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Catechism and the Power to Speak

May 3, 2010 8 comments

I’ve been lingering in Telford Work’s Brazos Commentary on Deuteronomy. His midrashic style invites slow rumination. He introduced the term “apochesis” when discussing Deuteronomy 4:25. He says,

“The apostasy is not just a failure of parent to catechize their children (cf. 6:7). It is a life of ‘apo-chesis’ in which parents train their children away from purity. Apochesis is endemic in our day when tradition is mistrusted, cultural revolution exalted, experimentation treated as expression, and youth glorified for its own sake.”

Work has adapted the term catachesis. This word comes from an ancient Greek term, katēcheō, meaning “to sound from above”(Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 3, Page 637) or to “teach by word of mouth” (Encyclopedia of Christianity, Vol 1, p 360). Two Greek words from this word, “kata” meaning according to, after, against, in, down (Strongs, 2596) and “echos” meaning sound and sometimes used to speak about the roar of the waves (Strongs, 2279).

This word was originally used as a dramatic term. The actors spoke down from the stage to the audience. The Scripture uses the word to mean instruction in the word or way of Jesus. So the idea of sounding from above captures the sense of an echo the resounds both in our instruction and in our reflection. The Word of Jesus resounds through His people and in His people. This word is instructing, guiding, opening our eyes to the Gospel and the way of the Jesus.

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy says the speech is the power to create the future. Using his understanding of speech, we might see catechism as the way resound the Gospel and thus create the future. We remember, we rehearse, we resound the Gospel. The Gospel is a past historical event in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a present encounter in the Living Person of Jesus Christ we meet in and through the Spirit, and a future kingdom will be fully unveiled in the days to come. It seems to me that catechism capture all three tense: past, present and future. Thus we speak, proclaim, declare Christ is King even in the midst of corrupt and ruling powers.

With this in mind, I return to Work’s use of the word “apothesis.” Work is talking about a generation that choose not to speak, has forgotten to speak, has abandoned the power of speech. Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy wrote in the 1940s that he feared we were entering a “speechless future” (The Christian Future). We live in a world where the prevailing norm is a loss of real speech, words that create the future.

Apothesis seems an apt description to me of a people who have abandoned the future by abandoning the past. They have no power to resound the Word of God and thus they simply make sounds, or as Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy said somewhere, we use words for chatter (from one of his lectures). We are surrounded by chattering voices, sounding off bits of data stripped of vital life. Now more than ever, let us relearn to speak by listening to the Word made Flesh and resounding the Word made Flesh.

What is a Christian?

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment
they smile with their love (uploaded by t3xtures)

they smile with their love (uploaded by t3xtures)

“The Christian religion consists in becoming inebriated with love.”
Richard Wurmbrand

Intelligent Sci Fi Films

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment
photo by Torley

photo by Torley

SF Signal’s Mind Meld this week asks panelists, “Which films do you think are good examples of Intelligent SciFi?” I am always on the lookout for thoughtful scifi, so this list is helpful. I’m the only one in my house who enjoys scifi, so I usually have to watch it late at night.

Some of the films that make this list include (I put a star beside the films I really like):

Ghost in the Shell
Donnie Darko *
The Wings of Honneamise
Dark City *
Voices of a Distant Star
Blade Runner *
Contact *
The Matrix *
Star Wars Episode IV
Primer *
Gattaca *
Minority Report
A Clockwork Orange
The Abyss
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind *
12 Monkeys *
The City of Lost Children *
Liquid Sky
The Man Who Fell To Earth
The Element of the Crime

Some films I might add to the list:
Solaris (Tarkovsky version)
Day Watch
Night Watch
City of Ember
THX 1138

Categories: Uncategorized

Social Media and the Iran Election Protests

June 17, 2009 Leave a comment
Iran Election (photo by Shahram Sharif)

Iran Election (photo by Shahram Sharif)

The current protests surrounding the recent Iranian election may be one 0f the best tests yet of the global possibilities of social connection via the internet. As many people already know, the US Government asked Twitter to hold off on their regularly scheduled maintenance yesterday so that tweets from Iranian protesters could go on uninterrupted.

