15 March, 2008

Let's do an attitude check. (Mine, that is.)

It's been a little while since I've blogged, and I can't say as I've much missed it. There's a lot of reasons for that. At the top of the list is some rip-roaring email conversations with Eclexia, but there have been plenty of other things going on. I've been playing more tennis than ever (with the same variable levels of success), hanging on at work (I'll be starting a new, more time-consuming, more exciting opportunity there in a week or two), and doing two long weekends away.

At another level, if I were to kick up the blogging again, I think I'd become even less popular than I am now - and how much fun would that be? I tire myself with my own contradictions. I grow more and more convinced as time goes on that:

The churches we have are God's way of working in the world. Changing the church out for something "better" is worse than going forward with what we have.

The churches are falling away from the faith.

Spirituality is on the wane, just when we need it most

Contemplative prayer, centering prayer, silence before the Lord, whatever you want to call it, is a spiritual deception.

We need real teaching of solid doctrine, the blood, and holiness.

NT Wright and his "new perspective on Paul" is spot on.

I'm starting to see things more clearly than ever before in my life.

I've never been more confused.

I've called myself a former "Damentalist" before, but it's really never that far gone from my heart. (That's fundamentalism after you bleed the fun out.) The problem is I always seem to be squarely in two camps, and end up aggravating both. 20 years ago, I was an egalitarian, home churching Calvinist. Ever met one of them? No you haven't. The home churchers were unhappy about the Calvinism, and the Calvinists seem to need high liturgy. Now I'm a doctrine-heavy new perspective guy who doesn't think much of the emergent movement. That's nothing, though. I'm a doctrine-heavy guy who believes you should attend the church closest to you without regard to its doctrine.

What on Earth is wrong with me?

If anyone is itching to discuss the New Perspective on Paul (Pearlie has been running a series, on which I have not commented) or whether the church is falling away, let me know. It might tempt me. Elsewise, if I seem quieter than usual, everything's OK. I'm just staying occupied.


Kansas Bob said...

"Damentalist" ... fundamentalist minus the fun - I love this one CP ... it is why you need to keep blogging.

I suggest that you try a round of brief-blogging ... short sound bites from the world of codepoke ... some of us just need that CP fix :)

Happy Palm Sunday my dear friend!

eclexia said...

"I tire myself with my own contradictions." That sounds a lot better than "talking out of both sides of your mouth" which is what I've been told before that I sound like!

Also, those last two entries in your "columns of cognitive dissonance"---if you ever find a way to reconcile those, I'd love to hear it! Somehow, it reminds me of a sermon a pastor preached once on God's math. In any case, it's encouraging to read your words articulating so clearly some of the things that roll around in my head in a jumbled mess.

Patchouli said...

Less popular? Less popular? CP, you are the last person on earth I would have thought would be worried about such a thing!

Have you read Barna's new book "Pagan Christianity"? Now that's a conversation starter...

Anonymous said...

Your first and last pair is pretty close to where I live these days.

Keep up the blogging snippets. The world needs more codepoke. Aw, the heck with the world, I need more codepoke.

Oh, and I'd love to hear more on those last two subjects. There's a new perspective on Paul? I'm trying to figure out what that might involve ...

Milly said...

So here’s my opinion on you thinking that you are contradicting yourself. I don’t think that I know anyone like you. Except perhaps my dear departed uncle Russell. He too like to pick it up and flip it around. I remember how he would ask me a question like “Why do you like that boy?” I ‘d say the typical teen girl thing like he has nice hair and is soooo dreamy and so on and he’d say “Why?” I’d work very hard in trying to explain why I thought Mark Shera was the cutest thing I had ever seen. (Yep I know you folks don’t remember him but I still have his autographed photo tucked away)

Uncle Russell wanted to know why about everything and he took the time to pull it apart. He loved God and he wanted to dig into every word not just read but understand and then search for more. At his funeral his minister talk of how he had learned from my uncle. Not everyone will have such a epithet in this world. My minister most likely will tease about me needing more Starbuck’s in the booth.

