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Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 5: Drops Like Stars, Psalms and Lament., Gaithers on Crack

Devotional Song: a LAMENT,,
Maranatha from Peter Rollins on Vimeo.

Here's what you felt about the F bomb lament line.  Great words to describe what lament is meant to evoke

See other cohort soap collections here and here


What is this?

Temple Warning Inscription
Temple Warning Inscription
What did Jesus think when he saw this stone?
An inscription was discovered on a Greek tablet, attached to the Soreg, forbidding Gentiles to pass beyond that point. [Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums]
When king Herod had rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem between 19 and 9 B.C. he enclosed the outer court with colonnades. The large separated area was referred to as the Court of the Gentiles because the "gentiles" (non-Jews from any race or religion) were permitted to enter this great open courtyard of the Temple area. They could walk within in it but they were forbidden to go any further than the outer court. They were excluded from entering into any of the inner courts, and warning signs in Greek and Latin were placed giving strict warning that the penalty for such trespass was death. The Romans permitted the Jewish authorities to carry out the death penalty for this offence, even if the offender were a Roman citizen. The engraved block of limestone was discovered in Jerusalem in 1871. It's dimensions are about 22 inches high by 33 inches long. Each letter was nearly 1 1/2 inches high and originally painted with red ink against the white limestone. Part of another sign was unearthed in 1936. It's current location is in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul, Turkey. Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey when the stone was found.
Josephus the Jewish historian of the first century A.D. wrote about the warning signs in Greek and Latin that were placed on the barrier wall that separated the court of the gentiles from the other courts in the Temple. Not until 1871 did archaeologists actually discover one written in Greek. Its seven line inscription reads as follows:

The Temple Warning Inscription is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology and confirms events outlined in Scripture. When Jesus saw this inscription he knew that his own life would be the cost for the gentiles to go past this barrier.  LINK

Western Wall -  webcam Jerusalem -

5.2 VIDEO VENTURE: Drops Like Stars trailer:


From the Drops Like Stars film (see whole film on top of our Week 5 page here), in which Rob Bell talks about the six "arts" of suffering,
 we watched   these sections in class
  •  0:53:10 to 1:08:54 (on the art of ELIMINATION, art #3) 
  • 1:08:44 to 1:39:57   (on the art of SOLIDARITY, art #3 )
Now you know there are four more arts of suffering.
Post below as follows, and respond to at least one other student
a)Write a paragraph on 0:53:10 to 1:08:54 ,on the art of ELIMINATION, art #3.  It can be summary and/ or review.  Do your best to give a personal story or example  that came to mind.  What might you remember a year from now from this section, and why?
b)Write a paragraph on   1:08:44 to 1:39:57 , on the art of SOLIDARITY, art #3 . It can be summary and/or review.  Do your best to give a personal story or example   that came to mind. What might you remember a year from now from this section, and why?
c)Before watching the rest of the film, guess what the other 4 arts of suffering might be.  No worries if you don't guess correctly--your answers might be better than his!  Here's some clues (first letters).  They are all one word each; and it might help to think of them as (sometimes) sequential.  Clues below (they are all one word,  and first letter given).  Post (or write down your guesses) before moving on. to part D
1. D______________
2   H_____________
5  P___________
6  F__________

d)Watch the rest of the film. That is, from 0:00 to 53:10 (This is an intro and covers Arts 1 and 2) and then from 1:30:58 to the end , that is, 2:04:45 (This covers Arts #5 and 6.  This section  is about 80 minutes.Of course, since you have already seen the middle section (about 45 minutes), you may prefer to watch the whole thing in sequence and context.
Post below  a 2-3 paragraph response to the rest of the film you just watched, and your own personal highlights/take-aways from the whole film. Wnat you post is up to you, but your post should convince the teacher you watched the whole film.  At some point, mention a powerful chiasm from Art #5, which is relevant to Philemon.  
e)This was a very inductive or EPIC film.  Instead of traditional (RRWI)  order, he told stories and illustrations of each art/point BEFORE he told you what the art/point was.  Note he didn't even reveal the meaning behind the film's title until the very end; in fact they were the last three words of the film.   He also was very E (Experiential) in that he used props and audience interaction (soap, etc)  How do you respond to this kind of presentation?  Mention your results (whether you were RRWI and EPIC) from Forum 3.1  .  It;s possible RRWIs may be frustrated with this style of presentation, and EPICs might enjoy it.  Discuss.  True for you?
f) Which Rob Bell film  ("Everything is Spiritual " (Week 1)  or "Drops Like Stars" did you like best and why?
Review your notes on Forum 2.1  to see what you posted for  "Everything is Spiritual " .
Mention any way the themes of each film might be connected.
Mention whether it was easier or harder to catch a chiasm  in this new film compared to the first film (again, check your previous post here to refresh your memory)

This week, the topic is "Worshipping and Singing in Community: Psalms,  Lament and 

Here is a slightly different version of  part of this week's  in-class presentation, filmed for an online class. It's a  multipart  video (6 parts, but only a half-hour total! Watch it in order) by Dave Wainscott (and a few friends) on Psalms and Lament.  Watch carefully  after class if you need to review and take notes, as you will be responding in the forums.

