Redeeming Aphrodite: All Hallows’ Eve (Part 9)

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Continued from Part 8

Prologue

Father and I have been taken prisoner by female guards.
I have no idea what is going on.
I wonder if we were betrayed by Hades, when he opened the Box in his Office.

Then I see Adam.
He no longer looks like a truant Child.
He looks like a Man who has stared Death in the eye.
And Death knelt at his feet and called him Master.

I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid.
Then I realize stupidity is inevitable, whenever Man sees Woman.
So instead I start to pray.
Pray he does the Right Stupid Thing.

Eve Continue reading

What if Christ was a Verb?

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I recently learned (probably from Seth Godin) that there are two types of roles: certified and performative. Roles defined by certification can be faked; for example, a man can sit in a medical office, examine patients, and give advice without really being a doctor. Conversely, the mere act of executing a performative role makes it authentic: if you get on a stage and sing to an audience, you are a singer, regardless of whether you are “qualified” to be there.

Today, as for much of its history, being a Christian is primarily defined by certifications: baptism, confirmation, membership, statements of faith, etc. As a result, there are endless arguments (and divisions) regarding about who is “really” a Christian.

What if it was other way around? What if there was something we could do, such that the very act of doing it was proof that we are being united with Christ, regardless of our beliefs or motives?

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TGR-S6E6: How to Cure Train Wrecks

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Join us on The Great Reset (via Zoom or YouTube Live at Tue Jan 5, 2020 at 1PM PST) as Ernie pitches a framework for tying together our recent themes of discipleship, reconciliation, and loving more like Jesus.

Question: Is there a single thing that both causes and sustains “train wrecks” (i.e., cascades of broken relationships)? If so, can it be inverted to provide a cure?

Perspective: Yes, abjection (i.e. dissociating self from what is toxic or outside our control). The tragedy is that abjection is essential for identity in both groups and individuals, yet ultimately destructive of the larger context. The cure is to follow Christ by incarnating into what was abjected, and overcome it by the power of the cross.

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TGR-S6E2d1: Family Time

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Q. How should we react when other people hurt us, or they claim that we hurt them?

P. Seek to Ground our identity and security in Christ, so we can respond with curiosity and compassion rather than fear or anger


When I feel threatened, my natural instinct is either fear (giving in) or anger (taking over). I am learning that neither of these is very effective at spreading the Kingdom of God; though both may be expedient in terms of protecting the self, at least in the short term.

Conversely, when the challenge is not in an area that threatens my identity, I find myself relaxed and eager to engage with understanding all sides of the issue. I am able to focus on ensuring that others feel heard, and become confident enough to explore creative ways of solving the underlying problems.

How do we build a community and practices where all of us can feel safer confronting the emotional issues that define both our identities and our differences?

TGR-S5E6: Questionable Authority

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This week on The Great Reset, Ernie argues that his apparent incompetence and immaturity is actually part of a brilliant plan to demonstrate the need for more Christ-like models of authority.

TED Summary

In this document, Ernie:

  • Claims the authority structures he grew up with were built around the Law
  • Acknowledges that they were (and are) necessary
  • Believes those same structures hinder us from becoming mature in Christ
  • Redefines The Great Reset in terms of searching for more robust authority structures built around Grace,
  • Hopes that Season 5 shows us what that should look like
  • Welcomes pointers, examples, suggestions, and corrections
  • Apologizes to anyone he has confused, misled, or offended along the way

Draft 1, 14 Nov 2020

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TGR-S3E2: Biastes Co-Discipling Network (Pitch V1)

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The Biastes continue Season 3 of The Great Reset by attempting to articulate concrete commitments we can make together to help us become better husbands and fathers, yet at the same time advance Christ’s purposes on multiple levels.

“He must become greater; I must become less.” — John‬ ‭3:30

Question: How can we as men, whatever our occupation and family situation, make every action count for the Kingdom of God?

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TGR-S2E5: Unlearning Idolatry

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Next Tuesday, June 16, 2020 our Biastes public discipleship men’s group will continue using The Great Reset in Education as a lens to explore issues of racism and repentance in the wake of the Killing of George Floyd.

The Great Reset, Season 2, Episode 5

Question

How can we retrain ourselves to measure everything against the reality of Jesus Christ — instead of our own understanding?

Cf. Peter rebuking Jesus — and vice versa (Matthew‬ ‭16:21-25‬)

Perspective

Create systems where we are repeatedly:

  1. Emptied of our shame via the cross
  2. Submitting ourselves to be filled with power by the Holy Spirit
  3. Using those to connect transformationally with the Other
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ShameBreaker Covenant

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  1. God loves me, and has a wonderful plan for my life. 
  2. As I humble myself and turn away from my wicked ways, I position myself to receive the fullness of God’s blessings and favor.
  3. I confess that I have sinned — against myself, others, and God — to the point where I deserve nothing but condemnation and death. 
  4. Through the cross, I have been born again as God’s child; He blesses me because He wants to, not because I deserve it. 
  5. In order to receive my inheritance, I must confront and overcome the part of myself that wants to remain a slave to the systems of this world. 
  6. In God’s timing, I will respectfully renegotiate my relationship to the people and institutions that were my Egypt, in order to redeem myself and them. 
  7. Going forward, I will boast of my weakness, so that God’s power gets all the credit for my achievements.  

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Christianity Beyond, Draft 1

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Bringing Heaven to Earth. One Cross at a Time.

[Update: see my background thinking in Draft 2]

Christianity Beyond is a movement of ordinary people who are learning how to make the same kind of extraordinary impact as the Jesus they love.  We honor all the ways people have sought to follow Jesus in the past and present, but dare to go beyond that in order to demonstrate to a watching world just how good and worthy Jesus is.

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AORTA Adolescence: The Perpetual Practice of Growing into Christ

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It may be too late to have a happy childhood, but it is never too late to have a turbulent adolescence!

We as a society have lost sight of what it means to grow up. And that’s a good thing!

The gift (and curse) of the Enlightenment is that each of us must answer the question: who do I want to be when I grow up?  It is tempting to envy our ancestors and traditional cultures who had well-defined “markers of maturity”, e.g., marriage, mortgage, and making money.  There is enormous security, stability, and support in having society validate who you are supposed to be.

But there is also enormous danger, especially for Christians.

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RohAnjali 2018 New Year’s Prayer

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Dear God,

Thank you that our family belongs to you.

We confess we need you to free us from our sin and shame so we can love like Jesus.

Give us the grace to:

  • Trust you with our desires
  • Face our fears
  • Reflect on our anger
  • Speak the truth in love, and
  • Ask for help along the way

We ask this by the blood of Jesus, Amen.

Wise Risk: Faith in Two Syllables

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Part 5 of 6 in the series Childlike Theology:

  1. The Gospel
  2. Discipleship
  3. Holiness
  4. Worship

As children, we express faith in our parents by obeying them to stay safe. As adolescents, we risk danger in order to express faith in ourselves.

I have come to believe that the hallmark of a mature faith is wise risk. Which implies we should be designing our lives — and churches — to maximize learning rather than avoid failure.

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