<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> <%if Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_NAME") = "www.jkdoyle.com" or Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_NAME") = "jkdoyle.com" then response.redirect ("general.asp") %> liquidthinking

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
How's Your View?

Type the word "worldview" into google. You'll find a lot of stuff, but not the least of which is an abundance of "Christian" resources promoting a "Christian worldview."

Am I the only one who is bothered by this phrase? For some reason, when I hear it, I get the same bristling feeling that I get when I hear people talk about "Christian" art or "Christian" history. My little red propaganda flags start going up.

I haven't exactly figured out why it bothers me, but I think it's because the people who traditionally use such a phrase have a very limited idea that they're trying to communicate. What they mean is a good citizen who promotes "family values", goes to church&trade, is against abortion, and believes that prayer should be re-instated in all schools, public and private.

As with so many other things, we in the church&trade have dumbed down what was once a good word. The wonderful thing about the word "worldview" (and the thing that makes its kidnapping by the Christian culture so much more unfortunate) is that it encompassed so much. Think about all that the word itself would include. You're basically talking about all of a person's assumptions and foundational beliefs about how the world works and how they operate inside of it. This included everything I've learned in childhood experiences to my ideas about the nature of reality.

And yet we've reduced it to some kind of socio-political statement. Churches&trade now want to promote a "biblical" worldview in their parishioners.

I think it's a misuse of the term, and it bothers me, because the Christian sub-culture of the larger culture around us is taking something that was important and substantive and making it a flavor of the day idea, stripping it of all meaning and significance. What could be a great opportunity to meet people where they are and find out who they are is turned into a trendy program... and we get to sound smarter to boot.

Heck, I guess we need some high-falutin' language to go with our fancy coffee and candles.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Strangest Search Referral
Okay....I saw this on our webstats today. Somebody made it to our site this way: Go to www.ask.com and enter "what do anorexic adults look like" into the search box (no quotes, just the words).

We're the number one search result.
Monday, March 29, 2004
Found this great Tozer quote on Len's site:

Some young preacher will study until he has to get thick glasses to take care of his failing eyesight because he has an idea he wants to become a famous preacher. He wants to use Jesus Christ to make him a famous preacher. He's just a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. They will ordain him and he will be known as Reverend and if he writes a book, they will make him a doctor. And he will be known as Doctor; but he's still a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. And when the Lord comes back, He will drive him out of the temple along with the other cattle.

We can use the Lord for anything--or try to use Him. But what I'm preaching and what Paul taught and what was brought down through the years and what gave breath to the modern missionary movement that you and I know about and belong to was just the opposite: "O, God, we don't want anything You have, we want You." That's the cry of a soul on its way up.

by A. W. Tozer in Success and the Christian, 29.

Image for this post is by BigChief

For Post-Modern Children
We heard Ministering to Post-Modern Children was coming out, so we thought we should introduce the newest toy for PoMo Kids. This new Lego® toy is the Deconstruction Systems™ series. Toys come pre-assembled. The goal is to take each system apart. Post-Modern children will have loads of fun with this one!

Coming Soon: Foucalt's Post-Modern Scrabble for teenagers and AdBusters' Anti-Monopoly for adults!
David Sedaris, (from a Salon article)

I was at a medical examiner's office doing research for a magazine article I was working on, and they let me put on scrubs and watch an autopsy. What struck me was the music. The only fights the medical examiners ever have is over the radio -- it's just this little clock radio that's covered with blood. A 72-year-old man came in, and he was autopsied during a heavy metal mini-set, which included songs by Jethro Tull, Lez Zeppelin and Suzi Quatro. And then another doctor came in and changed the radio station. His case was a 22-year-old kid who had heavy metal tatooed all over what was left of his face. And he was autopsied to Kenny G and Toni Braxton. It just didn't seem fair.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Liquidthinking Vacation Recommendations
Mark sent an email this week, and he suggested that we pick a cool spot for our families to vacation together this summer. Anyone got any suggestions?

Please remember we are on tight budgets here at LT...

