Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Singularity

And then there is Kurzweil, whose new book on the coming "singularity" is getting a lot of press. I read on Wikipedia that at least one sci-fi writer has called the Singularity "the rapture for nerds." I like that. It's a keeper.

Second Life

So this on-line cooperative game, not unlike The Sims, can apparently be played for free, or even for profit. In an attempt to make a couple of pop culture references on the blog that are also pseudo-religious, I'll note that this seems like a voluntary form of purgatory- I'd be curious to visit, but pray I wouldn't be required to stay long.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Democratizing Access to Jonathan Edwards

Yale is sponsoring a long-term project to make the archived material of Edwards available as an electronic resource on-line. This means you needn't travel to Yale to study Edwards.

My continued question- why isn't Augsburg Fortress and one of our seminaries engaged in a similar project with Luther's works?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

When I want to order newly made icons, this is the first place I go. It's a small skete in Boscobel, Wisconsin that makes high quality contemporary icons, like this one of the Nativity of Christ. Merry Christmas to all!
Originally uploaded by perichoresis.

On the Incarnation

by St. John of the Cross

Then He called an Archangel,
known as Gabriel,
and sent him to a Virgin
known as Mary,

at whose consent
the mystery took place,
in whom the Trinity
clothed the Word with flesh.

And although three performed the deed,
it was done through the one;
and the Word lived Incarnate
in Mary's womb.

And He Who had only a Father
now had a Mother too,
but she was not like others
who are conceived by man.

From her own flesh
He received His flesh
so He is called
the Son of God and of man.

Chalking the Door

Chalking the Door

On the Epiphany of Our Lord, January 6, family and friends (C for "community") gather at the main entrances to homes or apartments (nursing home quarters, extended care facility, hospital rooms!), and ask God's blessing on their dwellings and on all who live or visit there. You are invited to use this in your own home, or visit your loved ones and use it there.

Leadership may be shared with a change of voice at each Leader's part (L).

L Peace be to this house and to all who enter here.

L A reading from Proverbs: "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."

L Let us pray: Gracious God, as a shining star once guided the magi to the birthplace of the infant Jesus, so enable those who dwell here to be your light in the world; through Jesus Christ we pray.

C Amen.

Using chalk (hence, "Chalking the Door"), people are invited to inscribe the lintel of the home (the horizontal frame above the door) with the inscription shown below. The letters C M B come from the traditional (9th century) names for the "three kings" -- Caspar, Melchior & Balthazar. Some also suggest "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" which means "May Christ bless this dwelling!"

Each person is afforded a turn to make one or more of the marks:

20 + C + M + B + 06

L A reading from Isaiah: "The effect of righteousness is peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and quiet places."

People may join hands or extend their hands outward and upward (orans) for the prayers.

L Let us pray: Sovereign God, we pray that you will bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence, that your love may be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Jesus Christ we pray.

C Amen.

L Lord, remember your children and teach us to pray (pray the Lord's Prayer from memory):

C Our Father...

People may make the sign of the cross in remembrance of their baptism.

L May the Lord watch + over our going out and our coming in, from this time forth and forevermore.

C Amen.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Theology on the Radio?

Well, almost. The speaking of faith web site, link above, has articles and radio programs on theology, including an interview on the theology of communion.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Kierkegaard on the reading of difficult passages from Scripture

I will extend heart-felt and repeated thanks to anyone who can point me towards the specific reference where Kierkegaard discusses the reading of difficult vs. clear passages of Scripture.

If my memory hasn't totally corrupted this, I remember him making the point that if we encounter difficult passages in scripture, we shouldn't spend overly much time trying to puzzle them out. This can be a distraction from simply allowing straightforward and clear texts of Scripture to confront and challenge us. If we understand a portion of Scripture, we should just then do it, live into it, without a lot of monkeying around trying to work out what it means, and in that way wheedle out of doing/living it.

Thanks in advance for any references you can provide, those of you with a better memory for finding passages in K's works. I knew I should have been using Endnote!