Friday Stream of Consciousness – 141

Featuring Musings on Wheaton, College Football, and the Beach Boys

stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this morning:

  • I really couldn’t care less about the final four in College Football. I think the best 4 teams are Alabama, Stanford, Ohio State, and Clemson. So, I’ll go ahead and pick Clemson—with the caveat that I don’t think there is a great team in this year’s final four…and I’d like to see Oklahoma win.
  • The quickness with which we forgot the San Bernardino victims for other arguments is astonishing.
  • Our national language is becoming hyperbole. We throw “hate,” “love,” “victim,” “racism,” “persecution,” “bigot,” like they mean next to nothing. They mean a lot, actually. We must stop using them cheaply and quickly.
  • I’m amazed at the lack of scruples Christians show in misrepresenting their opponents in political debate.
  • Bearing false witness is a sin. Have we forgotten this?
  • Let’s do some due diligence, and then ask, three questions: 1) “Is this useful for building others up?” and 2) Is what I’m about to pass on or say actually completely true—especially if I attach Jesus’ name to it? 3) If I attach Jesus’ name to it, what actual biblical basis do I have to think it’s His opinion? Attaching Christ’s name or “Gospel,” is our new way of taking God’s name in vain.
  • I’ve been introduced to Rocket Fizz by my wingman, Rudy Hagood. It’s a superstore of candy and soda. It’s a dentist’s dream. Is there a candy or soda from your childhood you can’t find any more. Find a Rocket Fizz. You’re welcome. Oh yeah, Lemonheads, Big Red soda, and Bottlecaps make great Christmas gifts (hint). Rudy would want me to tell you that he welcomes Boston Baked Beans as a referral fee (barf).
  • So it turns out C.S. Lewis was also an MI6 agent for the British government. He really is the most interesting man in Christianity…post-biblical era.
  • I guess I better start being nicer to writers. They might secretly be able to assassinate me with a Moleskine journal.
  • Edwin Friedman was right: “The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change.”
  • I’d add another colossal misunderstanding–the assumption that everyone is motivated to change.
  • I believe the Beach Boys are the greatest American band. Elvis still gets the nod for solo artist.
  • Endless Summer may be the greatest album of all time. If not, it might be Pet Sounds or the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band–but McCartney admitted the Beach Boys helped inspire the album.
  • Regarding the Wheaton incident, I find myself resonating more with Scot McKnight than Miroslav Volf. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God…though I get the language issues at play when some make the opposite claim.
  • I love Miroslav Volf. Sadly, his opinion piece in the Washington Post seemed to reveal more of his own biases than his opponents.
  • There has to be another option than, “Agree with this or you’re a bigot.” If not, we’re finished as a society.
  • Many of the world’s leading theologians disagree with him–many who have spent great efforts at battling real bigotry. Surely, they can’t all be bigots…and to suggest one’s opponents must be bigots is to fall into the same trap as those who say, “All Muslims are terrorists.” Perhaps even great theologians can be too reactive.
  • This whole thing could have been avoided if Professor Hawkins had used better judgment. She is obviously smart enough to know what reaction her comments would draw. She admits she chose Advent in particular–knowing the uniqueness of the seasons for Christians. This was just poor judgment. To say you are doing it in an effort to bring peace seems a bit disingenuous to me.
  • Right now, some might be preparing to type back that what she is doing is what Advent is all about. That demonstrates how off the mark our theology has become. Advent is about the incarnation of a very specific Messiah–one Islam rejects.
  • Advent reminds us that Jesus is the only way to the Father. To say Christians and Muslims worship the same God is ignore or deny Jesus’ own claims about himself and the Father.
  • This doesn’t, at all, make Muslims our enemies.
  • As for we Christians, working for peace surely includes one another, not just our neighbor.
  • Looking for the perfect holiday gift? How about this album of goats singing Christmas Carols to fight poverty.
  • How about a scholarship to Santa University?
  • I’m going to have a teenage daughter on Christmas Eve (her birthday). I’m getting old.

What’s on your mind this morning?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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