Jimmy's Review: Thumbs Up
I saw this movie with a couple of guys today. I thought it was good. Kind of a romantic version of Memento (but more simple and easy to figure out). Lot's of thoughts on this one. One clear one....a life of love is filled with both good times and bad times but it's still worth it. I'll give a full review later...but I know many of you probably haven't seen it, and I don't want to skew it for you any more than I have already.
The Gospel
You know, every Sunday night for the past few weeks my wife and I have watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC...or at least the end of it. I must admit that I love it. At the end of every show, there are these excited people who basically get brand new houses that they would never have been able to afford. Tonights show had them re-doing a house for a family living in Watts. The teenage boy of the family now had a bed to sleep on and he drops to his knees in thanks. Everyone is so excited, happy, and they keep using the words "blessing" and "blessed". Several shows have ended with individuals or groups singing hymns of praise and thanks. It seems so natural.

Isn't this what it should be like to share the good news? What can we do as churches and communities of believers to bring such news--through action--to others?

If you haven't seen the show...watch it next week and see if thoughts of the Gospel and what Christ's Church should be don't cross your mind.

Note: Jesse Willard...I need you to kick my butt about things like Habitat.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Ummm...We really were joking
Hey, concerning those "20 Days of Purpose" items. We really were joking. Even though CafePress items are real items, we never intended for anyone to actually buy something. It was a fun way to make a joke. Thanks to those few of you who were really interested in buying the product. Sorry that we peaked your interest in something we weren't really selling.

If you really, really want one, I guess you can buy one if you want, but we don't guarantee the quality of the printing or the products.

Heck, if I had known they would really sell I would have actually put some time into it.
Smash All The Mirrors!
I can't wait for the movie "Saved" to come out this spring. I know that most likely it will cross a lot of lines...it may be totally sacrilegious for all I know. I do know as a teacher in a private Christian high school, the previews seem to peg it right on. The scene where Mandy Moore's character throws a Bible at the lead character, screaming, "I'm filled with the love of Christ!" is something I could actually see happening. Most likely it will be too close to home.

Unfortunately, the mirror will reveal too much, and the Christian culture will resort to its usual tactics in such situations...smashing all the mirrors. Instead of dealing with the realities of who we have become and understanding that the caricatures really describe our character these days, it's easier to destroy all such reminders and reflections of the reality.

Maybe in light of our recent embrace of films, churches should pursue this movie with a campaign of repentance outside of the theaters. Instead of handing out tracts trying to get people in the pews (or soft cushioning theater-style seats), we should simply stand outside and tell people we're sorry for being such asses most of the time.
Saturday, March 20, 2004

My Burden Is Easy
LOL...okay, we've got merchandise. Heck, if Zondervan can do it...why can't we? It's the 20 Days of Purpose witnessing tools. I figure in our efficiency culture, 20 days will sell a lot better than 40.

Yes, we are kidding. Although...
Friday, March 19, 2004
April 2nd is Coming Up
Okay...don't forget Tell the Truth Day. It's the day after April Fool's, so you can get all your lying in before that. The whole idea is that we can just use one day to tell the truth...so much easier than having to do it all the time.

I challenge you pastors and youth workers out there to celebrate this with your churches. Maybe an open mic situation? Let us know how it goes.

Note: I guess this special day only applies to those who aren't telling the truth already. So, if it doesn't apply to you, please ignore this post.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Heros and Hero Worship
Everyone needs heros...and not just mythic or Scriptural heros. We need human, flesh-and-blood heros. There's something inside everyone that desires to be inspired whether for ill or for good. Tony Campolo is one of my heros. Just hearing him talk makes me feel like I've just walked out of Braveheart for the first time. Whether at a convention or on tape, when I hear Campolo I want to do something...to give my life for something.

I think that's a good thing.

However, I think too often our heros are only people who we don't really know. In that kind of situation it's easy for a person to slip from hero to idol. When we don't know someone's drawbacks, only the things in them that inspire, we don't realize that they are just slobs like us...hashing out life day by day. We love to set people up as divine kings. It's not fair to the people we view unrealistically, it's not fair to ourselves, and it's unhealthy for Christian community.

I feel this in myself. I remember when I would go to conventions wanting to network with the "right" people. To have conversations with the "movers and shakers". I loved being this type of person locally. The humble guy that had a really kick-ass, happening program going. The person that others came to for ideas and answers. It's not that I didn't love having the conversations...they were great. It was the motivation behind the conversations that always seemed a little weird.

I challenge you. Before you rush off to the next thing or listen to the next tape/CD of your national or international hero, try to find someone a little closer to home. Don't set them up. Just learn from them. Share life with them. Be let down by them. Be inspired by them.
Emergent Collector Cards
Okay...someone had to do it. So we did it first...

