Failure of Imagination: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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78 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Duane,

    Thanks for writing. If you get a chance, please Google Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees, which he penned over the weekend.

    It seems that corporate leaders, from our great companies like Apple and Microsoft and others are taking the type of imaginative leadership that Christian theologians should be taking. Ironically, many of these visionary leaders are not even Christians.

    But what our corporate leaders understand is the value of people of diverse ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds. They are employees, customers, and supply chains all around the world. These companies would not be even a shadow of themselves without people of color working side by side with other people of all different backgrounds.

    Racial and social justice should not be seen as a dividing up of a fixed pie, but imagined as growing the pie, so that everyone can flourish. Many of our poltical leaders feel and teach their constituents that the pie is fixed, and if opportunity is expanded, then there will be less left for me. It would be helpful if Christian leaders could be half as imaginative as our leading multi-national corporations when it comes to the value of people.

  2. Bonzii says:

    We are ripe for a return to true Christian living. I pray the Holy Ghost will lead us to the Truth and help us fulfill our roles.

  3. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Yes, I saw the memo. All I could think was that often, ‘the children of this generation are wiser than the children of light…’

  4. Michael says:

    I’ve been thinking about this too much…but it seems to me that we have to re-imagine our identities as both Christians and Christians living in culture.
    The exilic model seems to me to be the correct one…but that conflicts with what being a Christian in America has meant historically.
    First we will have to imagine what it’s like to dialog with people who disagree with us…

  5. Em says:

    I think – dunno – that what you are hoping for won’t be actualized until Christ returns….
    Evil? Isn’t this world now dominated by an evil entity? One who could move religious zealots to demand the crucifixion of God??
    My maternal grandmother’s parents were interesting and, perhaps, a reflection of the nation’s mindset. She was active in educating the recently freed slaves and he thought that they were lesser people who needed caretaking. He couldn’t see that they were at a disadvantage because they had no education.
    They did produce some beautiful spirituals, though, didn’t they? Spirituals that said they understood the Faith, the hope.
    Pray for this nation, but most of all pray for our Church. We so need sound doctrines and a house cleaning to rid us of personality boys ( and some girls) who tell us that if we’re good enough, God will give us all Mercedes Benz or Testarosas or diamonds and designer dresses or🙍

  6. I was first schooled in one of the Fundamentalist tribes. Learned to read from the King James. My world not only had structure and order, it was order. Dress codes and hair, measured to ensure regulation legnth.

    There where a couple of black kids. I only understood later they where acceptable as long as they where raised white. I never saw racism, I had no contact with African-Americans.

    I look back at one of the happy times, before life took turns I didn’t really like. But decades later I understand my school was created specifically because of racism.

    Much of the Christian School movement began as a reaction to the Civil Rights Movement. The world was filled with sin and sinners, back sliding Neo-Evangelicalsi, but now add to that brew, unrestrained black people.

    Something happened one day in 2nd grade. It’s was an excellent school, and my class was taken to the school liibrary. While the class went to the children’s section, I wondered into the back where high schoolers studied. I started reading, and reading led to more reading, and more decades of reading. They should have blocked of that section, because I met the Beast. It’s us.

    At some point, I realised the Romans called us Barbarians, because we are the Barbarians. A bunch of white savages that escaped Central Asia, and the far nothern forest. We are the looters.

  7. Michael says:

    This is all so damn complex.
    There are protests happening in my town as we speak.
    Peaceful.
    There are rumors that out of town agitators are on the way to spark violence.
    My flesh screams that they must be met with whatever force it takes to keep them from ruining a business, a park, a city.
    This is my dirt.
    This isn’t a big city…people won’t tolerate destruction…they will bring it.
    I can’t hear the Spirit…

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    The reimagining of identity is central. Much of American Christian identity is about “striving”. We strive to be accepted. We strive to change the culture. We strive to influence politics. We strive for “our rights”. It’s as though Israel is in Babylon and everyone says, “Hey, this is pretty good!” Meanwhile the fact that they are in exile is forgotten…

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    Nathan

    “Much of the Christian School movement began as a reaction to the Civil Rights Movement. ” In the 60’s and 70s, almost 100%.

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    “This isn’t a big city…people won’t tolerate destruction…they will bring it.”

