Google This!

Paul Gravley posted this from YouTube on his blog, Authenticity Matters under the title, “Change.”  The part I want to reference comes about 2 minutes in when the fact that there are 31 Google searches each month is typed into a Google search box.  Following this, we are told that in 2006, this number was 2.7 billion (an almost 1150% increase).

The concluding question asked on this segment of the “Did You Know” video is, “To whom were these questions addressed ebfore Google?”

This point is, I argue, a bit overblown.

How many of us have learned, in the last couple of years, that, instead of asking someone a question, we would rather just type it into Google?

How many of us ahve learned, in the past couple of years, to stop answering other people’s questions, and, in turn, told them to “Google it.”

Perhaps the real question is not “to whom were these questions asked,” but rather, “what is the potential damage done to interpersonal relationships in the name of Google?”

I am not blaming Google.  How has Google, how have various new technologies and services engendered complacency toward keeping up relationships?

Can you Tweet about God?

I joined twitter a couple of months ago. For those of you who aren’t hip on this, twitter is a micro-blogging platform. “Tweets” are limited to 140 characters. You choose to follow people, other people choose to follow you. When you tweet, everyone who follows you receives the message.

I got this idea from Rev. Bosco Peters, who is following me on twitter. He invited people to describe God in 140 characters or less (including spaces). Here is the collection he received.

I’m really interested in how YOU would describe God in 140 characters? Tweet me @steveheyduck, or reply here.

Y B Christian?

lordteachusWe have decided that we will be teaching and preaching through the Lord’s Prayer during Lent. To help me prepare for this I began reading Lord, Teach Us: The Lord’s Prayer & the Chirstian Life by Willimon and Hauerwas this morning.

Though I am very familiar with both Willimon and Hauerwas’s writings and thought, I started with the introduction anyway. Here’s an interesting bit I read in the introduction:

We have nothing against your life being more meaningful, but that is not primarily what the Christian faith is about. Rather, to be Christian is to have been drafted to be part of an adventure, a journey called God’s Kingdom.

In the midst of so much talk about Christianity being about finding meaning, it is refreshing to see it put in a larger context.  Christianity really isn’t about (primarily) you and I finding meaning, or even about offering it to others so that they can find meaning. It is,. first and foremost, about learning to live in the Kingdom of God, which, Jesus said almost 2000 years ago, already among us.

Do you think the world is ready to listen to the Good News that isn’t about them finding meaning?

Are we?

Help Wanted

A good friend and fellow blogger, Rick Mang, called me the other day with a request for ideas about how to cut energy usage at the church he serves.  We talked for a while about ideas.

One of the most important points to make about churches conserving energy and reducing their carbon footprint, is that this is not to be done at the expense of ministry!  We cannot, and must not, stop serving people in the name of cutting utility bills or saving the planet.

So, if Rick called you, what tips would you give?  He reads this blog, so consider your comment here as good as a phone call.

Truth

Jack Nicholson was probably right. Tom Cruise couldn’t handle the truth.

Can you? Can I? Can we?

Claims about truth get thrown around like scud missiles.

Some in the church lament the loss of the day when we believed there was absolute truth (or should I say “Absolute Truth”) and that we (the church) had it.

Some in the church are glad that imperialistic and xenophobic presumption to Truth have gone the way of the slide rule.

But what about truth?

Ryan Kiblinger lent me his copy of the book, Why we’re not emergent: by two guys who should be while we were at Annual Conference last week. I perused it and came across, among other things, their concern that “emergent” Christians deny “propositional truth.”

I don’t make such a denial; I am, however very concerned that most of the people who have argued in favor of “propositional truth” are, in the next breath, trying to tell me that the United States is the New Israel.

It isn’t.

Knowing that my brother Richard, who blogs at Bandits No More, is smart, better read, and much more articulate on such matters than I, I asked for his insight on the “truth” thing.

With his permission (suggesting I head it as “provisional thoughts on Propositional Truth,” I give you what he shared with me:

1. Some propositions are true.

2. “Is true,” is an evaluative phrase used with propositions.

3. There are non-propositional uses of “is true.” There are forms of truth that are not propositional.

4. There are things that are the way they are regardless of our desires or perceptions.

5. While we always experience and interpret what we run into in terms of our previous experience, we always – when we’re sane – are impacted and affected by that which we run into.

6. Some true propositions are important. Some are really unimportant.

7. Some true propositions deal with theology.

8. It is possible for a proposition about God and God-things to be true.

9. Propositions are not “out there” somewhere for us to find.

Propositions are linguistic constructions used as tools to interact with reality, usually with other people in mind.

10. Some true propositions are true timelessly. Some true propositions are only true at certain times.

11. No amount of true propositions will enable us to be sure about everything we could possibly want to be sure about.

Has this cleared up the debate/discussion on truth?

Good, I thought so.