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Living the Lectionary

A starting point from week to week in my Journey from A-C

Month

October 2014

Book Review: Genesis Revisited-The Creation

I believe that every person, whether atheist or creationist and all people in between at some point wonders how the universe began.  In his book Genesis Revisited: The Creation, Donald Arlo Jennings attempts to explore these ideas from a fresh Christian perspective. He explores different ways of thinking about the creation to include the probability of creation not being limited to just our earth.  Throughout the book Jennings asks some good questions and has obviously given the matter of creation some very deep thought.

Jennings does seem somewhat tied to a literal Genesis account, but compensates this view with things like the fact that because of the earth’s age that it is then imaginable that some of the current population comes from other worlds.  Another example of his seemingly literal take on the Genesis narrative can be found in the fact that Jennings treats the flood as a literal event, but believes that it is possible that others survived the flood to help repopulate the world.

In some ways I believe the ideas in the book are simply grasping at straws, and yet in other ways it’s a different perspective worth considering.  In either case, I did not really enjoy the book and the written format.  Although some of his ideas are interesting, I don’t find them well presented or laid out.  It took me several tries to read through the book and I finally just pushed through so I could just be finished with the book. I would recommend it for those looking for a completely different perspective, but I’d rather be able to have a conversation with the writer about these ideas than read his written word.

I give the book 2 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Giving it up

By Bibi Saint-Pol (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I have this problem of not being able to let things go.  If I am involved in a debate of any sort I generally feel the need to prove my point.  Some points however, just don’t need proving.

I can remember back when I used to work at a fast food joint after high school and before college; there was a manager named Craig who knew I was a Christian. It wasn’t because I was very vocal about my faith, it was because I had booked a couple days off for a church event and Craig picked up on that and decided to engaged me in friendly debate about faith.  He was, at that time at least, an atheist.

Our debates were warm and friendly, but neither of us had any real interest in the side of the other person.  Craig was much quicker than I was in debate however, although he was friendly enough, I sensed at times he was trying to trap me into admitting that faith is not reasonable.

I have to admit that I did not always have an answer for his questions, and at the time I felt like a horrible Christian because I did not have an argument for every question.  I’ve since learned that not having all of the answers, all of the time is perfectly OK.  My ability to answer critics does not in any way limit my ability to give to God what belongs to him, which is my whole life.

I’m not preaching on the passage found in Matthew 22:15-22 this week, but I think we all could learn a thing or two by the way that Jesus handles those who challenge him in this section.  He knows they are out to trap him and he basically turns the question around on them, what do they think.  Who’s image is on the coin?

Jesus asks them the question and stops the argument.  Really he can tell them to give to Caesar that which belongs to him and give to God what belongs to God because no matter what it all belongs to God anyway.

Does science have to be in contrast with faith as my friend Craig tried to assert?  No, I can give credit to scientific discovery because in the long run it all belongs to God anyway.  There is no need to feel trapped in the questions of the day, provided I give to God what belongs to God.

What I Know About Weddings

I’m not married, but I have been to a few weddings in my day. The experience of the wedding varies based on how well you know the couple of course. There have been some weddings that I have been surprised and honoured be invited to attend; then there have been some that I would have of course been sad had I not been invited to attend; and there have been some that I have been in the wedding party, the most recent being my sister’s wedding. I have also officiated a wedding, so though I have not had my own I’ve learned a thing or two about weddings.

I’ve learned that it is incredibly bad form to respond to a wedding invitation and without good reason not show up. Sometimes things happen of course; people die, work calls and you have to go in, houses flood, accidents happen. One year my family did not make it to a wedding reception because the streets were blocked and we did not know an alternate route, we tried for a long time driving around, we did not intend to miss the party.  There are people out there however, who having said they will attend, just “don’t feel like it” when the day comes for the wedding. It’s bad form not only because it is rude, but let’s also consider that the couple has paid for your meal at their wedding feast.  They’ve slaughtered the fattened calf so to speak.  The least a person can do is to inform the wedding party that they will not be intending so that an invitation could be extended to someone else, perhaps that person you didn’t know all that well when you were planning the wedding but wish you had invited anyway.

I’ve also learned that no matter what you do or how you plan your day someone is going to be offended. People will be offended that they were not invited despite the fact that they play no real part in the story of the life of the couple.  People will be offended at the table assignments. People will be offended that a bigger deal wasn’t made of them and their attendance at the wedding. I think this is because for some reason, people assume the wedding is actually about them and not about the happy couple at all.

It seems strange to me, but these are some of the dynamics that are at play when someone decides to get married.

It’s up to the couple to not let these things affect their day and to celebrate with the friends and family who have come for them, to celebrate their day.  After all, we’d all do better to remember the day is about the couple.

So what does this have to do with the gospel lesson assigned for this week (Matthew 22:1-14)? Right now I can’t say for sure.  The text is difficult and it’s not all that pleasant.  There are those who offend by their lack of attendance, so the king packs the house with those who will.  Then there is the strange parable within the parable where someone who has come in, and is not wearing the proper wedding attire and therefore is thrown out. Maybe this guest has lost sight of what the celebration is all about. Maybe this guest has lost sight of the reason for the celebration and is being arrogant, making it all about me, who knows.  What I do understand, is that in this case there seems to be a proper response to the invitation, and not many seem to be getting it right.

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