Posts Tagged ‘World’

How Does the World Come to An End?

May 16, 2008 1 comment

Well, it can blow up. Poof. Bang. Boom. All gone.

Some worlds ends suddenly. Our church caught fire in February, and suddenly that world was over. Permanently. The things we salvaged now sit in storage, awaiting the new world. Then again a sudden lay-off may bring a sudden end to the world. In 1992, I was in graduate school and working full time to pay for it.

One morning I went in to work, and suddenly I didn’t have a job. I dropped out school for the next seesion, and when I did return, everything had changed. I was no longer studying film. My focus had changed, and I was planning to return to ministry. When the world ends, those who survive go about starting a new world.

Another way the world might end is through decay. Stand amid the ruins of ancient Greece, and you can see a world that is gone. The Parthenon may impress but it is just a shell. A reminder of a world that once was. Oddly enough, the structures of a world remain long after the world has died. Some organizations survive from generation to generation but the world is dead. There is nothing there but the machinery that causes people to keep the skeleton cleaned.

A series of disasters can bring the world to an end. The medieval world suffered one devastating blow after another. The crusades, the great famine, the black plague and other disasters brought this world to an end. The survivors who remained built a new world that laid the foundation for the modern world.

Then again, a new world can be planted in the middle of the old world. Like yeast it can work its way out through every fiber of the old world, creating a new world in the midst of the old. When Jesus goes to the cross, he talks about a seed falling into the ground so that it can die, and yield a great harvest. A harvest that overtakes the old world and makes all things new.

Whether it’s a business, a dream, a project, a community, a country, or a civilization worlds end and new world are created. Who creates the new world? Created in the image of God, we create new worlds through our words and actions. Even as He works in and through His people to create a new world in the midst of a fallen one (but more on that later).

Walking in Two Worlds

April 11, 2008 Leave a comment

We live in at least two worlds or two types of world. We are born into the first and primary world. We didn’t create it. Some people think it just appeared somehow. I believe in the Creator of this world as revealed in the Bible.

The First World
God creates the first world in and through His Word. This world is not God and yet symbolic power is rooted in this world He created by His Word. Thus the prophet can proclaim, “The whole earth is filled with the glory of God.” This world of mountains and valleys and trees and oceans and all manner of creatures and human beings express the glory of God. Not because it (or we as humans) consciously choose to but because His Word created it.

While we could think about Word on many levels, I want to focus here on the aspect of word of symbolic power. Words are primary symbols. They express meaning. Words take forms that express meaning. God speaks the world into being. The whole world conveys meaning (whether we are blind to it or not). In our sin, we may misunderstand the meaning or even worship the world that express the symbol, but our failure does not diminish the riches of meaning, of glory, of wonder expressed by the world of soil, grass, trees, mountains and more. The Bible interprets the meaning of this created world (see Jim Jordan’s “Through New Eyes” for a wonderful introduction).

The fullness of God’s Word is expressed/imaged in Jesus Christ. (More on this later.)

The Second World
Human are created in the image of God. Humans are rational and emotional communicators. We relate. We express meaning. We create symbols. So we create a second world through our words. Our words carry symbolic power. Our words take forms that express meaning.

I can tell a story about an evil empire and the band of noble rebels who resist the evil forces and end up rescuing the enslaved people. These words take form in the imagination. They might also take form in a song. Then someone may write down the words in a book. Another person might act out the words on stage with a group of actors. These words might even take shape in the houses and communities we build.

Our words take form in poetry, song, story, paintings, communities, buildings, dreams and more. Our words create a world that conveys meaning. Every day we create through our words. If our hearts are evil we create worlds that mock God, oppress people and damage the first world.

The 10 Words (10 Commandments) form the building blocks for creating worlds of wonder. Through the 10 Words, we create songs, proverbs, stories, homes, and communities. These words burst out in drawings, paintings, architecture, sculpture, music and dance that all sing out to the glory of God.

The worlds that we create are imperfect (incomplete). They do not reflect the fullness of God’s glory or wonder. They may reveal partial aspects His glory but the not whole. Thus God cannot be limited or contained by our worlds. And we cannot be limited or contained by our worlds. History reveals humans breaking out of one world and into another.

The child leaves one symbolic world and enters into the fuller world of adulthood. As we grow and develop, so does our ability to create worlds. But at the same time, as we fall under the deception of sin or allow the root of bitterness to grow, we create like worlds. Some of us create worlds of darkness, hopelessness, victimhood, and we need to be delivered from the horrible world that we’ve created and brought into the light of God’s good creation.

Changing the World One Laptop at a Time

October 25, 2006 Leave a comment

I’ve been in Chicago this week at the Forrester Consumer Forum: Humanizing the Digital Experience. I’ll try to post some notes later this week, but I had to put up a few thoughts on one session that almost made me jump up a shout “Hallelujah!” Of course, I wasn’t sure how these “corporate folks” would respond to a Southern Pentecostal boy whooping and dancing.

Nicholas Negroponte spoke this morning about his vision of putting  a laptop into the hands of every child in the world and how he is working to make that happen. This wasn’t just blue sky dreaming. This is a clear vision that will make a dramatic launch of putting $100 laptops into the hands on children in several countries as a precursor to a larger distribution.

Working with corporations, researchers, and country leaders, Negroponte’s  One Laptop Per Child non-profit is stunning combination of problem-solving, business planning and long term visioning for our world. The implications of how this could impact learning and development as well as communication, bridge-building and more are staggering.  (Not to mention the impact upon computer technology .)

But don’t waste time listening to me ramble, visit his site and  find out what’s happening for yourself.

Look People in the Eyes Today

October 19, 2006 2 comments

Don’t forget that the people around you are humans and not machines. Here’s another great quote from Charles Wagner:

People burn with ardor for humanity, for the public good, for righting distant wrongs; they walk through life, their eyes fixed on marvelous sights along the horizon, treading meanwhile on the feet of passer-bys, or jostling them without being aware of their existence. – Charles Wagner 

Only 21 Days Left…You Better Hurry

October 18, 2006 Leave a comment

If you’re going to post anything to the Yahoo time capsule, you’d better do it in the next 21 days. I just noticed this today, but it’s another cool form of human connecting. While there is no direct sharing going on between participants, it does give a sense of human connectedness.

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