    Here in Indy, the convention center had broken windows and two bullet holes through second story windows… next to my wife’s office… This did not happen until the evening when others came in. It was not the protestors…

  11. CM says:

    Michael,

    It is the small percent of agitators that are causing all the chaos and mayhem. Those are the ones breaking the law and such should be arrested, charged, and tried accordingly (that is one of the purpose of authorities per Romans 13). If one of these looters (thieves really) enter your property, or business, then that is a different question. This becomes a self-defense issue.

    Granted we are not living as ancient Israel, but much of the principles are echoed by John Locke. This is what Exodus 22:2 says regarding attempted theft after dark:

    “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.”

    Notice this is attempted theft, not murder or rape. So it clear that self-defense for one’s person and property is biblical.

  12. Michael says:

    CM,

    My rage against the agitators is intense…my nature is not particularly godly when my own are threatened.
    Trying to grasp the blessing of the peacemaker…

  13. Michael says:

    “Meanwhile the fact that they are in exile is forgotten…”

    I think it’s possible that those who established this country believed they were ending the exile…

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    From my reading of the colonial period, I would say “mixed motives”, “mixed intents”… much like today.

  15. Em says:

    If my first experience with the Black race had been my last, i would have a very low opinion of them. Everyone was working in family businesses when i was in the 5th grade, so they hired someone to do the essential housework. But no one told me and, so, i came home from school one day and there was a stranger in the dining room ironing… I stood there trying to process this… She looked up and said, ” what’s he matter with you? You ain’t never seen a negro before? “. I stammered something about who are you? She set down the irpn and started chasing me, saying, “You think this will rub off on you?” as she tried to swipe at me…
    Well, grandmother noticed her sheet count dropping dramatically and asked the employment agency to replace her.
    In came Woody, a big, no nonsense Black woman who taught me how to bake a cake and saved me from some rather severe punishment. I had no idea why i was getting whippings from my mother. Well, Woody did and she walked 4 blocks to my mother’s millinery store after finishing her day’s work! She told mother that she had watched my toddler cousin unscrewing his dad’s gas cap and pouring sand in on more than one occasion it wasn’t me. I was more relieved to learn the why of my punishment
    If we could just learn that skin color is not the deciding character factor – white, yellow, brown or black. Every human being is an individual…
    And Nathan Priddis is correct. Those of us (me) who claim Anglo Saxon ancestry have sprung from some very barbaric people.

    Praying that the Portland Antifa crowd stay away from Michael’s community…. and from my daughter’s. She’s on city council in her town and they’ve gotten word that demonstrators are headed their way today, too

  16. Michael says:

    Em,

    I suspect your daughters community is like mine…we won’t tolerate random violence.
    Praying they stay home…

  17. Jean says:

    Duane,

    It occurred to me over the past few days: Where is the Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and John Lennon of our time? We desperately need what only the musical poets can adequately express in song. The lament and prophesy of song.

  18. bob1 says:

    Jean,

    The musicians are probably at home practicing social distancing like the rest of us!

    I can still remember the first time I heard CSNY perform “Ohio” shortly after Kent State. Downright electrifying!

  19. Jean says:

    bob1,

    I am jealous. What are your thoughts on the iconic, For What Its Worth?

  20. bob1 says:

    Love that song. In a similar vein to Ohio. Stephen Stills wrote it and Buffalo Springfield performed it. Stills apparently wrote it after he observed what was going on WRT Sunset Strip protests.

    Another great one!

  21. Mike E. says:

    I live in a region that is mostly white. However, I met and befriended many African Americans in the Army. I loved them then and I love them now. My heart is truly broken over all of this. I personally believe there are foreign bad actors involved. (Can you say Russia?). As far as the church’s part in this..all I keep hearing in my heart is repent..humble yourselves under the Mighty Hand of God..we are all of us guilty before God of many sins..conservatives, liberals, repubs, Dems, all the races. Sin is one area all of us as humans share. And yet..the cross! Hope! Let’s all just join hands and hearts as believers, repent of our sins, both personal and corporate, and surrender to the God who is love and allow Him to love the whole world through us! ❤️✝️🇺🇸👊🏼👊🏾👮‍♀️

  22. directambiguity says:

    Should protestors be allowed to stop traffic on a major freeway?

  23. Jean says:

    directambiguity,

    Let’s cut the bull. Has anyone here advocated one word in support of lawlessness? Ask a serious question or enjoy a Scotch. Either way, I really don’t care. But don’t wast our time.