Part 1 is below (We didn't do this in class)  Listen to the song which is part 1.  Open the lyrics here, and read  along as it plays.  In a way, treat it like other songs  (and Scriptures) we have used in this class: as a text which calls for context and  your Three Worlds skills of interpretation.  Do your best to discern  the main characters , genre, backstory, storyline etc.  (It's easier than Philemon!).  But also be prepared to process how it made you feel.
part 1:

part 2:
part 3:
part 4:
part 5:
part 6: Finish with this song, which Dave prepared you for in part 5:

Here are some notes on the above:

PSALMS are the Jewish prayer-book   that the early Christians used.  What's wonderful, refreshing, honest...and sometimes disturbing  (to us in the West) is that they cover the whole breadth of life and emotion.  They are all technically songs and prayers..  But note how some weave in and out from a person speaking to God, God speaking to a person, a person speaking to himself.  Somehow, Hebraically, holistically, it all counts as prayer.

...And as "song"  Note in your Bible that several psalms have inscriptions which give the name of the tune they are to be prayed/sung to.  Some seem hilarious, counterintuitive, and contradictory, but again not to a Hebrew mindset and worldview, with room for honesty, fuzzy sets and paradox:

Remember the Bono quote:

Click here for the audio (or watch here on Youtube) of this delightful statement by Bono:

"God is interested in truth, and only in truth. And that's why God is more interested in Rock & Roll music than Gospel... Many gospel musicians can't write about what's going on in their life, because it's not allowed .  they can't write about their doubt....If you can't write about what's really going on in the world and your life, because it's all happy-clappy... Is God interested in that? I mean, 'Please, don't patronize Me! I want to go the Nine-Inch-Nails gig, they're talking the truth!

From a 2003 discussion with New York Times, more audio here

"The Jewish disciples all worshipped Jesus, and some of those worshippers doubted."  (matthew 28:17)


There are several ways to categorize the psalms.

The first is the way the Bible itself does: Psalms is broken down into 5 "books"  Hmm, 5...does that sound familiar?  Name another book with 5 sections and suggest an answer for "Whats up with the number 5?"
Note the 5 sections are not comprised of different kinds/genres of psalms..but the styles and kinds are "randomnly"
represented throught the book..
kind of like life..

  Here is one way to categorize the styles and genres:

 Walter Brueggemann  suggests another helpful way to categorize the Psalms. 
o      Creation - in which we consider the world and our place in it
o      Torah - in which we consider the importance of God's revealed will
o      Wisdom - in which we consider the importance of living well
o      Narrative - in which we consider our past and its influence on our present
o      Psalms of Trust - in which we express our trust in God's care and goodness

q        Disorientation:
o      Lament - in which we/I express anger, frustration, confusion about God's (seeming?) absence
§       Communal
§       Individual
o      Penitential - in which we/I express regret and sorrow over wrongs we have done
§       Communal
§       Individual

q        Reorientation/New Oreientation
o      Thanksgiving - in which we thank God for what God has done for us/me
§       Communal
§       Individual
o      Hymns of Praise - in which we praise God for who God is
o      Zion Psalms- in which we praise God for our home
o      Royal Psalms - in which we consider the role of political leadership
o      Covenant Renewal - in which we renew our relationship with God
                                          -Bruggeman, source Click here.

 note how astonishinglyHONEST the prayer/worship book of the  Jews (and Christians) is!

We'll spend some time on the "three worlds" of Psalm 22, which Jesus quotes  honestly  on the cross:
Here (click title below) 's a sermon on Psalm 22, which is another amazing psalm to use in a worship setting...How often have you heard "My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?"   Or "God, where were YOU when I needed you!!"

Yet how familiar is the very next psalm: 23.

Life is both Psalm 22 and 23...sometimes on the same day, in the same prayer.
If we think both/and...we think Hebrew.

Here's a link with several of the stories and illustrations I talked about tonight Iike the speaker who said "I almost didn't come tonight",,


Click the title: 

"The Lord Be With You...Even When He’s Not!"


Jesus died naked..but not in Christian art and movies

I am not here to offend anyone unnecessarily.
But I believe Corrie Ten Boom was right and right on:

Jesus died naked.

Even the (very conservative)Dallas Theological commentaries assume this, so this is not just some "liberal" agenda:

"That Jesus died naked was part of the shame which He bore for our sins. " -link

Which means this picture
(found on a blog with no credit)
is likely wrong(Jesus looks too white).

...and largely right (What Jesus is wearing).