In case you missed the image link, go here.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Why I'm a Terrible Person

I was listening to Steve Taylor’s “Jesus is for Losers” yesterday. It was part of a mix CD I had made a couple of years ago to sort of describe where I was at with Jesus at the time. For those who haven’t heard it, it’s a great song.

If I was driven ahead by some noble idea, who took the wheel?
If I was given a glimpse of some glorious road, when was it sold?
So caught up in the chase
I keep forgetting my place

It reminded me of a lot of grandly delusional ideas I had had a couple of years back regarding my “involvement” with “the poor” (just using that phrase now seems so condescending and trite). Jimmy and I both had reason to believe that a lot of road signs were pointing us in the direction of making some tutoring program or something for kids up in north Tulsa (for those who don’t live in Tulsa, the north is where we geographically relegate the lower socio-economic levels so that we aren’t bothered by them). We seemed to be hooking up with all the right people. We were seemingly surrounded by people who had all the same passions as we did.

It ended almost as quickly as it began. Bang. All doors slammed shut. Jimmy and Stephen look around… stare down a long narrow hall. At least, this is how I felt. I can't speak for Jimmy. But it does seem really weird now, especially seeing it in writing.

When I think about what I can be doing right now… how I would live my life right now if I took seriously Christ’s command to not worry about tomorrow… it’s totally different than this. I think it involves a lot more focus on my wife and daughter, as well as the other people who I come into contact with every day, than it does on bringing about some stupendous program that is going to save a bunch of kids.

And then I start to really get scared. I start to wonder if our society can even avoid judgment. We have so built ourselves into a quandary of a situation that well-meaning people now have to choose between loving those around them and fulfilling God’s desires about taking care of the poor. We have so thoroughly shoved them out of our every-day consciousness, with perhaps the exception of writing a check or going to a charity event, that for many people it is extremely difficult to treat “the poor” as anything but a project to be worked on. Charities and programs are necessary now to have that kind of contact, and that’s pathetic. I can’t have a relationship with people who I’m not around, and the fact is that I simply don’t have time in my life to be around “the poor”. I’m too busy trying to cram the significance of historical events and ideas into the heads of generally resistant adolescents (thank you, Lord, for blessing me with some students who want to learn or I might have gone mad). I want to be a good father and husband, and that requires time.

All of this sounds so horrible as I write it. I make my students out to be obligations, not people with value to God. And “I don’t have time for the poor”? I’m a truly terrible person, and the only reason I’m worth anything at all is Christ.

So I’m not asking for people’s comments about how they’ve made it work. I’m telling you where I’m at. If there is a balance to be struck, I haven’t found it yet, and sometimes I wonder if there is a balance to be found in this jacked-up, self-indulgent culture I’ve bought into.

Monday, March 15, 2004
A Great Show

Those who have not heard Gillian Welch, either in recordings or in concert, are missing out. Joy and I just returned from an incredible performance by Gillian and her partner-in-crime, David Rawlings. What a great show.

It's the type of music that you sit back with a drink in your hand and nod your head to (or tap your toe, or both). It isn't excessively loud. They pick up the energy every once in a while, but it's all fairly relaxing. It's just the two of them on stage and their instruments (usually just guitars, but every once in a while a harmonica or a banjo is thrown in). I encourage everyone to look them up on Amazon and purchase a CD, and if they're coming to a venue near you, go see them.

Stephen's favorite song: Barroom Girls from "Revival"
Joy's favorite song: Caleb Myer from "Hell Among the Yearlings" (A good killin' song)

They had a good little number opening for them called the Old Crow Medicine Show, in which Rawlings plays guitar (he also produced the last album). Very fitting music for Cain's Ballroom. Check them out, too.

cover cover
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Bible Verses For Today's Christians
Here are some new translations that may make more sense to the modern American Christian:

Romans 3:9-21
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
"There are no Fully Devoted Followers™ of christ, not even one;
there is no one who is Purpose Driven™,
no one who asks, 'What Would Jesus Do?™'.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who follows the Irrefutable Laws of Leadership™,
not even one."

Mark 1:10-13
As Jesus was Emerging™ out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a Dove Award™. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert for Forty Days of Purpose™, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him and gave him little chocolate candies in 40 Days of Purpose™ wrappers.

