Archive for September 14th, 2007

Brothers and Sisters,

I looks as if Ken’s family is going thru some difficult times. If we are people who believe that love for people, specifically people in need, is a vital part of our faith, then we should be the first to respond. Obviously pray for Ken and his wife during this time of uncertainty and pain. However, let’s show his family that we are not enemies, but brothers and sisters. His email is listed in the article linked, but is Cards and other words of encouragement can be physically sent to:

Ken Silva
PO Box 340
Claremont, NH 03743-0340

Let’s rally together around Ken and Donna right now as they are taking care of her mother.

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I had held off Reposting/Linking this article from my personal blog over here, as I wasn’t sure that it fit the conversation at that moment.  In light of a number of conversations and having to point others (and myself) back to the underlying message, it seemed like it made sense to add to our conversation.  My apologies if you a) have already read it, or; b) could care less.

All Hail to Old Purdue![Let it be noted that I am a Purdue grad and fan through and through, so if you're at all annoyed by this particular posting, chances are you're somehow affiliated with some school located in the backwoods of southern Indiana, most likely one noted for its excessive drinking and partying. If you happened to have graduated from that school, you have my advanced apologies for writing above a first-grade level in this article...]

On Purdue University’s campus currently resides an ‘Old Oaken Bucket’ in a glass display case. This bucket has a storied history in the football rivalry between Purdue and its arch-nemesis, [name removed 'for the sake of the children']. This bucket has a long chain of “P” (54 for Purdue), “I” (25 for the other school) and “IP” (for three kissing-your-sister ties) bronze links attached to it. Each link represents a win from the respecive school, or in the case of “IP”, a tie.

Each year after the Purdue vs. (deleted) game, the bucket is returned to the school of the winning team, and another link is added to the chain. This is all of the ‘official’ business surrounding the bucket.

However, there is one more ritual performed on this trophy: The winning school positions the chain in such a way as to put most of the opposing school’s links (most often that other non-Purdue school) inside the bucket, so that mostly those of the glorious winning school (most often Purdue, unless blind/paid-off officials or some other unfair playing condition existed at gametime) are displayed for the world to see.

As we approach the college football season, with anticipation of adding another “P” to the chain, I was thinking about this trophy on the way to work last Friday morning and how it relates to theology. How often do we find our interpretations of passages in the Bible which may appear to conflict with other passages, and so we find a way to “hide” or “reinterpret” those troublesome passages, much the same way as rival schools hiding letters in an Old Oaken Bucket? I think about topics like baptism, predestination/free-wiill, and a number of others which have proven divisive over the years because we are so married to our systematic theologie or selective intrepretations that we are forced to hide or ignore any apparent discrepancy, because the ’system’ wouldn’t be neat and tidy if we accepted that we might not have it all right, or that knowing exactly how God works just might not be possible, and that some level of “mystery” truly exists.

While school rivalries might be fun and engaging, similar fights over theology are anything but. Maybe it’s time to lay the theological chains out and accept them for what they are, rather than hiding them like those pesky ‘I’ links buried in an Old Oaken Bucket.

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OK, I am announcing this day as “Humor Day”. Serious discussion can still continue, but I am inviting humor from every perspective. Good hearted, clean (please), pointed, self demeaning, all kinds of humor. No taking offense, save it for tomorrow. Let’s laugh a little and remember we are all in the same family!!

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