Friday, September 29, 2006

A Serious Limerick

It is not that I think that you’re wrong,
Or positions you hold, headstrong;
But the way that you say it
May gainsay or betray it-
Nay, twist my allowance ere long.

by Evan Wilson

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An Oracle

Rap music. Making room for junior high poets who can't sing but would like to be famous anyway. It must be so hard to think of a tune. But easily enough to" smack mo crack hoes into next June."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Just an Observation

It struck me this morning, and I could be wrong, that the Emergent church is less of a reformation than a trend. What is that trend based on? I concluded that it is a passle of adults whose most devout, concrete Christian experience was in their youth group growing up. Look at the famous leaders. Don't they all seem to relate like a youth pastor? I am not commenting on whether it is good or bad, true or false. I am sure that many people have their lives wonderfully ministered to by such churches. I am sure that they are fellow believers.

But why, O, why do they lack this observant self description?. For the same reason I struggle with seeing the similar in me. I know that I am prone to think that my own patterns of life are "the balanced Christian way". You know, bookish, rational, tweedy, black coffeed, nicotined, poetic, and Lewisian (but not a dork who likes Tolkien). I am tempted to think that such is what the Gospel would create in every man. These are cultural differences like "barbarian or Scythian". There ought to be a clear distinction between what I prefer and what the Holy Spirit creates. It sounds obvious but why is it that we tend to fabricate for our preferences that which sounds like spiritual compulsion. What Christ makes of me upon looking at Him makes those Emergent youth leader vs. Oxbridge wanna-be philosopher distinctions fade to nothingness. My culture is the spontaneous and compulsive reaction to me according "to things which perish". My "life is hid with Christ in God."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This Persuasion

I have often said, perhaps here, that there are two kinds of Christians. KIND ONE: They are the ones who believe that Christ died to save the Church (capitalized on purpose) and the individual, in his beliefs and his life of salvation is the collateral effect of that Church. KIND TWO: This other group believes that Christ died to save the individual and the collateral effect of a gathering group of so saved individuals is a church.
That is a simplification, of course, and some might wonder if it goes any deeper. I consider that KIND ONE is a deep and abiding folly and that the distinction between it and KIND TWO is the same as between the Old Covenant and the New. While there are many ways for the saints to attempt to put new wine into old skins, let us look at five broad areas which are somewhat obvious. KIND ONE is a Christianity of the external, hoping to seep in to the soul, and KIND TWO is that of the internal, unavoidably infecting its world.
Allowing the good to go first, five categories of the internal Christian life are:
Those matching in the external life are:
Do you realize, as you look at those lists, that everything you have ever complained about in the Church, at least in other churches, is of KIND ONE? Let us compare , shall we?

LIFE is who the person has been made by their earthly and heavenly nature which spontaneously and compulsively effects their culture. CULTURE is the establishment of a broad, designed end which by the force first of dictate and then, with time, tradition, hopes to seep into the nature of the individual.

LIGHT is a knowledge whose illumination functions where it was dark, your own soul. You know to what you hold fast because that was the switch you flipped that convicted you, showed you repentance and found, by its light, forgiveness. It makes all things visible to you. CREED wonders how the church will remember what is true if we don't codify it, memorize it, and chant it back to our keepers.

LOVE is generous. LAW is the tithe.

JOY cannot forget that "I am healed!". ENTERTAINMENT, acknowledges that Christians are supposed to be happy and says, "Watch this and cheer up, dammit!"

FELLOWSHIP is finding contentment with the church. FACTION is insisting on a movement.

In order to become "members of one another", KIND ONE has you sign up with them and they train you to at least wonder, if not overtly check, the membership club card of others as they enter your ecclesia. Look back over the qualities of the external "visble" church. Is it not the religion of all earthly religions? It doesn't matter that it speaks wonderfully true things about the Triune God and the work of Christ. It as if they said "We want a religion just like the nations round about but we want it to be true and bigger and better." KIND TWO considers that if you "are" Christ's you probably value what you have in Him. You recognize those that have it too.

Certainly both kinds of Christian can be deceived in false brethren. At least to fool KIND TWO Christianity, fraudulent brothers must work very hard to fake the LIFE LIGHT LOVE JOY. I know real believers who struggle with these elements of the Faith. Usually you have already lowered the bar in your own lives regarding what those mean until even a Mormon could qualify by being like the "nice, good citizen" to which you have slipped. Go back and look at how those gifts of God are expressed in the truly changed believer. Now, how hard do you think it is to fake CULTURE, CREED, LAW, and ENTERTAINMENT?

Maybe Colossians 2:16-23 will read more clearly with this distinction made.
"Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh."

Or Galatians 3:1-5

"O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so many things in vain? -- if it really is in vain. Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? "

Or if God might be more direct, Hebrews 8:6-13

"But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry which is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second.
For he finds fault with them when he says:

"The days will come, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I paid no heed to them, says the Lord. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach every one his fellow or every one his brother, saying, `Know the Lord,' for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."
In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away."

The Oracle, stolen from St. Paul in Galatians 5:7-9,

"You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?
This persuasion is not from him who calls you.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Of Dark Days

Let God on high be praised above,
No threat of sunshine here below.
Dawning, mistrise, the grey of love,
O'ercast delights, mine eyes allow.
Chill discomfort demands attire
Which once obeyed is certain bliss,
And tramping out o’er moor and mire
Along with friend and pipe and this
Damp dawn is heaven here on earth.
The many gods sing high of Him
As cold, grey fear enthrones the North,
A sober joy that sunlight dims.

by Evan Wilson

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ministry Update

Friday, September 15, 2006

Posterity for the Too Cool

The lads, Graeme and Gunn, in whom I am well pleased, leaning with that certain "what-is-it" on the railing of Aunt Peanut's deck in Montana.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Lincoln green steps back a hundred paces into grey
As Odin cries for war;
The damp and calming coolness turns faces from the day
Of Baldur, Frey, and Thor.
But many thousand, pipes alit, step boldly to gate
Of Grendel’s grave, ah yet;
The mantle bravely fallen, wool, a Highland skein of fate
Weaves Siegfried in its net.

