Letters to My Kids


Dear Rachael, Bekah, Hannah, Omi, Tommy and Esther.

I’m afraid that the last letter took the ‘Christian Thing’ off the table for many people.

Did you spot the repulsive bit?

No?

See it there….where I admitted that being part of Christ’s body includes us in the programs of Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan and the Borg. People are averse to being part of these sorts of things, you know.

Didn’t see where I admitted to such a thing?

Well, you’re right. I’d like to think I didn’t, but some will argue that I did right there– where I warned you that different dogmas create different worlds. I also warned you that these worlds are at war with each other. If one is true then the other is not. I encouraged you to protect the vision of ‘You, the World and Everything’ that comes from looking at reality through the lens of the crucified and risen Jesus.

So there it is- I assumed our worldview to be true, and I (with eyes wide open) recognized that it will dissolve the worlds of those who don’t share in it. In the minds of many I’ve advocated violence. I’ve sought to lift myself and mine up on the necks of everyone else.

You don’t see it? Well, I’d like to say that I don’t either, but…. I’m afraid there is a sense in which I do, at least potentially.

Now I think the people who immediately saw ‘Bluto’ when I wrote ‘Truth’ are wrong, but understandably so. Apart from a ‘Jesus Shaped’ view of the world, history has shown them to be right, but from a ‘Jesus Shaped’ view of the reality, they are living in a dream world- a nightmare, really.

It’s tempting to write about how Postmodernists (that’s what these suspicious folks are called) get it wrong, but the most important thing for you to see is how they get it right.

They get very nervous when people talk about truth- not the ‘that’s good for you, but not for me’ sorta truth. They’re alright with that. They get suspicious of what someone called ‘true truth’- the sort that applies to everyone, whether they like it or not.

Though many in the church simply mock at the charges, it seems to me that Postmodern opposition is a very serious intellectual challenge to our faith. Just between y’all and me, I think they have us by the ‘you know whats,’ but…

…this is the case only because what we present as the ‘Christian Thing’ is really something horribly more familiar. It an Anti-Christian thing.

These critics help us see where we have lost our way, traded in our story for one of the world’s stories, allowed out dogma to become the world’s doctrine… and all without every knowing it.

It seems that we constantly end up with idolatrous visions of ‘You, the World and Everything Else,’ clothed in Christian apparel. It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers come true. Be very afraid!

We owe our postmodern friends a big ‘Thank you!’ They simply ask that we put our money where our mouth is and be who our story claims that we are, and when we don’t, they aren’t willing to let us off the hook. They know too much of bloody history to do that.

Let me explain. (more…)

Dear Rachael, Bekah, Hannah, Naomi, Tommy and Esther,

Whew, I’m going to have to find a shorter way of addressing you all. That’s a lot of typing for a ‘hunt and pecker’ like myself (TOMMY! NAOMI! Stop snickering. I know; leave it alone) I’ll try ‘You Young ‘uns’ or something similar in the future. You’ll know whom it’s for.

This past Sunday we brought little Annalise to our God for baptism. I was so thankful that each of you was there. Through Fr. Tom’s voice you heard God’s word to her. In our pastor’s hands you saw Christ take her to himself. Though the splashing of water fell short of the thunderous roar we might have expected from such an event, through it Annalise left one creation and emerged in another.

It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see on the SciFi channel.

Each of you has been spoken to in a similar way. Our king has called each of you by name. By his grace (for it was before you even knew that he existed) he took you from the world into which you were born and placed you into another- a world which is yet to be seen in all of its fullness.

I know that sounds a little over the top. It’s also true that I’m prone to…. extravagances. It must be genetic, because one or two of you have inherited the trait, but in this case I’m just giving the unembellished truth.

I wanted to remind each of you of your own baptisms and the reality each spoke into being. This is just a long way of saying that I wanted to remind you of who you are.

Of course you know that you are you. I realize that, but perhaps you forget that there are many different ways of telling ‘The Story of You.’ If you think about it, y’all will realize that there has never been a just you.

Never.

Every morning you wake up in a bed. There are blankets on top and a whole world outside. Every day you pester your brother or sisters. There is no ‘you’ apart from the world you inhabit, and so ‘the story of you’ ripples out to include everything else- friends, trees, stinky cheese and even school teachers.

It works the other way, too. (more…)

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