Showing posts with label Poetria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetria. Show all posts

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Fools of Corinth




One fool loves to sing
Inspired by lofty dreams
Of encouraging others
In hymns of praise and adoration
Communicating the richness of praxis
Serving others on the way
To where the good shepherd leads
Where they can taste and see
And touch and smell
And hear that the Lord is good
Another fool marks his territory
And declares war
Silently
Commutating audibly only with daggers
Blasting through his nostrils
Lifting one leg
That stumpy stand
Is now soaked

Cold and damp blankets would feel better
Than offering the sound of a bleating lamb
As we light our lamps
Complacency in gestures
Of banality and mediocrity
Provokes
Frustrates
Disheartens
Passive aggressive positioning
Encourages hatred
Peers then point out the obvious
Hate is a very strong word
Indeed
And complacency is another unjust accusation
Hell no
That's a soft description of reality
What are we to do with all these
Clouds and wind without rain

In a fool's ears
Do not speak
For he will despise the insight of your words
All these gods around the house of the Lord
And yet no word from Him
No divine counsel
At best childish tropes and platitudes
At worst tone deaf service
And puritanical opinion pieces
If this is what heaven is like
I'll take hell
As smelter for silver
And kiln for gold
So is a man according to his praise
Surely you do not know the look of your flock
And so you don't put your mind on the herds
Better is open reproof than hidden love
You sure seem to like dishing it out

Can you receive it
I have seen good people
Intrigued
Searching
Desiring
Entering the doors
Lighting their candles
Leaving before the sheep are slaughtered
I don't blame them for disliking torturous tones
The clanging of brass
The tinkling cymbal
The confusion of tongues
Lifeless instruments
Offering indistinct notes
What we need are two or three witnesses
To interpret
To facilitate prayer not only with their spirit
But with their minds also

To sing praise not only with their spirit
But with their minds also
Otherwise, when thankfulness is truly offered
How might an outsider say Amen
Thankfulness may be given well enough
But the one entering the doors
Is not being edified
It's better that literally everyone just shuts up
It's better to dwell in the corner of a roof
Than with a quarrelsome wife in a spacious house
Like one binding a stone in a sling
So is one who gives a fool honor
Before destruction a man's heart is haughty
But humility comes before honor
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
Is riches and honor and life
Better is a poor and wise youth
Than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice

















Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Capital of Futurism


G.K. Chesterton once said that too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists. That, of course, was a witty way of pointing out the real problem of economics and free markets in practice: Capitalism is easily tempted to conspire with civil governments to foster monopolies over an entire industry with only a few capitalists largely in control, under the auspices of an oligarchy, instead of allowing the market to actually be more free through organic entrepreneurial enterprise. I want to take this idea and spin it a little bit, and replace free market capitalism with eschatological futurism. 

With regard to the well-known problems of eschatology in practice and the liberty to look at historical texts to interpret them honestly without being demonized, I wish the same could be said for futurism, but unfortunately there are not too few futurists; there are far too many--far too many who believe in whatever they're told about it, and far too few who are willing to research and think for themselves. I consider it to be a truism that over the last one hundred years of academia there has been a monopoly over the market of eschatological dogmas. In the Church, I have found there to be a surprising amount of liberty with regard to the promoting the reliability of the New Testament historical witness; but in the academies around the world, the environment is very different. It doesn't matter which "New Testament" author is researched, used, or cited. Among the many doctrines propounded, almost all academicians unswervingly swear allegiance to the same dogmas: that the end of the ages did not come in the first century, and the parousia was delayed (and must still be delayed); therefore all "data" collected from new testament witnesses and even non-canonical literature of that general era must be jammed through a peer-reviewed process that, in the very least, attempts to cohere with those dogmas. 

However, just a cursory glance through the new testament literature should provide a sense of eschatological coherence. I personally think that the same can be said with some popular non-canonical literature surrounding the Bible (like the Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, 1 Clement, etc.) but if we don't see it clearly in the New Testament we won't be able to apply it to our critical thinking outside the Bible either. We will just allow our minds to be programmed by the guild and the sources they insist we must believe in order to be saved by their dogmas.