In spite of attempts to black out the press and the protestors (via SMS signal jamming, arrests & intimidation, and more), news is still flying out of the country on Twitter (see #iranelection and #gr88), Flickr (constructive help guidelines , there is so much activity on Flickr that the site is actually having hiccups), YouTube, Picasa, LiveLeak, Posterous, Wikipedia, Global Voices Online and more. While the Internet is helping disseminate information around the globe, it is also making a way to get support into the country. One way has been via hackers from outside Iran who are helping by targeting specific government sites. I’m not sure where all this leads, but I am fascinated by the speed and mobilization that interconnectivity of social media has provided.

For those in the West (Americans in particular), I think we should watch and help support (see Simple Ways to Help Iran), but we are not running the ship so to speak. This is not our protest or revolution. And we must not assume that our goals equal the goals of the Iranian people. I think we should pray for them and seek to reach and support when possible, but ultimately whatever happens or does not happen, should come from the people who live in that land.

While some Americans may hope these protests are the beginning of a revolution, I think are primary hope and prayer should be with and for the Iranian people. They want to make sure their vote is counted. I think we should try listening to them and supporting them in ways that we can. Some sites (Simple Ways, Boing Boing Cyber War, Iran Share Archy) have already been set up to show how we can help.

Categories: Uncategorized

Doug Smilin’

February 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Doug Smilin’

Originally uploaded by dulasfloyd

Categories: Uncategorized

Political Science instead of MBA

December 17, 2008 1 comment

I wonder if a “political science” degree might be more helpful than some of the MBAs I’ve encountered. I know some MBA programs connect and support Drucker’s original vision of how business play an integrating role of social stability. But many MBAs seem to be nothing more than glorified Excel degrees.

Political science is the study of the art and science of the body politic. I think many businesses function much like a body politic. They deal with issues of governance, war (internal and external), human relations, social stability, and so on. Plus, their decisions often have ramifications that reach far beyond the business.

If you think about businesses, you might also see that some are run more like a democracy (some like a rambunctious Athenian democracy), some are totalitarian tyrannies, some some are republics and so on.

I wonder if have some sernior executive with a political science background might helpful bring a helpful accentuation into the managing and visioning process.

Firefox 3 Field Guide

June 17, 2008 Leave a comment

I love it. Firefox 3 is to Firefox what Firefox was to IE. It’s faster, easier, and seems to run lighter. You might find it helpful to look at the Firefox 3 Field Guide posted by dria.

Categories: Uncategorized

Spring of Light Christmas Caroling

December 29, 2007 Leave a comment

For the second year in a row, our motley little church gathered outside Jeremy’s house and walked around the neighborhood, singing Christmas carols. Some folks actually came out to listen, and one couple even hugged us! Merry ho ho! Here’s to next year and more caroling.

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Categories: Uncategorized

The Floyd Gang

December 29, 2007 1 comment

Give four middle aged guys plastic guns with BB pellets, and you’ve got the Floyd gang.

Blogged with Flock

Categories: Uncategorized

One Laptop Per Child Reaches 275,000 in Peru

December 27, 2007 2 comments

Laptop project enlivens Peruvian village – Giving-

Negroponte’s “One Laptop per Child” has begun spreading throughout Peru over the past six months. According to MSNBC, Peru purchased the largest number of laptops thus far by ordering 275,000. Apparantly, the ability to record is one of the most exciting features for children:

“What they work with most is the (built-in) camera. They love to record,” says Maria Antonieta Mendoza, an Education Ministry psychologist studying the Arahuay pilot to devise strategies for the big rollout when the new school year begins in March.

Already several competitors are trying to create a similar product. Intel is introducing the Classmate and several companies in India and Brazil are also trying to introduce laptops.

I find this whole project an exciting picture of how private enterprise, education, and government can work together in seeking for solutions to various challenges in our world. Kudos to Negroponte and his whole team!

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