  24. directambiguity says:

    Jean,

    I didn’t imply anyone here advocating lawlessness. I’m really just trying to figure out what I’m seeing. CM said “It is the small percent of agitators that are causing all the chaos and mayhem. I’m seeing more than that.

  25. directambiguity says:

    And Jean I’d prefer a Bourbon.

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    The songs are being written as we write. There will be a musical legacy of this time… trust me on this one 😁!

  27. Duane Arnold says:

    directambiguity

    Protest, by definition, is disruptive.

  28. CM says:

    directambiguity,

    If one were to look at the tens of thousands of protesters across numerous cities, you will find that only a handful are actually throwing stuff and breaking stuff. The reason you see more than that is the old network TV adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Hours of footage of peaceful protests does not get the ratings or web hits or the social media shares.

    In regards to blocking traffic on a major freeway, have you ever been in a city when the POTUS pays a visit? Major freeways are shut down, just so the POTUS motorcade can drive from the airport to another location. That is also disruptive. Second, if you look in those cases or protesters on the major freeways, you will see the police directing the flow of people and traffic accordingly.

  29. CM says:

    To clarify handful does not literately mean a handful. If there were 100,000 people on the streets across the US today, maybe 10% as a SWAG were looting, burning, throwing stuff, etc.

  30. directambiguity says:

    Thanks, Duane, that’s what I’m trying to figure out, the line between disruptive and lawlessness. You too CM…

    I think there are a lot of people with good intentions being used here.

  31. CM says:

    directambiguity,

    I think sometimes it can be difficult to tell, but here is my take on it:

    Lawlessness/Criminal:
    – Throwing Objects
    – Using any sort of improved tool, club, or weapon to damage, strike, destroy property or strike another person, etc.
    – Use of any incendiary device or intentionally starting a fire or lighting something (smoking cigars, cigarettes, etc is fine).
    – Physically grabbing, striking someone to cause injury or harm.

    Not Lawlessness:
    – Sit-downs
    – Carrying signs
    – Large groups of protesters moving/demonstrating orderly in streets, etc. Bonus cred given if the movement is coordinated with local LEOs (we are going to march from X to Y, even if done as the march progresses).
    – Chanting Slogans.
    – Handing out literature, cards, etc.
    – Also, the chants and speeches need not be G or PG rated either. It is OK to curse like a sailor or use taunts from Monty Python.

    I am sure there are other things that can be added to each group, but you get the idea.

  32. directambiguity says:

    Thanks, CM!

    I can agree with that.

  33. CM says:

    Jean,

    Some Johnny Walker Blue Label sounds good now. Though my budget is more in the Gentleman Jack range at the moment.

    As an aside, the amount of an alcoholic drink (such as cognac, brandy, or whiskey) that is lost to evaporation when the liquid is being aged in porous oak barrels is known as the angel’s share.

    So yes, I am able to work in a spirit…ual angle. Pun intended. 😀

  34. Two videos of car windows being smashed in stopped traffic on 101 Friday were tomb around. Even my Mexican ex-laws were sharing them and angry. In South and especially east San Jose, whites are very much a minority. Target near me was broken into, the community mostly Mexican and Vietnamese. Another target nearby was targeted on social media but cops got there first. They are closed and boarded up. So is the Wal-Mart in little Saigon/Vietnamtown. Rumors are that destruction may move into suburbs, though haven’t heard that here, specifically.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    In D.C. peaceful protestors were cleared with tear gas and rubber bullets so that Trump could have a photo op holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. It kind of says it all – harming others for publicity in front of a church he does not attend, holding a Bible he does not read. Such is the state of civil religion in America today…

  36. CM says:

    The New Victor,

    Again, the activity you describe is lawlessness and criminal, and should be dealt with accordingly (especially the leaders of that incite such activity). Period.

    I also did a quick look online and found cases that protesters and others were stopping and blocking and protecting against vandalism. Here is one example:

    https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/06/video-jon-jones-stops-vandalism-george-floyd-protest-albuquerque

    Of course, maybe the wannabee hoodlums were scared sh*tless too, considering who made the “request.*

  37. UnCCed says:

    Pearl Harbor, 3k dead, we went to war, gave many lives to save strangers & ideals, endured great hardships at home (rationing, etc).
    911, 3k dead, we went to war, gave many lives, etc.
    COVID, 30x that death, we watch YouTube to obtain medical degrees, decree ourselves experts, especially at gov conspiracy, then grab our assault rifles and yell at police (just months before we “supported”).
    At least like with all other issues in America, peoples’ hearts are more exposed than ever.
    Based on the rationale I’ve heard, nobody is safe.
    And, unfortunately for “sides,” someday everyone is going to be high risk, in need of protecting, and I doubt America will care then either.

