Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How Star Wars V (The Empire Strikes Back) Should have Ended

Too funny.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Good Reading of the Parable of the Unrighteous Steward (Lk 16.1-13)

This sermon provides what I think is a very compelling read of the parable of the Shrewd Steward.

The upshot is this: the unfaithful steward is the scribes and Pharisees. Their response to being discovered as unfaithful stewards by Jesus "should" be to reduce the burdens of those they've burdened (think, e.g., of Lk 11.46 & Mt 23.4). In response, Jesus, their master, would praise them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jesuit Joke

A Dominican priest told me this joke. It's pretty funny:

A Dominican and a Jesuit were talking.

Dominican: "So, brother, I understand that the Jesuit order was founded to fight the Protestant heresy."

Jesuit: "Aye, brother, that is true, that is true."

Dominican: "And I'm sure you know that the Dominican order was founded to fight the Albigensian heresy."

Jesuit: "Aye, that's what I understand, brother, that's what I understand."

Dominican: "So . . . seen many Albigensians around recently?"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Everyone is Resurrected; Everyone Exists Forever

No, I haven't become a universalist (ug).

This is sort of an "un, duh" thing. But orthodox Christianity has always taught a general resurrection -- i.e., that everyone, good and evil, is resurrected from the dead.

Paul, for example, proclaimed before Felix:

"But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked" (Acts 24.14-15).

And Jesus taught:

"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment" (Jn 5.28-29).

And, "All the nations will be gathered before Him . . . These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Mt 25.32, 46).

And Daniel:

"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt" (Dan 12.2).

So everybody is resurrected, and everybody exists forever. "Eternal life" and "eternal death" are not contrasting eternal existence versus annihilation. Rather, the contrast is that of being eternally united with God (eternal life) or separated from God (eternal death).

After all, God told Adam and Eve that the day they ate of the Tree they would surely die (Gn 2.17). And they did die, being driven out of the Garden and separated from God. Eternal death, or eternal destruction, is being eternally separated from God (2 Thes 1.9).

But if "life" is defined as a person existing forever, then in point of fact Chrisitianity has always taught that everyone lives forever.

Believing in Jesus is not a means to avoid death understood as annihilation or non-existence. It's a question of where we spend eternity - with God or without.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Funny Flight Connections Today

So my flight from D.C. started an hour and twenty minutes later than scheduled, due to a suddenly sick pilot.

So I arrive at DFW for my connecting flight home about three minutes after they closed the doors and cleared the flight for take-off. It did not matter that the plane was still sitting there, connected to the walkway. And it did not matter that the electronic monitor stated that the flight was delayed ten minutes. The gate agent would not open the door. He said he couldn't. (The flight delay occurred after the gate had been "closed," so the fact that it was sitting there supposedly didn't make a difference -- I still could not board.)

O.k. so I had like five hours until the next flight home. So I go enjoy a leisurely lunch, and then head back to the boarding area. I get all set up -- connect my computer to an outlet, access WiFi, get my earphones out to listen to my Itunes & etc. All set up for a long wait.

Then almost immediately I hear an announcement over the PA system "ticket holders to College Station may now reboard." I look around to see who made the announcement - it was a gate agent right behind me.

What apparently happened was this: The flight never took off, but pulled back to the gate after I left for lunch. In the meantime, because of mechanical problems, the airline had to exchange planes, all of which took almost exactly the time it took me to eat lunch and return to the boarding area.

While I doubt the other passengers shared my pleasure, I've never been as pleased with a flight delay as I was by that flight delay. So I arrived home around 2 p.m., instead of 6 p.m., as originally scheduled.

All in all, the airline issued me five different tickets for the two segments.