Saturday, November 29, 2008

On Being Texan

       According to my Facebook News Feed (aka stalker feed), my sister just joined two Facebook groups. I have never experienced such deep satisfaction until I read her update. Therefore, I must blog this momentously entertaining occasion.
       The first group is listed as: "Texas could be its own country but it isn't b/c it feels bad for America." She then provided her own well deserved and greatly appreciated commentary viz., "it's under 'beliefs and causes' how can we not join?" I must say, this is a thought provoking question. How can one not join such a magnanimous cause? Well, the group provided reasons why one should.

1) Concerning Race: "being texan transcends race."

- talk about progressive

2) On why people should join: "'invite your friends, spread the gospel' vs 'Don't invite your friends (Jospeh Stalin).'"

- is this bombastic? Truculent? Answer: it is absolutely true

       The second group is listed as: "[the] Cyclones are the most dominant college mascot on earth." Everyone has to have school pride. You have to respect it. The contest which legitimizes the validity of this can be verified via internet scholasticism (found here
       Also, my friend Dennis Lee just joined the Facebook group: "Texas did beat OU 45-34, lest we forget." Here is a digression of its existence.
       The official group [exists] to promote and raise awareness of the scientific fact that Texas did defeat Oklahoma 45-35 on a neutral site during the 2008 football season. It seems to be that these days, there is a contingent of America, especially those in the voting electorate that makes up the Coaches and Harris polls, that forgot that Texas did in fact defeat Oklahoma earlier in the year. The score, if you were wondering was Texas 45 v. Oklahoma 35. The game was played on October 11, and Texas defeated Oklahoma on a neutral site. For those of you in Oklahoma, or in case you are a Harris or Coaches poll voter, that means that Texas is the only team in the Big 12 South's vaunted four teams in the top 12 to have won a game against one of the other teams away from home. But wait. Didn't OU just beat the No. 2 team in the nation, by a lot? Yes they did. They were also at home where they have only lost two games since Bob Stoops started hating puppies and Jesus. Wait... But they beat them by a lot, and that was the team that beat UT? Yes. They did beat Tech. Tech did beat Texas at home in the final second. Yes, Texas did in fact, contrary to popular belief beat Oklahoma on a neutral site by double-digits. But wasn't that a long time ago? Lets see, OU beat the No. 2 team at home last week. Texas beat then No. 1 team on a neutral site. But I guess because it was over a week ago it doesn't matter. With that in mind we move forward with one goal in mind. To remember the Cotton Bowl. That is our cry. Remember, Remember, the eleventh of October. The day that Texas defeated then No. 1 Oklahoma by double-digits on a neutral field. So we are urging you, as concerned citizens of this great land to raise your voice, to act upon your first amendment freedoms and let your voice be heard by the small few that decides who plays for the National title, or in this case the Big 12 title. Do everything in your power to promote and spread the awareness of 45-35, because knowing is half the battle. And the game did in fact happen so long ago, so we must remember America, because she has such a short memory.
Facebook groups, I salute you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On Moltmann and the Trinity

       "If... we have to recognize the unity of the triune God in the perichoretic at-oneness of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then this does not correspond to the solitary human subject in his relationship to himself; nor does it correspond, either, to a human subject in his claim to lordship over the world. It only corresponds to a human fellowship of people without privileges and without subordinances."
 - Jurgen Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom of God (London: SCM Press, 1981).

       If I understand this correctly, basically, the Perichotic unity of the three divine persons is a non-hierarchical fellowship of open love -the image of the trinity is based on relationship. Moltmann's thesis is that love and relationship are the axiom of the Trinity and not distinction based on hierarchy in relationship. Hence, Moltomann is trying to avoid hierarchy (and "domination" in distinction) and bring to light "human freedom" found in a relationship of love. Further, a "person" takes part in this relationship by grace and thus one's understanding of the immanent Trinity comes from relationship. Moreover, our relationships in the world should reflect the image of God and therefore, one should focus on love and a non-hierarchical distinction in relationships. Fair enough, however, Moltmann is mistaken in five ways.
  1. First, in the Trinity, there is indeed equality and love; however, there is indeed distinction and hierarchy. Jesus does the work of the Father and the Spirit is also in clear subordination to both the Father and the Son (John 5:30; 8:42; 12:49; 14:10; 16:13).
  2. Second, a person does not relate equally to each person of the Trinity. Namely, one does not relate to God the Father the same way one relates to God the Son (I am too lazy to tease this out more).
  3. Richard Bauckham supports the second point and also adds a third criticism: "[this view] encourages us to apply to the term 'person' as univocally to the three divine persons as we do to human persons. But this is precisely what Moltmann himself warns should not be done in his useful section on 'trinitarian principle of uniqueness' (TKG, pp. 188ff; quoted at pp 189f)."
  4. Fourth, along with criticism three, Moltmann appears to focus too greatly on the subjective man-centered view of the Trinity. As if, a finite, sinful person should dictate the ontological reality of the transcendent God. The relationship that Moltmann presents is far too flexible. The distinction between immanence and economic is muddied by the rhetoric of socialism and relationship grounded in community.
  5. Fifth, Moltmann's trinitarian framework is founded in unbiblical axioms. The trinity does provide freedom. However, freedom isn't found in liberation from hierarchy. Instead, freedom is found in Christ, it is found in obedience to Christ and freedom from slavery of sin (Rom. 6:20; 8:1f). If one wants to discuss oppression, focus on sin; if one wants to discuss freedom (and the Kingdom of God for that matter), focus on the Cross of Christ (Lk. 9:23-27 cf. Mt. 10:40ff).
Here are Christ's sobering words:
       And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and the holy angels. But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:23-27