Matthew 16:18-19
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven--complete with the key chain of helpful memory verses..."
Monday, March 08, 2004
Freedom from Judging, Freedom for mercy
From nouwen.net:

We spend an enormous amount of energy making up our minds about other people. Not a day goes by without somebody doing or saying something that evokes in us the need to form an opinion about him or her. We hear a lot, see a lot, and know a lot. The feeling that we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgments about it can be quite oppressive.

The desert fathers said that judging others is a heavy burden, while being judged by others is a light one. Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free for mercy. Let's remember Jesus' words: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged" (Matthew 7:1).

Very Cool...
Hey gang...I found this link from Bob Carlton's blog. It's an online labyrinth. If you're interested in the value of new/ancient spiritual disciplines, find some time to really sit back and go through this without distractions. Here's some info from the website:

Labyrinth is an interactive installation for spiritual journeys. It's for anyone who wants a break from surfing the surface of culture to contemplate the deeper things of life.

Labyrinth reshapes a 12th-century ritual for the 21st century. Its maze-like path takes you on a symbolic journey, creates space to unwind and think - in particular about our relationships with ourselves, one another, our planet and God.

Designed for young and old alike, it provides a mixture of rituals and visuals, of contemplative words and contemporary ambient music, of symbols and media to help guide the spiritual traveller.

Labyrinths were a feature of many medieval cathedrals - one of the best remaining examples is found in Chartres Cathedral in northern France. Unlike a maze they have only one path - there are no dead ends. People walk the labyrinth slowly, as an aid to contemplative prayer and reflection, as a spiritual exercise, or as a form of pilgrimage.

The path has three stages - the 'inward' journey, the centre and the 'outward' journey. The theme of the 'inward' journey is letting go of things which hinder our wholeness and inner approach to God. The centre of the Labyrinth is a space of meditative prayer and peace. The theme of the 'outward' journey is relationship - with ourselves, with others and with the planet - seen in the light of our relationship with God.

For more information on the history of labyrinths as a spiritual discipline, go here.
Sunday, March 07, 2004
What could you do with a half million dollars?
Here are some ideas...

--pay one person a nice salary for 10 years
--pay 10 people a nice salary for 1 year
--pay 16 people an average teacher's salary for 1 year
--build about 10 Habitat for Humanity houses in the U.S.
--build anywhere from 166 to 1,000 Habitat for Humanity houses overseas.
--support approximately 170 children in 3rd World Countries for 12 years through most major charity organizations (providing food, clothing, and education).
--support approximately 1390 children in 3rd World Countries for 1 year through most major charity organizations (providing food, clothing, and education).
--provide food for 5208 starving children in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa this next year.
--build some sort of edifice for your church™

Okay, now that we're all feeling smug...the real issue is what do I do with my money?

This post brought to you by compassion international, habitat for humanity, world vision, and feed the children.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004
The Lord Is My What?

So today My one of my son's (age 6) reads me the twenty third psalm.
He gets to the "I shall not want" section and says to me, "that's not true is it dad?"

Now there was a time in my life I would have answered very quickly.
But, this is a boy who at the age of six has watched his brother fight luekemia and knows his mom's dad died when she was very young.
I was stunned by his question.

My first thought was to define for him the difference between "wanting" and "needing",
which I might add the KJV makes very difficult since it uses the word "want".
Not long after a short linguistic course, He was satisfied with the difference between wants and needs.
At which point he asked me an even tougher question.
He asked "what are needs",
The silence was awkward. I wanted to speak boldly on God's behalf and say "God will never let anything bad happen to you"
But more than that I wanted God to speak boldly to me on his own behalf.
I wanted desperately for my son to feel safe and cared for by God, on the other i've seen the depths of shit God will allow his children to go through. I couldnt tell them that God wouldnt allow his brother to get very sick, he did. I couldn't tell Him that God wouldnt allow their mom or dad to die, he might, I dont really know what God won't allow. That really scares me.
I believe he is all powerful, all knowing, and full of love. But I dont have a clue what the hell that means.