  38. CM says:

    Duane,

    And what is worse, is the thunderous applause of the Court Evangelical leaders and their followers and their defense of the indefensible. But God will not be mocked, even if he has use the Assyrians get the point across. At some point after Trump and his allies are no longer in political power, I really believe it will be payback time and those Court Evangelical leaders and their followers will get their version of the Assyrians.

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    CM

    As far as I am concerned, the court evangelicals simply preach “another gospel”. They have little, if anything, to do with historic Christianity…

  40. CM says:

    Off the top of my head, I can think of the following:

    1) Strict enforcement of the Johnson Amendment OR examination of many so-called churches (looking at you Kenneth Copeland, Jim Bakker, et al) of their tax-exempt status.

    2) Repeal of Tax Exempt status for churches or amending tax law to have churches and other religious institutions fill all the exact same paperwork as any other tax exempt charity.

    3) FYI, all federal courts inferior to SCOTUS were created by Congress per the Constitution. There is a backlog of federal court cases, so why not have Democratic Congress and POTUS say, double the number of court districts and of course appoint ALL those brand new judges.

    I am sure there are others.

  41. CM says:

    Duane,

    I completely agree. And I say this as someone who is significantly more conservative in his politics and Christianity than not. But I am one of these pesky principled types who calls BS regardless of what side or team does it. Which explains why I am very much in the political wilderness in the era we are now living.

  42. filbertz says:

    Duane, I concur with your premise of a lack of imagination. I agree with your examples and conclusions. I respectfully add a lack of perspective, a lack of awareness, a lack of curiosity, a lack of engagement, and a lack of insight as culprits in the current social soup. Imagination requires one to think outside the norm, the box. Too many are too comfortable in their boxes to care enough to confront the fact that too many others are suffering in theirs.

  43. Duane Arnold says:

    filbertz

    Many thanks, and I agree with you absolutely…

  44. bob1 says:

    n D.C. peaceful protestors were cleared with tear gas and rubber bullets so that Trump could have a photo op holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

    Despicable. Beyond despicable.

    Can’t wait ’til the American people vote this lunatic and hisenablers out of office. Can’t come soon enough.

  45. Em says:

    President Trump’s walk to historic St. Johns Church? The one the rioters tried to burn down?
    I think the message was missed…. The federal government will not stand by and let the rioters burn churches. I’m betting the hoodlums got the message….
    If the peaceful demonstrators wouldn’t clear a path , there was a real danger that one of these opportunist hoodlums would see an assassination oportunity…. God have mercy? He may or He may not. As a nation we are not a God fearing people, are we!
    Dunno, though, do i?

  46. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    A fire occurred in the basement the night before. Clergy, some from St. John’s, were using the area in front of the church to give water and hand sanitizer to peaceful protestors… the clergy were gassed and subjected to rubber bullets as well – all so Trump could pose with a Bible in front of the church…

  47. bob1 says:

    Thanks, Duane, for the facts and the truth…

  48. CM says:

    Another thing is even though there was a 7pm curfew in DC last night (so yes I get that LEOs can disperse the crowd then) but apparently the dispersal Duane talks about began approximately 30 minutes before 7 pm.

  49. Em says:

    Dr. Duane, yes, the fire was in the basement nursery… Do i understand that you think it was not started by an arsonist?
    Possible, but what is occurring on our streets now guarantees that Trump will not be reelected … a win for liberals?

  50. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    I do not know who started it, but I do know that my fellow clergy from that parish showed what they thought by standing with the peaceful protestors and giving them water.

    Em, I love you as a dear sister in Christ, but this situation has gone far beyond liberals or conservatives “winning”. None of us are winning. All of us are losing. As the poet says, each man’s death diminishes me. The withholding of justice from anyone likewise diminishes me. What we have learned from history is that once state violence is pointed at any group or section of people, it can easily be turned on another group or section… until it eventually is turned on us. As I said in my article, we couldn’t have imagined all that is happening just a short time ago…

  51. CM says:

    Em,

    The problem about Trump is that he is basically a coward, a chickenhawk, and a poser if you will. Here you have draft-dodging Cadet Bone Spurs trying to act like the tough bada*s. Hence his tweets about protesters being dealt with by dogs and whatnot if they breached the White House perimeter (like they ever would). In the meantime, it was discovered that he was hiding the White House bunker holding his Trumpy Bear, his blankie, and his sippy cup of covfefe at the time of the protest. Being the thin-skinned, petulant child that Trump is, he naturally throws a tantrum when he is mocked and criticized. His attempt at PR for his Evangelical Kool-Aid drinking fans is a manifestation of this.