I answered a question about this a few years ago, I would write it a bit differently know, but here it is:

First of all, it is probable that (again, contrary to nearly all artwork and movies), Jesus hung on the cross absolutely naked. This was a typical way of crucifixion, to increase the shame factor. Romans might occasionally add a loincloth type of garment as a token concession and nod to Jewish sensitivity; but not very often, it would seem. Of course, once we get past the emotive and cultural shock of imagining Jesus naked, we realize that if He indeed die naked, the symbolism is profound and prophetic: In Scripture, Jesus is called the "Second Adam". As such, it would make sense that He died "naked and unashamed." We are also told that "cursed is he who dies on a tree." The nakedness was a sign and enfolding of shame and token of curse. And the wonderful story of Corrie ten Boom and family, told in the book and movie "The Hiding Place," relates. One of the turning points of her ability to endure the Ravensbruck concentration camp, particularly the shame of walking naked past the male guards, was her conviction that Jesus too was shamed and stripped naked before guards. "Finally, it dawned on me," she preached once," that this (shaming through nakedness) happened to Jesus too..., and Jesus is my example, and now it is happening to me, then I am simply doing what Jesus did." She concluded, "I know that Jesus gave me that thought and it gave me peace. It gave me comfort and I could bear the shame and cruel treatment." 


    The most haunting, devastating, barely listenable (which is why I regularly listen to it, and use it as a call to prayer and honesty)song I know is by Michael Knott, madman-genius-Christian of the voluminous catalog...whether under his own name, Lifesavers Underground, LSU, Cush...
    Here's the song:

    you're sittin' there wondering why is it like this
    and the whole world's crazy and the earth is sick
    and someone's yelling from the bathroom door
    the toilet's overflowing on the floor
    and the one by the phone 
    says i cannot hear
    while the one by the jukebox spills his beer
    and the man on the pinball hits sixteen mil
    someone ducks behind the counter to pop a pill
    and you reach in your pocket to see if there's more
    and the biggest bill falls so you're left with four
    and you're too gone to look but you still try
    then you see it in the hand of a great big guy
    who looks just like he'd kill you fast
    and you think for a minute
    you let it pass

    and the stool falls over when you set back down
    it bumps a mean pool shooter from across the town
    he misses his shot - it's all on you
    and with your last four bucks you know what you'll do
    sorry man can i buy you a drink
    and he shakes his head and says, make it a double

    the next thing you know you wake up at home
    and the little one there won't leave you alone
    she's awake and hungry
    she needs some potty help
    and you remember what happened last time she tried it by herself
    and your wife says hurry, we're late for church
    and you can barely see
    and your head still hurts
    and the preacher starts preaching
    and you feel remorse
    he's got five little kids and a big divorce
    and your wife looks down and says she don't know how
    he's been her guiding light for ten years now
    and his marriage is over, it's barely alive
    and how in the world will ours ever survive?

    Once, church, we did complaints/laments colored markers on posterboard.
    Photos here, click twice to read and weep...and laugh!:

    But most of us do it less officially, and more often, prayer, even if unarticulated/wordless.

    Complaints/laments/questions have to surface somewhere.  So we might as well be honest andelevate them. pray them post them, sing them....prophetically write them on subway walls or church halls.

      movement, let along the psalms of lament,

    suggests that an outlet must be found, and can be not only threrapeutic/healing, but evangelistic/missional.

    N.T. Wright on Psalms: "some people are so wicked that we simply must wish judgment upon them" We also did this, after a reading of Psalm 22..

    --We just started talking about the temple tanrum, and why Jesus was angry.
    A lighthearted preview.  How would you respond to David Letterman pranking you at Taco Bell:

    • Or McDonald's
    WIN A PRIZE! Watch this short video Dave filmed at 15,000 feet up in the Andes mountains in Peru. See if you can catch

    an important leadership principle in this clip. Post your guess as to what is it is HERE before Week 6 class.

    Essential or Negotiable?

    We often take "culture" for granted, as it is simply the way we (one or more person) thinks and feels.
    (Note: we didn't say "race"...and we are defining "culture" broadly.  So, all marriages are cross-cultural, even if both persons are of the same race, as everyone thinks/feels differently, and has different "cultural" preferences.

    It's easy to assume our cultural identity or preference is the "best" or "right" way (as in a bounded set that everyone should be in)....or the way everyone else sees/interprets  things.

    "We don't see things as they are,
     we see things as we are."
     -Ana├»s Nin

    "Gaithers on Crack: a conversation on cultural preferences":

    CULTURE: a way of thinking, feeling, valuing and acting by one or more persons.

    Wow!  All communication is texting, and all communication is cross-cultural.
    All marriages are cross-cultural..


    Give a quick, gut-instinct, first response answer; filling in the blanks for these two sentences:

    1. "In England, they drive on the __________ side of the road."
    2. "Boy, you can sure tell _________ is at work in the secular world nowadays; all you have to do is look around!
    • 3)"Israel is on the continent of __________."
    • 4)How many of you are in a cross-cultural marriage? ___