Wednesday, February 07, 2007

So much to share

Last night I was reunited with a friend of mine BEBO NORMAN. It was so great to see him and hear about how he and his wife Roshare are expecting their first child, a son, in a few weeks. Congrats friends!! But I digress… on to today's events...

This morning worship was led by two members of the band Third Day (Mark Lee and Mac Powell.) Then we had a Q & A time where they reinforced the importance of mentoring youth- especially youth with an artistic drive. That was refreshing to hear. They also shared the key to their longevity and success which is equality amongst the members-that too is rare and refreshing.

Afterward we launched into a session led by Lou Markos, an English professor from Houston Baptist University. From his first words I was captivated. The first thing he said was "language is a slippery slope so we need to be sure we know how to use it." From there he led us, rapidly, through the origins of some common words and explained how learning their roots can also lead us to a deeper understanding of what meanings are intended by their use. I couldn't write fast enough...he talks and thinks very quickly which made it difficult to stay on top of it all. All of it was intriguing but I couldn’t record it in time so I just have chicken scratches/words filling three, line-free pages. I would fail in trying to articulate all of his wisdom through my limited expression so I will just try to summarize some of it.

One thing we discussed was how we have adopted the thinking of the Enlightenment and have applied it's principles to our articulations of the Gospel. By doing that we have shot ourselves in the foot b/c in that standard fact/history/logic/science/intellect etc cannot be in the same category as fiction/myth/intuition/faith/emotion etc. Yet God's Story blurs the line between the two categories and perfectly addresses and includes it all. Just because it is mythical does not mean it is untrue, which is in direct contradiction to what the Enlightenment established in our way of thinking.

He also said a lot about typology and how images of Christ can be found all throughout the Old Testament-not because it is being read into the text but because it is purposely there for the deepening of our understanding of Jesus through the imagery provided for us.

He encouraged creativity by stating that the arts can be incarnational. It too can bring something from the heavenly realms/the spiritual world and place it into some tangible, palatable form without losing its "spiritualness." He said that one reason we create is because we were made in the image of God, THE CREATOR. Although we cannot create something out of nothing (ex nihilo) like God did, we can create out of the materials we have been given by God. This is because our essence precedes our existence. Therefore arts should not be limited to mere self expression but instead seek redemptive self expression. By that he mean't not only pointing inwardly but heavenwardly.
Another thing he talked about was the relationship between the spiritual and the physical. He broke it into categories that I had never thought through. Angels fall into the fully spiritual category while animals/creatures fall into the fully body/physical category. Humans bridge the gap by being fully physical and fully spiritual. Our souls are not merely spiritual centers trapped in a body but instead a whole nature in and of itself as well as us being fully physical beings.

He had some interesting insight on communion too. He said that while we are experiencing communion within our congregations, angels and heavenly beings are simultaneously communing with us. That was a cool thought.

He shared some great insights about the Bible as well. In effort to correct our misguided worship he reminded me that we read the Bible because we believe in Jesus. We should not think that we believe in Jesus because we read the Bible. The Bible is what points us to God, it is not God in and of itself. That is because before the Bible was Jesus, and He alone is the embodiment of the Word.

Anyway, it was a lot to sift through but I truly enjoyed his lecture.

On a lighter note, I have a funny story from today too. We are on the 4th floor at the hotel so we take the elevator everyday down to the lobby for the conference sessions. Today as we were making our way downstairs we entered an elevator with a man inside. He looked familiar to me. Usually I wouldn’t say anything unless I knew exactly who he was but not today. I guess I felt brave or something. So as we are walking on I said, "You look familiar. Aren't you on the news or something?" To which he replied stone faced," Yes I am. 20/20." Casually I stuck out my hand and said, "Oh hi! I’m Bethany Gaddis." He obliged and shook my hand in his and said, "I’m John Stossel." "Nice to meet you," I concluded. Then we reached the lobby where he rushed himself to a limo waiting outside.

I couldn't believe it. It's not like he is a celebrity or anything but he must have thought I was a complete moron. There was no time between my thoughts and my words and you could tell he was not interested in my need to place his face with a name. Anyway, just another moment I can look back to and laugh at myself right?!

This afternoon we were blessed with a concert by the band 33 miles, another great group of friends to me. I chose to sit in the back and feed Jonah and play with Jake and converse with Jen while the guys were singing…it made me miss Jaxon, I wished he were with me.

Anyway, we wrapped things up with some more grub and now Nathan is out with the boys while I try to blog as the hotel internet is going in and out.

1 comment:

DAD said...

DAD said,

That's my girl. You have the genes like your dad, "N.O.W" (No Opportunity Wasted"
NOW you can say I (you) met John Stossel from 20/20.

Love ya'll
DAD

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