What matters more?

July 10, 2009

Was singen wir da eigentlich?

June 20, 2009

Vor kurzem habe ich mal wieder Musik im Gottesdienst gemacht und der geneigte Lobpreismusiker kennt das Problem: der Prediger oder Pastor hat oftmals einen leicht anderen Musikgeschmack und sucht natürlich nicht die eigenen Lieblingslieder für den Gottesdienst aus. Das ist natürlich legitim und auch richtig so, denn der eigene Geschmack ist natürlich nicht der letzte Maßstab allen Handelns. Doch gelegentlich liegt dann auch mal ein Text auf, der einem Bauchschmerzen bereitet. So auch vor kurzem wieder. Irgendwie hat meine Gemeinde das Lied “Multiply your Love” lieb gewonnen und so erklingt dieses Lied in regelmässigen Abständen in den Gottesdiensten. Das Problem dabei? Das Lied gehört (meiner bescheidenen Meinung nach) zu der Sorte Lied die einen unglaublichen gut gemeinten Ansatz hat, aber aufgrund einiger Formulierungen ins theologische Abseits läuft. Es dreht sich in dem Lied darum, wie wir als “Multiplikatoren” für Gottes Liebe zu den Menschen unterwegs und wie Gott durch unsere Worten und Taten seine Liebe ausgiesst… Read the rest of this entry »

Über den Glauben reden?

May 7, 2009

Es ist ja nun doch einmal so: wenn die Dinge des christlichen Glaubens, wenn unser Vertrauen zu Gott und seinem Wort genau ausgesprochen werden soll, sozusagen in seiner Eigentlichkeit — und es ist immer wieder bitter notwendig, dass das geschieht, damit die Dinge klar werden — dann wird es unvermeidlich sein, dass in aller Unverzagtheit die Sprache Kanaans ertönt. Denn gewisse Lichter und Wegweisungen und tröstliche Warnungen lassen sich direkt eben nur in dieser Sprache sagen. Wer da etwas zu feinfühlig sein wollte und allzu zart mit seiner Seele umgehen wollte — ich glaube, aber mein Glaube ist so tief und innerlich, dass ich die Worte der Bibel nun einmal nicht über meine Lippen bringe, dass es mir schwer fällt, den Namen Gottes auszusprechen, geschweige denn den Namen Christi oder gar des Blutes Jesu Christi oder des Heiligen Geistes — wer so reden wollte, dem würde ich sagen: Lieber Freund, du magst ein sehr innerlicher Mensch sein, aber sieh zu, dass du gewürdigt wirst, deinen Glauben öffentlich zu verantworten.

Karl Barth. §4 Glauben heisst Bekennen. Grundriss einer Dogmatik

Denn ich schäme mich des Evangeliums nicht; denn es ist eine Kraft Gottes, die selig macht alle, die daran glauben, die Juden zuerst und ebenso die Griechen.

Römer 1,16

Jesus wants the rose!

April 10, 2009

I found this gem over at the CRN.info-Blog.

Somehow I wish he had stormed the pulpit and screamed it at the top of his lungs. Matt is right on spot. The good news is not that the rose will become broken when it gets passed around. The good news is not that if we are very careful with the rose and don’t let anyone touch we might be able to keep a beautiful rose. The good news is that Jesus wants the mangled and broken rose. There is no hope for us in trying to conform to the law of God when we do not have the forgiveness and love of God to cover our utter inability to live by his standard.

Today is Good Friday and we remember that Jesus took the sins of the world to the cross for us and that sin died right there with him. All our selfish and self-centered thoughts and actions that separate us from God have been taken away from us and we can look forward to the life Christ’s brings to us in his resurrection. Everything else is secondary at best.

If you feel like your life is like that mangled rose, Jesus wants you.

He will not break a bent twig.
He will not put out a dimly burning flame.
He will be faithful and make everything right.

Isaiah 42:3

This dude makes me angry…

March 16, 2009

For clarification: I do believe that God created different genders for a reason. Men and women are biologically and emotionally different, no matter how many gender ethics classes are going to try to convince me otherwise. I believe it’s a good thing if men treat women with respect and treat them as women. I would consider myself to be moderately “gentleman-like” when it comes to cultural standards such as holding doors open, taking the side closer to the road when walking at the road, a tradition which historically does not stem from the danger of the woman being hit by a car (that would have actually been a carriage some centuries years ago) but from the simple fact, that the guy would be the one who gets dirty if aforementioned carriage would pass with high speed, spinning its wheels through the occasional puddle of shit & piss (I’m sorry for the graphic description and the choice of words, but that’s the way life is) that you would frequently have found in cities around 1753, a period of time where Mr. Driscoll might have felt very much at home if it weren’t for those stupid wigs. But even so, better me than her anyhow. Guys have strong body odor anyway. Fun little fact: when entering a restaurant, guys are actually supposed to enter first (to protect the lady from unseen dangers that might lurk behind the door) a tradition that has been long forgotten and abandoned by most gentleman… sad story that is. If however, the restaurant has a glass door, the lady walks in first. Anyway, this is about Driscoll, not the particulars of chivalry.

