Tuesday, February 21, 2006

...of God's spies...

Rowan Williams quoting Brian McLaren in a speech he gave at a Christian-Muslim Forum... That's a pretty potent combination...

"It’s easy to talk about these things abstractly so I’ll end by quoting to you a story I came across recently from a most unlikely quarter. The book I’m reading from is an excellent book by Brian McLaren, an American Evangelical, pastor of a large independent church in the Washington DC area. The sort of Christian pastor who arouses a certain amount of anxiety in the breasts both of Muslims and of more liberal Christians, not to say columnists in some of our newspapers. The book is entitled, though, ‘A Generous Orthodoxy’ and it has a long and extraordinarily moving chapter on his approach to people of other faiths. Towards the end of this chapter McLaren quotes from another writer from the same background telling a little story about an encounter in the Washington DC area not long after September 11th. One day my daughter saw a woman walking towards us covered in a veil and asked the inevitable ‘What’s that, Mummy?’ ‘Emma,’ I answered, ‘that lady is a Muslim from a faraway place and she dresses like that and covers her head with a veil because she loves God. That is how their people show they love God’. My daughter considered these words, she stared at the woman who passed us, she pointed at the woman and then pointed at my hair and further quizzed ‘Mummy, do you love God?’ ‘Yes’, I said, ‘I do; you and I are Christians and Christian ladies show their love for God by going to church, eating the bread and drinking the wine, serving the poor and giving to those in need. We don’t wear veils but we do love God’.

After this Emma took every opportunity to point to Muslim women during our shopping trips and telling me ‘Mummy, she loves God’. One day we were getting out of our car in our driveway at the same time as our Pakistani neighbours. Emma saw the mother beautifully veiled and pointed at her and shouted ‘Look Mummy – she loves God’. My neighbour was surprised, I told her what I had told her what I had taught Emma about Muslim ladies loving God, while she held back tears this near stranger hugged me saying, ‘I wish all Americans would teach their children so, the world would be better’.

That perhaps is – as simply as that – what we have to teach; that, perhaps, is what the Muslim Christian Forum by the Grace of God can achieve, thank you for being with us this evening."

the memory that stays with me most, from my brief meetings with these two sages of the faith, was the depth of their spirituality and ( i struggle for a better word...) godliness... yes, being in their presence, is to be in the thrall of 'godliness'...

here's the rest of Dr. Williams' speech.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

...faith is not the sum of historical proofs...it is so much more...

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"Christianity is not based on a historical truth; rather, it
offers us a (historical) narrative and says: now believe! But
not, believe this narrative with the belief appropriate to a
historical narrative, rather: believe, through thick and thin,
which you can only do as the result of a life. Here you have a
narrative, don't take the same attitude to it as you take to
other historical narratives!
Make a quite different place in your
life for it. - There is nothing paradoxical about that!"
- Ludwig Wittgenstein (1937)

...in the final analysis, grounding our faith on objectivity and historicity may be utterly irrelevant...faith in Christ calls for passionate inwardness..."the result of a life..." loving, enduring, suffering...


all life is miscellaneous
all life is peripheral
the peripathetic crawl
the incandescent struggle

mourning with a human face
i settle..
yes…i settle
make amends
with you…

the dead follows me
they are alive
yes..they keep me alive

i might be wrong
i may have been wrong
all this while
for a long, long time…
yes, i could be all wrong

constant imitation
a gospel of sufferings
to renounce a little
to give away our all

to turn myself around…
to live on a different plane…
imagining things
i can’t think of

makes me yours
you do not speak
at a distance
you address

the flight of passion
i have only tears
dried out
all around

episodic memory
i smile
i say
“i remember…
i remember your face…”

Saturday, February 04, 2006

...he is the voice of postmodern rock...and he looks darn cool too...

watch thom yorke perform 'arpeggi'... it is an experience...