The thing about knowledge is that it’s a double edged sword, you thought this way before you learned something else and yet you still want to hold on to the thing that you had always thought the truth. It cuts deep at times doesn’t it? We all want to know something and yet at some point something is going to shake the foundation in which we stand. I’ve learned a lot from you and hope to learn more. I’m thankful that you are honest enough to say that you aren’t sure and to do it with the same passion in which you say I know this is it. Your love for God beams from your words and when you let us in on your life we see such a good man.

Just the opinion of Milly though.

Kansas Bob said...

You blew me away Milly with this:

"The thing about knowledge is that it’s a double edged sword, you thought this way before you learned something else and yet you still want to hold on to the thing that you had always thought the truth. It cuts deep at times doesn’t it?

Wow ... and I absolutley agree with this:

"Your love for God beams from your words and when you let us in on your life we see such a good man."

Just the opinion of Milly AND Bob!

codepoke said...


If only it showed how much I blog for fellowship. I've been told it doesn't show, but I doubt almost every word I say, even why I feel such conviction about it. I only hang such weird thoughts out there because I want someone to agree!

I know there are people who don't care if they're unpopular. I'm emphatically not one. It eats me up every day (despite everyone's perfect advice that I should not let it bother me), but I cannot quit being unpopular because I have weird ideas and weirder standards about sticking to them.


codepoke said...


Thanks for the vote, man.

New Perspective on Paul:
Pearlie might be able to do this better, but here's the gist as I understand it.

1) Judaism was more complex than we ever knew.
2) Pharisees, for example, were the cutting edge thinkers of their time, not the curmudgeons. Yes, their thinking was about tithing and the like, but it was revolutionary.
3) Paul was a Pharisee, and he thought a lot like a Pharisee who happened to have seen the third heaven, the Lord personally, and the true meaning of life.
4) So, when Paul sat down to convey Christ's gospel, he probably was not concerned about exactly the same things he read into him.
5) Notably, Paul was much more interested in how the revolutionary kingdom the Pharisees were seeking was fulfilled in Christ than in the raw mechanics of conversion.
6) With this new focus justification becomes intimately wrapped up in understanding the kingdom. You cannot understand justification if you don't place it in the context of the entire kingdom.
7) Therefore some theologians conclude that the New Perspective folk are trashing justification, and maybe even turning justification by faith into a kind of justification by works.
8) And maybe some New Perspective folk are doing just that. I don't know. But many accuse NT Wright of doing so, and I emphatically do not see it.

codepoke said...

> Just the opinion of Milly AND Bob!

Thank you both. I'm touched.

It's nice being connected to such nice people, so let's try the brief blogging for a while and see whether it works. That was a really great idea.

Lynne said...

Mate, it's perfectly possibleto be unpopular in the big picture, as in not being where the crowd's at, and yet be very very loved by those who have actually seen your heart. (as you are) And crowds are places where real people get lost.

Self-contradictory? that's a synonnym for honest, isn't it? As in not being so doctrinaire that you deny that there are other angles on the truth. And hey, confusion should have been my middle name. I'm an Arminian who exalts grace, a feminist whose best friends are men, an egalitarian who is careful of my husband's wishes, a semi-charismatic who still loves old hymns, an evangelical who relishes ritual and symbolism, a passionate priesthood-of-all-believers-er who goes to an hierarchical church, a person with strong views on the church as the bride of Christ whose best friends are Christians who are so hurt they don't go to church any more ..

As for New perspectives, so far as I've got my head around it, I agree with it. I can't believe how many people are reacting against it without understanding what it's saying first. like the people who think that if you substitute 'declared righteous' for 'imputed righteous' you've thrown out justification by faith. umm .. no, not at all ..

codepoke said...

A friend of mine has a plaque that reads, "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and sings it to you when you've forgotten the words."

Thank you, Lynne, and everyone.