My thoughts on the videos:

  • Could people please stop trying to support their distorted gender views by forcing biblical passages to say something which they actually don’t do? I’ll let a real theologian (unlike me) speak to analyze Marks exegesis: “I’ll try to be careful here… but there really isn’t a way to balance this out. I think I need to just come right out and say: The exegesis displayed here is just plain awful. (source: bob.blog)”
  • There are many ways to “provide for ones own”. Staying home, taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, etc… there might be the time when circumstances demand that this is the way to do this for a man. Basically calling stay-home-dads lazy do-no-gooders who are being irresponsible towards their divinely ordained duty bears no scriptural support and borders on spiritual abuse. Administering church discipline to such men, is simply driving away men who take responsibility for their family. Mark Driscoll is preaching to thousands who suck in that stuff and believe it.
  • Someone please tell me he is kidding about the room mates… someone please tell me he is kidding about the phone call… driving 5 hours because she forgot to call seems creepy enough but is somewhat understandable, if you are young, concerned and in love. I had similar thoughts, too (not because she didn’t call, but because I missed her). Knocking on the door and leaving after “just checking” if everything is alright?? What is wrong, he just spent 5 hours behind the wheel, he might at least take a walk with the girl.
  • While I can easily dismiss the last point as highly exaggerated long distance relationship anecdotes, one thing really creeps me out: Mark Driscoll is filtering his wife’s email. This doesn’t mean that he just set up an email filter for her (which would be ok, apparently it’s mostly the guys who are tech-savvy enough for that kind of stuff). But he is also reading anything that is not on the whitelist filter he set up for her! Is he also opening her mail? Reading her short messages? Taping her phone calls?
  • This is not about Mark Driscoll in particular, even though his statements make me angry. I know there are a lot of guys out there who think and act the way Mark does and a lot of girls dig the way these men behave and confuse it with chivalry. It is a sad thing to see.

A Christian’s bucket list

April 16, 2008

Remember, none of these things will do you any good… on themselves:


On Theology

April 11, 2008

I’m no theologian, I study mathematics & literature (that’s a cool combination, isn’t it :)?) and theology always seemed an oxymoron to me. Trying to grasp & describe God with human reason appeared to be more than odd. God was something I placed outside of the realm of logic reasoning.

When I read Ratzinger’s script of the infamous lecture he held in Regensburg I stumbled upon a beautiful thesis, in which Ratzinger emphasizes the fact that God is ‘logos’ and therefore not outside of rational reasoning and logic but rather constitutes it. As a result of this, I concurred, we don’t need to bring our reason to God, but we can rather accept God’s ‘logos’ to work in us and theology suddenly becomes way more than an inadequate attempt at trying to describe God in academic statements, theology becomes a way to find words that catch a glimpse of his reality.

At this point the whole thing is still merely a theoretical idea and an idealist’s perception of theology. When I look at the heated debates around theological issues in history as well, as a quick google search for “creatin & evolution” or “homosexuality & bible” might bring up, it seems as if theology is just about one side claiming to be right to smack the other side (which is obviously totally off track, because they misread the bible or don’t take it seriously enough or take the wrong passage to literal, while neglecting other more relevant passages… yackyackyada). Sometimes, Christians seem to be so intensely concerned with believing the “right” stuff that God suddenly becomes secondary. All at once, it’s about my point of view, my interpretation more than about catching that glimpse of God’s reality. And maybe we’re not far away from denying someone else’s plausibility or even the sincerity of his faith.

What I find intriguing about Jesus is, that he gave the whole aspect of theology a certain twist. When the pharisees stepped up to him and asked him all kinds of trick question to probe him for orthodoxy, he let the whole charade of set up intellectuality fly right back at them. Theology is not about trick questions and legalistic paradoxes. It is not a tool to judge someone else’s orthodoxy (as convenient as that might be). I read a nice piece by Joe Martino on the relevant christian blog (link) about those nice little theories we set up, using the bible as intellectual backup, thumping passages that promote our point of view just to prove we’re right. A former roommate once stated that he loved those theological debates where they would whip out their bibles and then you’d know why he always had a Schlachter translation around (that’s a quote! Schlachter is German and translates to butcher or slayer). Theology suddenly became about “slaying” your “opponents” POV.

Joe Martino tops his piece of with a completely different approach on the relevance of theology and states that the rules for whoever “wins” the theological debate are quite simple. It’s not about being right. It’s about God. And the measurement for whether it’s about God is NOT the right amount of bible verses thrown around. The measurement for sound theology is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness & self control. That’s a completely different take on the whole thing, isn’t it? That’s where God’s logos is at work.