All of this made me realize that I have something to share with the public that I have not yet shared. 

Below is a screenshot of one page from an academic paper I wrote earlier this year in response to a major publication by Cambridge University Press. Currently my paper is under review, so I'm not going to say anything more about that. Nevertheless, today I had a strong urge to share footnote #74 of that document, because, if read carefully, and taken seriously as reliable history, one can only presume that these authors were describing the same first century events, and those events actually occurred, or they were all delayed into the distant future, even beyond the current century in which we live. In other words, there is a timeline of events in which something cataclysmic was believed to occur soon, and there isn't room for parts of it to get pushed off thousands of years into the distant future. 

Below is that footnote. All I ask is that you think about this seriously. I have studied thousands of pages of academese and I am personally convinced that all the eschatological mumbo-jumbo of academic guilds theorizing about imaginary sources is vastly more far-fetched than just taking the new-testament texts (along with all of their variants) at face value. Either something cataclysmic occurred in first century Israel, and that influenced the course of history, or the New Testament witness is false and unreliable:











































Last of all, for those who have been trained to play safely in the eschatological Ouija of "already-not-yet" paradigms, I just want to point out that I understand why and how those paradigms typically work. I also was reared in already-not-yet hermeneutical presumptions. Yet I don't think any attempts at justifying those paradigms, offered by fundamentalists or critical scholars, are credible. I have spent fifteen years looking for one credible justification, and have not found one to be convincing by comparison with their fulfillment in well-documented first century events. The "data" doesn't actually add up to "already fulfilled-but-not-yet-fulfilled", or consummated, or whatever. One either believes the New Testament witness is historically reliable and rhetorically coherent, or not. It cannot be both under any already-not-yet paradigms. And if not both, then I think one might as well seriously consider playing around in the Jumanji of source-critical dogmas. 

I contend that all of what is contained in footnote #74 doesn't add up to proof or persuasiveness of the New Testament witnesses historical reliability and rhetorical coherence unless these time sensitive texts were seriously and truly referring to first century events that did take place. And I'll bite the bullet and say one more thing: they were seriously and truly referring to first century events that did take place in their future. Elsewhere on this blog I have written extensively about the many Church Fathers who interpreted many of these texts (cited above) as being fulfilled in first century events. Check that out too, when you get a chance. 







Friday, November 29, 2019

Vanishing point


Just call her
like you're on the phone
See if she picks up
She's alive
and ascended
The only reason not to reach for the phone 
and talk to her is
you can go directly to Joshua instead
Fine
Call up Josh then
Ask him
Talk to him 
Get his take on it
What's the worst that can happen
He'll hang up on you
He won't pick up
He will pickup
but remain silent
Maybe he will hang up
That's up to him
I don't know why he would
You would know better than I would 
about why He would
That's between you and him
And if he does
then you know how he feels about you
But at least he's going to pick up
and listen
to what you have to say
when you call
He calls each of us all the time
and we're the ones who don't make the time for him
We see him calling
Or we don't recognize the number
and send him to voicemail
He can leave a message if he really wants
Hopefully your inbox isn't full
But if you pick up the phone 
if you initiate and reach out
he's not like us
He will pick up
and listen
And that's what you need
We all need someone to just hear us out
He needs to hear how you feel
So tell him how you feel
Ask him whatever you want
Be real with him
He cares about you
She cares about you, too
She told her sister that she didn't want to be buried with their mother in Ohio
She wanted to be buried with her four children in Wisconsin
What we have been trained
and traumatized
to believe
to think
to fear
is the real myth
The horizon always ascends to eye level
no matter how high you ascend
Always








Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Look Down










Baffle and manipulate to defeat their brilliance and slay
Them in battle with trending tweets of disembodied knowledge,
With armies of wikipinions and FDA approved standards.
Bullshit guides of the blind they are, as Jesus would say.
If only you would go back to the beginning and look down, not up.
You know the type of which I speak.
Can't you just go back and peruse vertically to see what I mean?
Dazzle the blind guides forming and filling
Them with toxic treats and cancers,
With misinformation, disinformation, and blocked formations.
Brilliance cannot be defeated if it cannot be baffled.