Romans 8:18-26 This is all that keeps me sane, scared but sane.

ps: NO it's not the "all things for good verse", no offense God, but that verse makes me want to hurl.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004
You Gotta Have Faith

I just think God is so awesome, today I woke up and prayed and read my bible, I always read the proverb of the day, God is so awesome its always just what I need like for that day , then I pray for my friends who are sooo lost, they read horoscopes and stuff every day, then I left for work but I had a flat tire, so I like immediately checked my heart, cause that kind of stuff doesnt just happen, i remembered that I had some unconfessed sin so I totally just confessed and immediately I looked up and there was some like fixaflat in my garage, and I do not remember buying that, then I left for work and there was no gas in my car but I looked up and there was this gas station and I just happend to look in my wallet and it was so cool cause like God gave me some money, cause I didn't remember putting any money in my wallet , then it was so cool, I made it to work but I was late, but, God like made my boss like be in the bathroom so he didnt know I was late, so I like learned how to trust God to take care of me, Then I went out on cold calls and no one really wanted to buy anything from me but that's ok cause God taught me patience and I told all of them that Jesus loved them anyway. Which is so awesome I just believe that God will change their minds cause hes awesome,and then I ate lunch with my friends and it was awesome because God gave us jobs so we could pay for our food. Then I went out and worked some more and the sun was shining but then when it got cloudy but it was still awesome because the sun wasnt so bright and that was awesome and God like made those clouds and the sun which is awesome, then I like parked my car and I didnt curb my tires so the white letters still stand out and thats like a miracle cause god knows I like raised white letter tires so hes like making me a better driver and showing me how he cares about the little things. Then I went home and made some phone calls which is so awesome cause god made the phone and electricity and that's awesome, then I went to church and it was awesome and then we had a prayer time and this one guy lost his job but its ok cause he said God is so awesome and is teaching him patience and like lots of cool stuff which is awesome, and another family had a child that has been very sick and died, but that child is going to heaven which is like so awesome, because its like a miracle that we all don't just die because of our sin, I mean God is so awesome. So I just went home and thanked God that he was teaching me and protecting me from stuff like that other family went through and I was grateful that he uses flat tires to teach me lessons instead of letting my children die.

Open Source Bible
I'm considering starting an Open Source Bible project. Basically, a collaborative/communal translation of the Biblical text. The process would include something like discussing various translation possiblities of a given chapter through blog comments and then a panel would decide on the final version edition (but since it's open source it wouldn't be final...so you might have the Gospel of John 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, etc).

This comes out of a couple things for me. First, I find that there are no translations that really capture the grittyness of the originals (at least in the Hebrew and from what I know of Greek it appears to be the same). Most translations--including Peterson's The Message--opt for correctness and acceptability over straight forward interpretations. The other issue is that I find most translations contain a Christianese language that doesn't make sense to those outside a Christian culture (and, truthfully, many of those within).

I had considered making my own personal attempt at putting together a version of the Gospel of John...but then I thought, "hey, why not let a community of people do it?" To make it successful I would need a "panel of experts" to evaluate the suggested translations for the final versions...but the bulk of the ideas would be from all over. Heck, if it worked it might even be cool to put the finished versions in a book format with alternate translation suggestions and comments listed as side notes.

Check out opensourcebible.blogspot.com. Read my comment on John 1 to see a rough example of the suggested revisions. There also can be revisions of revisions, of course. We would post a new version--based upon the suggested revisions--at the end of each week. The process would then begin again until we have a text that is generally agreed upon. We may not ever end up with a finished text, but the process itself would be interesting.

Thoughts? Any linguistics scholars out there who would like to serve on the decision making panel?
Monday, March 01, 2004

This weekend I saw a huge elephant balancing on a ball at the circus.

Yes...it was impressive.

Personal Jesus
I listened to an interview this weekend on NPR with Stephen Prothero, the author of American Jesus: How the Son of God Became An Icon. In his book Prothero has traced the various incarnations of Jesus in the American imagination.

It strikes me as interesting that everyone wants to claim Jesus as their own, and as long as he looks like what we want we're okay with him. In the individualized religious culture of America, we have truly found our own "personal Jesus"...as many times he looks like our own reflection and supports whatever cause we choose. For Diests like Jefferson, Jesus was a strict rationalist moral philosopher. For Billy Sunday Jesus was a man's man and "scrapper" and not a feminized Saviour. For the Social Gospel advocates, Jesus might as well have been a worker in the inner city soup kitchens of Jerusalem...fighting against injustice. Everyone wants Jesus as long as he looks like them. I want Jesus as long as he looks and thinks something like myself.

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com