Monday, November 26, 2007

Rob Bell: The Gods Aren't Angry Tour

The following are some quotes and thoughts I had this past weekend, and I've bolded the ones I found significant....It was an AMAZING talk/lecture, and I can't wait for the DVD.
*Challenging in that I should look for ways to be an "agent of blessing," a minister of reconciliation in the world, in my very community (which is by and large a Christian bubble....that needs to change)
*Tidbits I had never heard before, or new (more dimensional) ways of looking at the same old Sunday School stories

"Cave husband goes on a hunt when he's not selling auto insurance"
"Watch how articulate I am"
bursting of life force, breath, etc.
forces she is totally dependent on, beyond her control
gave personalities to these life forces
Artemis = Greek goddess of hunting, and also protector of small animals (hahahaha)
Sumer: Nin-Kossi = goddess of beer-"like the Tigris and the Euphrates"

projections of human behavior--these forces are somewhere else, doing what they do, we react to their movements, and we need these forces on our side
offer sacrifices, high place (to go up), altars
tragic flaw in the concept: vicious cycle, vortex of anxiety:
if things went well, you offered more in your sacrifice
if things went poorly, you offered more to appease the gods
never quite know where you stood with the gods
examples of trying to keep gods appeased:
Baal: followers cut themselves to show how devoted they were--shed their own blood
"Sardis--known for their choirs" Kibbalah spring ritual
Molech: offered firstborn in the fire

"if you've ever been trapped in a hotel and Gideon got there first"

Sumerian gods are detached: but this divine Being was acting within human history and interacting within time
"to leave his father's household" meant to leave the worldview his father taught and how to navigate the forces out of his control
"a whole new tomorrow"
Sumerians: history is cyclical
this story insisted tomorrow is not an extension of today
be an "agent of blessing" to others--purpose is not to try and bless the gods: radical new idea
Sumerians worshiped the stars: "this God used the other gods as props!"
"Eventually father Abraham had many sons, and many sons had father Abraham..." :)
first mention of love in the Bible
"His greatness comes from his willingness to kill his son--flannelgraph that!"
why doesn't Abraham question it--it's as if it's a normal thing: gods demand what is most precious
story ends with God providing, not showing how great Abraham is
brand new day for Abraham: God telling him, "I don't operate like that"
not about humans providing for gods
trust, intimate relationship

Leviticus: "It's like a B-grade slasher movie--here's how to kill things and where to put the blood"
what to do with redemption
*animal/grain offerings: "Come near to God": idea of nearness to the divine was a new idea for humanity
*everything in its right place: word related to shalom
meal celebrates being at peace with the divine and with others--humans can know where they stand with the divine
*types of sacrifices
then the matter is over
dragging culture forward

people making gain off of guilt and fear of the masses: priests (Sadducees) got a cut of the sacrifices, and so they had a vested interest in that system, a system of violence
were connected to the Roman government, so it was an entire military-economic-religious system

"one greater than the Temple is here"
driving out the moneychangers: gesture to sear upon their conscience
living breathing sermon--this way is over
"Destroy this temple and I will rebuild it in 3 days"
identifies himself with the system (new way), to render old system obsolete, so they killed him
"put away your sword"--if He resorts to violence, has He offered anything new? [like nonviolent resistance: Gandhi]

cutting and suicide attempts of teens wanting acceptance
Masai elders: no way to reenter in relationship of community--man on edge of village
brokenness, suffering
do we bow down to some of the same forces that are never satisfied at all?

for Jews: wrestle with implications of Jesus being killed by the system
new day for all of humanity, not just one sect
writer of Hebrews: "culmination of the ages"
by ultimate sacrifice of himself
Colossians: made peace, reconciling all things through Jesus
eliminating human compulsion
not having to offer sacrifices anymore
"Jesus saves the goats and the chickens" (guy in Rwanda)

Psalm 50-blood unneeded
Micah-blood doesn't please God
blood was for your conscience, human need
sacrifice--matter is done
ritual would help you go through the experience, with a God you can be at peace with
centers you, reawakens you to reconciliation of all things
not going to church: why do you go? to ease God anxiety? wronged some Being?

peace that has already been made
shouldn't pile you with more obligations
put him back together, so he can bring reconciliation

our sacrifice to please God: serve others
Romans 12:1--put flesh and blood on this reconciliation

and my FAVORITE part, the BEST part...
"You don't have to live like this anymore. You don't have to live like this...."
girl who cuts: "You don't embarrass me"
Jesus' exact words: "I don't remember."
He leaned down and kissed her crooked mouth, and said, "I like it."
"No one has ever trusted me like this before."
minivan full of groceries
giving the house to the single mom

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