Friday, July 31, 2009

Buzzwords episode 2: "CHRISTian"

In retrospect, this should have probably been the first word I chose, or Jesus, God, or sin. There might not be another word in the English language which is open to such interpretation. There are, I believe, some bedrock assumptions one can make about the term "Christian" though. I would think if you were explaining the term to someone who had never heard it, you would start by describing it as a word connected with the religion Christianity, and that you would call someone who is a Christian, ideally, a follower of Jesus Christ. After that though? You would be able to find a 1000 different interpretations of what it means. What day of worship, what constitutes right and wrong under the system, even who one worships!
From Wikipedia:

A 2007 survey in the United States identified the following five typical American categories:[8]

  • Active Christians: Committed to attending church, Bible reading, and sharing their faith that salvation comes through Jesus Christ. They also accept leadership positions in their church.[8]
  • Professing Christians: Are also committed to "accepting Christ as Savior and Lord" as the key to being a Christian, but focus on personal relationships with God and Jesus more than on church, Bible reading or sharing faith.[8]
  • Liturgical Christians: High level of spiritual activity, mainly expressed by attending and recognizing the authority of the church, and by serving in it or in the community.[8]
  • Private Christians: Believe in God and in doing good things, but not within a church context. In the American survey, this was the largest and youngest segment.[8]
  • Cultural Christians: Do not view Jesus as essential to salvation. They are the least likely to align their beliefs or practices with biblical teachings or to attend church. They favor a universality theology that sees many ways to God.[8]
So which type of Christian do you see yourself as? And what are some attributes you feel one can recognize a Christian by?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Buzzwords episode 1: "Context"

Today's word: Context

Im not making this long and drawn out, because i'm actually looking more for some feedback from you all, the readers. For those of you who are of faith (or are an Athiest with an opinion) how should we as believers deal with context in the reading/interpretation/application of Scripture? For instance, the Bible claims that women should never Pastor men, etc. though those of us who are more progressive find the reasoning to be a little archaic and not applicable.Paul, in 1 Tim. 2:12, states, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man" (NIV) Many denominations still use this as a reason to subjugate Women, including my own, the Seventh Day Adventist church. Paul also makes claims that Christians should eat unclean meats under certain circumstances, etc.1 Corinthians 10:23-26 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26for, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it." I find it interesting that a large percentage of the Levitical Law is overlooked and quietly brushed aside by us, the "modern" Christian, yet certain Scriptures which perfectly meet our agendas/built in beliefs are held out as bedrock Principals that must never change. Unique to my faith is a lady named Ellen White who many believe was a Prophetess sent to the Church in the last days. Her numerous writings are sometimes used to serve whatever purpose, good or bad, that the reader so chooses. One in particular is the attending of the Movie theater, namely, that a good Christian should avoid it. "Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theater." (Messages to Young People, p. 380) "To those who plead for these diversions, we answer, We cannot indulge in them in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. The blessing of God would not be invoked upon the hour spent at the theater or in the dance. No Christian would wish to meet death in such a place. No one would wish to be found there when Christ shall come." (Messages to Young People, p. 398) Now anyone who actually takes the time to look into history even for 10 minutes will see that her (EG White's) guidelines were directly predicated on how bad and immoral a place the movie houses of the late 1800s and early 1900s were. One could find smoking, drinking, abuse of narcotics, and prostitution on a regular basis, not the theaters we have today, where you can attend a G rated movie and not even see an Ad for illicit behavior of any kind. Now for the progressives in the faith, this is a no brainer as to how to proceed in these days when it comes to watching movies. Considering anything you can see in the movies and worse can be found on your home computer or tv, coupled with the notable changes to the environment inside a movie theater compared to Mrs. White's day, one can make the statement that the principle of what mrs. White states, "guarding the avenues of your mind" and not the literal "don't go to movie theaters" should be applied here. Yet a sizable amount of believers in the SDA faith choose to stick to Mrs. White's literal instructions. So my question again: how do we as believers deal with context in the Bible, and specifically for those who read and follow extra-Biblical sources, how do you deal with context? Or a more telling question, DO you deal with context? Or are you a literal reader and believer of the Scriptures? PLEASE comment and further this discussion, I am extremely interested to here what you think.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who is the Greatest Dunker in the World?

It's been a little while since I have posted anything, so let me get some housekeeping out of the way. RIP Michael Jackson. I will do a post on that later on down the road a bit dealing with his effect and some of my favorite images from him. In the meantime, I was watching some youtube vids of some great dunkers and how many people claim to be" the greatest dunker in the world." A mythical title to be sure, but what would be the requirements for this? Physically able to do dunks no one else can? Doing things in the air unfathomable to the mere mortal. Having the craziest dunks (like jumping over a car?). Let me know who you think is best! For your approval, I submit some of youtube's finest dunking vids:

Kadour Ziani of Slam Nation

James White

Slam Nation vs. And 1

Jameel Pugh

Air Up There (Team Flight Brothers)

Dwight Howard dunk Practice

Vince Carter

And just for good measure:

What is immediately clear to me is that the best dunkers no longer reside in the NBA, and I am not sure they ever did. While some of these guys
aren't even very good Basketball Players, they certainly are special when they get above the rim.