    Likewise he tweets about using the US military and such, is again trying to talk tough to overcompensate that he is all hat and no cattle.

  52. CM says:

    Em,

    Unfortunately the PR attempt was to showcase that Trump cares about churches and Christianity in the US. Hence the picture in front of St. John’s church. But people need to realize that Trump got all his pointers about Evangelicals from Paula White:

    https://babylonbee.com/news/paula-white-advising-trump-name-jesus-personal-gain

    Once again, satire is funny because there is truth in it.

  53. bob1` says:

    News reports say that when he was posturing in front of the Episcopal Church, Trump had his Bible upside down. Oh, what a shame that he didn’t quote from Two Corinthians 🙂

  54. Duane Arnold says:

    bob1

    The pity is, I once preached in that church in the 90s when I had a fellowship in DC…

  55. Em says:

    All, i cannot see that this is a time for slurs against anyone- the exception being the thugs shooting police and looting, perhaps….
    As Dr. Duane observed, this is a mess with no winners… loosely quoted. 😏

  56. CM says:

    Em,

    How about the JBTs shooting the tear gas and rubber bullets to clear a peaceful demonstration for a insecure petty little man to appear far larger than tougher he really is? Is it a slur to call them a JBT?

  57. Em says:

    CM, your words, your call – just sayin’
    God keep

  58. bob1 says:

    I really like what George and Laura Bush said today:

    How do we end systemic racism in our society? The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving. Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place.”

    https://www.bushcenter.org/about-the-center/newsroom/press-releases/2020/06/statement-by-president-george-w-bush.html

    Sometimes you have to lance a wound before healing can occur.

  59. bob1 says:

    Just saw Bishop Michael Curry on CNN. What a neat guy!

  60. Jeb says:

    Well my understanding was that historic Christianity was shameful and difficult if not impossible to defend Duane? Occasionally there was a little light that shone through the darkness. Surely you must have a different definition or explanation than am missing. Please help your student(s) that need clarification out.
    than what

  61. bob1 says:

    George Will, a stalwart (and really smart!) conservative for decades, is calling for Americans to vote out Senate Republicans in November. He calls their collusion with Trump “Vichyite collaboration.” (they were the French who capitulated to the Nazis early on). Wowee.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/politics/george-will-donald-trump/index.html.

  62. directambiguity says:

    If the crowd starts to throw bricks and destroy property, unless you leave the protest, or actively engage to stop the person/s throwing the bricks, then you are complicit. You are no longer just protesting. You are participating in a riot.

  63. bob1 says:

    Well, then, if you’re a white person and you stay silent in the midst of the oppression of black folks, then you’re complicit in racism.

  64. Duane Arnold says:

    Jeb and directambiguity

    Please clarify your questions… that is, if they are actually questions…

  65. Em says:

    Having lived through almost 2/3 of the 20th century and seen blatant oppression and disrespect of our black citizens, i would have to say that it isn’t a racism problem today. Rather it may be ignorance and neglect coupled with both black and white incompetence and ambition.
    Life has never been fair or equal –
    listening to some pontifications, one would think that what is demanded is an omnipotent, omniscient king, King Jesus….. soon enough, soon enough that day will arrive….

  66. jeb says:

    Duane,
    When stating that the court of evangelicals has little to do with historic Christianity would not their response be “nor would we want to?”

  67. Duane Arnold says:

    jeb

    Most likely… to our sorrow.

  68. Gabby says:

    Thank you for writing this piece. I’ve been grieving the fact that my home church, which is led by white leaders and filled by a predominantly white congregation (including me), has said little to nothing about the issue of racism even following George Floyd’s death. There is no space for repentance, humility, or lament, for that imagination to recognize the sins we have perpetuated or the hope we have in Christ’s redeeming, reconciling work. We go on with our services like nothing is wrong with the status quo we live in, and the excuse for not talking about issues like racism is that we “need to focus on Jesus/the Gospel.”

