Be still my soul.

Katharina von Schlegel (v1,2, 5) 1752. 
Matt Giles (v3,4) 2015. 
Kari Jobe & Jason Ingram (Chorus), 2013.
Tune: Finlandia (Sibelius), arranged by Kari Jobe.

Image: Creative Commons