Sunday, October 20, 2019

Recipe for Pastor Theologians





It’s not magic
It’s gospel
It’s the true presence of Christ in us
Walk with congregations
Illuminate the implications
Tend his sheep
With one eye on their heart
One eye on their digital parousia
We must lead 
Educate
Instruct
Train
To profane the techno drug
To cherish our tribe instead
Don’t just wish to form them
Deliver our good news to form them
Get lost in the like 
It was meant to save us 
Not to fame us
And share buttons
About our faith
We worship one Deity 
Equal in glory
Coeternal in majesty
Trinity of Unity
The what of Father is 
The what of Son is 
The what of Holy Spirit is
Spiraling out
Keep going 
Absolution lays in accurately reciting these verses 
Simsalabim Bamba Saladu Saladim
Don’t block the means to the end
No tablet or smartphone can compare 
To the refulfillment
We take and eat
In the Supper
Remembering the history 
Remembering the tendency
Moving and making 
Liturgy into magic 
Rainbows and warbows
Its modality calls us
Paying attention to the how
Of the gathered church
Of the assembly 
Of those coming together 
In creed
In crown
In covenant
The antidote of our distraction 
Let us read deeply
Between the lines
Between the leis
Between the lies
Misunderstanding us
Choking us
Decaying this embodiment of the us
When we gather
Like eagles
Christ is truly present in it
We too should be truly present in this gospel
With our people in its magic













Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Dance




Thank you for welcoming me back into your home
Thank you for watching my kiddos 
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Thank you for raising the best daughter imaginable
Thank you for being a shining example of hospitality
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness 

Thank you for modeling to her what it is to be a godly and virtuous mother
Thank for modeling to me the kind of motherhood I never knew and wish I always had
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Thank you for being patient with me these past few years
Thank you for allowing time for redemption and healing
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Thank you for considering others more than yourself
Thank you for your empathy toward the weak and vulnerable
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness 

Thank you for inviting my mother into your home
Thank you for spending time with her
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Thank you for sharing part of your day with her
Thank you for introducing my children to her
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Thank you for telling her your story
Thank you for allowing me to share mine
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Thank you for listening to her sincerely
Thank you for leading her to my door, a half-mile away
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Thank you for not letting me know
Thank you for telling my wife about it after it had passed
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Please allow me to express my own appreciation
Please allow me to make one request
I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

Since you appreciate redemption so much
Since I no longer have a mother who will ever be seen again
Please consider another mother whom we both love

This mother cries openly and inconsolably at every wedding 
As I do at the thought of never seeing my mother again
Waiting nearly twenty years with no opportunity for redemption

Hoping and praying for just one chance
This mother loves greatly because she had a lovely model for motherhood
This mother wants nothing more than to have that dance she was robbed of by a mother

It can be any day
In any room
At any time

Blue Moon
Standing alone
With the love of my own

Just one dance
That first dance
Between us all

I really appreciate your thoughtfulness









Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Memory Eternal (my wings part two)



