Showing posts from August, 2016

Book in Review: "You Are What You Love"

You Are What You Love begins philosophically as author James K. Smith looks to answer some foundational questions as to what it means for us to be human at our deepest core. Smith addresses these questions elaborately and beautifully. We are not primarily thinkers. We are not brains on the ends of sticks--cerebral beings living off of the facts we accumulate. People do not change while doing math homework. In reality we are rather more “lovers than thinkers,” Smith argues, and I could not agree more!

Interestingly enough Jesus recognized the same thing as he asked people not “what do you know?” or “what do you think?” but “what do you want?” When Jesus met the woman at the well he looked to satisfy not her theological questions, but her thirst. Borrowing from Augustine, (we are restless until we find our rest in you) Smith accurately shows in the introductory chapters of this book that our whole life’s quest is a direction toward some love.

Perhaps where Smith and I deviate is in the …

The Songs of a Nation

In Plato's classic “The Republic,” Socrates discusses what the perfect State would look like. What laws would have to be in place; what classes of citizens would be necessary; what types of guardians would be preferable for a State to truly be a Just State. (Plato's society is a little totalitarian for my liking--but it is a thought provoking read nonetheless)

Interestingly enough, talk of music and artistry comes up in the debate and Socrates argues for a type of censorship of the nation's songs as well as other artistic forms. This utopian Republic would expel: the singers that glorified injustice, the painters that adored deformities and immoralities, the architects that deviated from sound practices; while encouraging those who produced that which is true. 
Why so serious? Socrates later says in the dialogue: "Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul" (Plato, Loc. 4…

Two Voices

Two Voices:

1. Deny yourself. Pick up your cross. Follow Jesus.

2. Accept yourself. Do what makes you happy. Follow your heart.

One of the good things about an increase in secularization in America 2016 and a diminishing of the “Moral Majority” of “Christian America past” is that it is easier to see worldview divides. Where before Christian values were by and large assumed by the masses (causing a confusion of “cultural Christianity” and real Christianity); now those same values are opposed and ridiculed as close minded. The battle lines are now clearer than they have ever been, and one can only expect them to be seen with further clarity as the days go on.

Today there are two un-muddled voices. Only two. One is championed on social media, Hollywood, and celebrities. It is also the secret (or not so secret) internal longing of our hearts. This voice says in essence: “you are good.” It urges you to accept yourself, do whatever makes you happy. Chase your dreams, your desires, your longing…

Sleeping the Day Away

Sleep is a beautiful thing, a gift from God. Few things are more pleasing than to finally get to bed after a tiring day, to lay your head on your pillow and just go to a distant, happy place. Sleep is also a pre-requisite for a healthy life, and we each need to make sure we are getting the right amount of it daily (7-8 hours according to the CDC).
But one can sleep too much.
Like the sluggard in Proverbs (6:9-11) shows us, while there is a time to sleep there is also a time to wake up, work, and live. There is a time for rest, but sleeping the day away when there are fields to sow, plow, and harvest--it is not only lazy, it is foolishly short sighted. It thinks only about the warm bed at this present moment, while ignoring that empty stomach that will be felt when the cellars run empty. It blocks out the future, the consequences while declaring: "just a little longer!" A little closing of the eyes. A little folding of the hands to rest.
Did you know that we can also do the sa…