By Evan Wilson
because it is September,
the weather has changed,
and I am wearing long sleeves again.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Oracle: The Reason Why

For those of you men who live out of town or perhaps don't see me with any regularity, this is the opportunity to spend a day going over a philosophy of manhood, relationships, and behavior unlike you have ever heard. The seemingly self-serving title of "The Oracle" was bestowed by young men coming in the night to ask questions about women. A few years back, one such gentlemen said that a seminar was in order. With his help and pressure was born....

If you would like to come to town for it, let me know if you desire to use our guest rooms and we will see what we can do.

The Mojo Oracles are for Men only.
This year the seminar will be
Saturday, September 30, 2006
10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
325 North Polk, Moscow

Seminar Schedule: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Are there basic reasons for everything every man does?
The first session explores the claim that we are all after something simply obvious. It is the underpinning of a rationally sound pursuit of being a man.
Sandwich lunch
As the prerequisite to honour and dignity, a philosophy of position has been lost in modern America. Regaining that mode of thought is essential to becoming the gentleman.
15 minute break
The more masculine virtues of Honour, Dignity, Integrity, and Gravity are the oft ignored virtues, and are not friendly to the modern egalitarian outlook.
15 minute break
Fourth Session: THE MOJO
The Biblical understanding of the Attraction called “Woman” and the benefits of that understanding in resisting temptation and winning a wife.
15 minute break
Fifth Session: The Word of A GENTLEMAN
Gathered from the teachings of that penultimate gentleman, Philip Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield, and the Book of the Courtier by Count Balthazar Castiglione.
1 hour break
Roast Beast Dinner— 7:00
Attire: Casual
with, after dinner,

FIN — 10 p.m

COST:$50 —Make checks payable to The Big Haus Society
Cost covers a notebook with essential documents, lunch and dinner,
cigars (if you want one), and a certificate of attendance.
Send to: The Big Haus, 325 N. Polk, Moscow, Idaho 83843
Payment required in advance to secure a spot (which are limited).
Cancellations less than a week prior will only result in a refund of half the registration fee, due to cost of materials.
For more information
call Evan Wilson
at 882-8679 or 882-4885

Thursday, September 07, 2006

You Are Quite Wrong

Mark 12
18 And Sad'ducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, 19 "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children; 21 and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22 and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife."
24 Jesus said to them,
"Is not this why you are wrong,
that you know neither the scriptures
nor the power of God?
25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him,
`I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
27 He is not God of the dead,
but of the living;
you are quite wrong."

This passage has interest to we Christians in the defense of the resurrection of the dead. "Gotcha," we say to the Sadducees. But it also has a side, but necessary, point concerning the Christ's cosmology. Christians, especially Arminians, like to move God to some place outside of Time in order to make classical theism fit with freedom of the will. There are basic problems with that move but this passage is not usually addressed in the argument. It should be.
If God is atemporal the Sadducee's point could be held and Christ's argument eviscerated. If the Sadducees or Christ knew of an atemporal place where God normally dwelt (and it seems today that Christians without a thought in their pretty heads know about God being "outside of Time") then the verse quoted by Christ would naturally be applied to God’s relationship with the patriarchs being “always” (from His atemporal vantage) and would not necessitate an “afterlife”. He, God, could be the God of the living because He is atemporally and consequently, permanently there in their living times. That would answer the verse speaking of the patriarch's "present" relationship with God and His with them. But Christ leans on the present tense of the remark as if their past state and now dead condition was of no consequence. But was not their past life a place that God could access in His atemporal dimension? So certainly would the Sadducees say if they knew of this silly notion. Christ is affirming that they are alive in the Now, in an afterlife synchronous with our earthly life, and only if that state is true can his appeal to the tense of the verse bear any weight. His relationships must claim the actuality of the beings related to and the Past and the Future have no "living" people and are not places that even exist in the relationships of God.

The oracle: Jesus Christ's view of the afterlife necessitates transcendent heavenlies that don't transcend "was, is, and will be".

After all, (and I mean "after"), Amen.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Of Mysteries Too Great for Mere Mortals

A miracle happened last night. My wife, the Amazing Missus, was preparing the Big Haus menu in the dining room as she listened, with one ear, to me reading aloud C. S Lewis' essay "Religion: Reality or Substitute" and leading a subsequent discussion in the living room. While it is a tremendous essay, all of that "smarty pants" talk faded to nothingness as reality ripped at the seams. She was writing, in her lovely, loupy, girl cursive, something she never usually writes. The words "frozen waffles" flowed from her mechanical pencil. And, (be still my heart), as the word "waffles" found graphite reality, from my lips, a room away, sprang the word "waffle".

Yes, dear friends and dearer enemies, this place, this Big Haus, is a vortex of arcana. Banshees roam the halls and leave unwashed kitchenware by the sink. Dang their filthy hides.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Nonesuch

All views that I have held have been questioned by minds greater and lesser. All views of mine, singly and severally, cannot put aside, as Lewis put it, "the logical exclusion of dispute".
Except for this one.
I was, west of the Azores and north of Trinidad, the cutest child ever born.
This pronouncement includes mine own children and, of course, yours.

Admittedly, in the spirit of Christian humility, I have not worn well. Each of you can feel free to consider yourself a better looking adult than the Oracle.