    My question is, as a young lay person, how can I encourage that imagination in a church that lacks it? I’ve been thinking much about the idea of “Prophetic Imagination” (Breuggemann), but it seems like church leaders are not necessarily willing to hear that we need to repent.

  69. Duane Arnold says:

    Gabby

    Really great comment and question!

    I think that imagination (like passion or inspiration) is better “caught than taught”. That is, we are attracted to it when we see it in others and we then want to imitate what we’ve seen. So, in your situation, you may actually have to be the catalyst… I hope other readers will weigh in on this…

  70. Michael says:

    I heartily concur about Gabby’s comment…and it’s my belief and hope that people like her are the catalyst for what comes up from the ashes of evangelicalism…

  71. Jean says:

    Gabby,

    “My question is, as a young lay person, how can I encourage that imagination in a church that lacks it?”

    First you have to exercise your own imagination and, if possible, encourage others around you to imagine. Then you need to share your imagination with others. How can you do that? Write a blog. Start or lead a small group. Write for a church newsletter. Invite a person of color to church or a church function. There are probably lots of other ideas that will come to mind as you think about your particular church and community.

    To stoke your own imagination, dedicate time daily to reading Scripture. In Scripture, read slowly and without distraction, you can lose yourself in the story and imagine yourself taking part in it. From there, you can imagine your church taking part in the stories of Scripture.

    The biggest thing, IMO, about imagination is that it typically uses picture language, rather than abstract ideas. We are not used to that kind of thinking today and we are not taught to learn that way, but in Scripture, the main mode of teaching is through pictures.

    Let me give you an example, when Jesus accuses the Pharisees of straining out the gnats but swallowing a camel, he was teaching hypocrisy using picture language. The Pharisees were so scrupulous that in order to prevent themselves from ingesting an unclean bug (under the Mosaic food laws) they strained their wine. But while doing that they swallowed a whole camel (which was an unclean animal under the food laws). You can read the sermon in Matthew 23, but the point is that the Scriptures are visual and are designed to encourage the imagination.

  72. filbertz says:

    evangelicals especially struggle with imagination due to the over-dependence on the authority given to their teachers. Doctrinal statements are written in stone like the 10C’s, theology is systematized, conformity is strongly coerced, and the freedom to think, imagine, question, and doubt are diminished. Add to this the patriarchal model of leadership and the marginalized female, the prognosis is bleak. But a new day is coming…

  73. filbertz says:

    too much of the church does not understand the fluid nature of the work of the Spirit of God–there is a reason it is likened to the movement of the wind. It is not constrained by our interpretations, opinions, or conclusions. To be filled with the Spirit is to more fully come alive in our potential as redeemed humans.

  74. Em says:

    Paul’s advice in Ephesians 4. should get us on track….

  75. Duane Arnold says:

    filbertz

    Too may of us are unwilling to admit the “we look through a glass darkly”…

  76. Filbertz says:

    Duane—agreed heartily. It belies our prideful, arrogant attitudes in spiritual matters

  77. Gabby says:

    Thank you all so much for your insights… Duane, I had a feeling that might be the case. The idea of being a catalyst, of modeling practices like lament and repentance, is a little scary, to be honest. But I have to remember that the Lord is with me and that He loves His Bride even more than I do.

    Jean – thank you for the reminder to approach Scripture from a posture of imagination. I’m one of those people who loves symbol and imagery, and I think I tend to communicate that way (I think that’s why I’ve always been drawn to the OT Prophets, even when I was younger). But for some reason, I think I’ve recently been reading Scripture from a more “check-the-box” attitude where I read simply to make sure I have done so for the day. I’ve forgotten how to read it imaginatively, so thank you for that encouragement. I also like the idea of starting a blog… I might have to think about that.

    filbertz – That is very true… I remember hearing someone talk about how other Christian traditions have been far better in using art form to communicate concepts of the Kingdom of God in poetic and powerful ways (just think about all of the terrible evangelical Christian movies…). And as for your point about the nature of the Holy Spirit, I can say that even in my church, which was formerly connected to a Pentecostal tradition where the “movement of the Spirit” was deeply valued, there can be a lack of awareness. The passage of Romans 8 and the description of the Spirit interceding with “groaning too deep for words” has been on my mind quite a bit lately, and I wonder if part of our difficulty in understanding the ways of the Spirit stems from our lack of willingness to meet Him in those places of groaning.

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