All day I played Wings Part Two on repeat
I didn’t want to hear anything else
Just tears poured out whenever I imagined
You were the light and the way they only read about
I didn’t start the day expecting it to become this way 
I left the post office and opened your purse
I hadn’t seen your face since I was nineteen
And now all I could see was your smile
I wish I had seen it in person since then
I remember it, but from too long ago
I wish I had just one more glance
Or better yet, one hug and kiss
And one for Alison, my angel, too
And one for Jadon, Eden, and Gaius
Or better yet, to spend a whole day with all of us together
To welcome you into my own home
To share a meal or two together
To hear your voice resound
To gaze at your smile next to me
To even cry together
I’m sure there would have been lots of tears
I would have been there holding you in my arms 
But I wasn’t ever given that chance
A son can dream, can’t he? 
I miss you so much
And yet I don’t even know the you in the driver’s license 
Other than what my teenage self last recollected
I’m so happy to have received your little notebook though
I immediately recalled your distinctive cursive handwriting 
It didn’t change a bit over the last two decades
Maybe my strong opinions about cursive need to change
And your faith in the Lord didn’t change either
I can imagine a certain someone still asking, “What faith?”
Forget about him
His faith only has a dozen followers
But yours has the hosts of heaven 
“Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord
To what end is it for you?
The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light
Read verses twenty one and twenty two
God himself is saying these verses!”
I didn’t want to read anything else
Just tears poured out whenever I considered
You were the light and the way they only read about
I couldn’t leave the post office 
I stayed parked far beyond my fifteen minute sign limit
Just weeping and praying
More weeping than praying though
Eventually I went to work and didn’t accomplish much
Because I was thinking about your smile and your cursive notes
What an incredible sight to behold
Such a sincere and childlike faith
Not even the most severe tempests of life could loosen your grip
“Hate the evil, and love the good
And establish judgment in the gate
It may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph
The prudent shall keep silence in that time
For it is an evil time”
You held on to the very end through an evil time
Which began when he divorced you for another
I wasn’t in a good place to know any better at that time
So please forgive me
And recovery without you was much needed
But now that nearly two decades have passed
All I could recall from him was the mantra
You were to blame, not him
You ruined everything
He needed a secretary
You were demon possessed 
You were the problem
He needed a virtuous wife and never had one
You abandoned him
You were not merely ill
Because illness wasn’t a just enough ground for him
Yet from what the Sheriff mentioned over the phone
According to others in Aberdeen, you were still known to be mentally ill
And in ways just like I remember you being
But that simple, sincere smile of yours still catches me off guard
And your handwritten notes still overwhelm me 
You remained filled with the faith of a child all these years
“Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live
And so the Lord the God of hosts shall be with you”
Yet I had no way of knowing this sincere faith of yours all these years
Because you were nowhere to be found
You were remembered as the self proclaimed victim and martyr, abandoned and unloved
And no one taught us how to consider some validity to that
Tears just pour out because I now realize
You were the light and the way they only read about





















Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Anamnesis (my wings part one)




I remember my first thought being about a can of soup
Everything changed with my birth
Or was it a shot?
 The docs were oblivious and Merck never made a peep

I remember the sandwich bags
The drenched vivas
Flies in window sills
Roadkill and raindrops spreading disease

I remember a holy man driving our Sunday route ahead of us
Just to remove diabolical obstacles 
So we could make it on time
And spare us all your bitching and carwashing 

I remember covering my face from fumes 
The greasy plaid couch pillows
The lysol spraying
The chlorine cleansing

I remember the eyes closed
The wiping of faucets
The crossing a brass fluted transition
The holes you burned in carpets to save the kosmos

I remember the video games and chips and soda
The weight gain
The weight loss
The bitching about a brother stolen

I remember the money borrowed from dad's wallet
Traded for cartons of newports and camels
So you could look him in the eye
Saying truthfully it wasn't you

I remember the sleeping all day
The shopping
The hoarding
The careless starch flamethrower that looked "nice"

I remember which one were you that day
You'd leave randomly
You'd return randomly
You'd smirk and bitch and provoke

I remember it takes 45 minutes to microwave a frozen lasagna
You never prepared meals for us
Dad pressure cooked chicken and boiled brussel sprouts
Peace and quiet was at Boston Chicken

I remember you never really cleaned
You never educated
You never really cared
Until it was always too late

I remember the blinds closed in every room
During the missionary trip to South Africa
The pensive panic with little kids
Bitching back at you to let us pay our water bill

Which one of you cared afterward?
For years I wished one of you cared about me
I searched but never found her
She never tried to reach me either

It took decades to wish that one would find me
Had I been found within the last few years
We would have taken care of her
I wanted her to know them anyway

But it's not all bad news I'm remembering
I also remember that God became what we are
So that we could become what He is
Including every one of you, who was no guardian angel

Since God is the one who vindicates
Who is the one who condemns you now
If He who is risen knew you and loved you most
Sandwich bags and all