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Showing posts from September, 2012

using God

I love books that start off with heartwarming observations on Christian spirituality and then, just when the warm fuzzies are getting really fuzzy, deliver a powerful punch to the gut.  We don't have enough of these books, in my opinion; we do have the Bible which is undoubtably punchy, but I am talking about writings from contemporary Christian thinkers.  And let me assure you that I am speaking figuratively here and not encouraging anyone to take up boxing.  I am also not talking about gut-punching just for shock value or to be provocative or to make sure the point is not forgotten.  I am referring to the ability to speak the truth plainly and simply and make no excuses for it.  I am talking about being able to clear away the rubble of our 21st century thinking so that truth can do exactly what it is meant to do: get to the heart of matter.  Here is one example of just that.

I am currently reading Eugene Peterson's book, The Jesus Way. In it he explains what it means when J…

unoriginal

This past week I had to pitch an idea for a play to my fellow writers in a Playwriting class.  It was a bit scary because all of us were putting something out there that was not fully formed, and though we were excited about it, we didn't really know if anyone else would be.  And if no one is interested to see the story or meet the characters...that's a pretty bad sign for a play.  As I was waiting to do my pitch, I got to listen to a lot of other play ideas, most of which were pretty good and some which were quite outstanding, to be honest.  One of them in particular caught my attention: it was a scenario presented by a young guy who had chosen two characters almost exactly like mine and a situation that was very similar to the one that I had typed on a paper and stuffed in my notebook.  I am pretty sure I turned a shade whiter as he described his protagonist/antagonist and the storyline. 

When it came to my turn, I made light of the fact that my ideas were so similar to my …

happy ending

I watched  a rather disturbing documentary this past weekend about a Canadian woman who climbed Mount Everest and died on the way down.  An untimely death is always sad, but I found this one particularly so.  A number of circumstances factored into the incident, especially the crowded conditions (150 climbers trying to get up the final approach in a small window of good weather), but according to the report, she died in large part because she was unprepared and unknowledgeable.  She relied more on her determination and positive attitude than on training for the ordeal.  Sources claimed that she insisted on going up against the advice of her guide who considered her inexperience a danger to herself and others.  Basically, she spent all her energy and oxygen climbing to the summit and had nothing left for the descent.

Before I judge her too harshly for lacking common sense, I must remind myself that I am very much an "in the moment" person and don't always think things th…

learning to learn

The school term has started with a bang.  I am armpit-deep in scripts, playwriting texts, performance theory, and theology basics.  I am taking courses in the theatre department this semester and it is humbling and stimulating at the same time: humbling because I am pretty much the most theatrically-illiterate person in all my classes and stimulating because theatre (which is basically showing instead of telling) is inherently incarnational. 

I read Shakespeare's Hamlet yesterday; it is quite a different experience to see a character act out revenge than to read a philosophical, psychological, or theological exposition on the desire for justice through retribution.  When I see something "in the flesh," I seem to comprehend it at a much deeper level and to more complex and nuanced degree.  It gets inside me, to some extent, if I let it.  As Hamlet indicates, a play has the potential to capture our consciences, to prick our hearts, and to show us things that reason simpl…