Wilco’s “Theologians”


Originally posted on Five-Cent Synthesis:

I admit ignorance about Jeff Tweedy as a person, and only know him through his music. The long time frontman of Wilco has proved time and again to be musically curious while well moored in traditional folk, country and rock; a serious songwriter that occasionally has a touch of the chaotic. He also seems to have an eye on the divine, with songs spanning decades that at least tangentially muse upon the subject: Jesus Etc.Theologians, and I’ll Fight.

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The Invisible and Otherness


It hardly is worth repeating that Socrates spent a lot of time in dialogue with others. However it is worth repeating that he spent much of his effort to point out the difference between appearances and reality. As Plato’s interlocutor, one suspects his distinction tends toward the vertical relationship between the forms/ideas and matter that the former eventually articulated. The excesses of that conception excepted, the distinction between what appears and what really is is a perennial one that drives our striving to understand and to live well.

Two themes I have come to notice in Christianity, no doubt belatedly, is the importance of the invisible and presence of otherness. By invisible I mean those realities and their aspects that are essentially beyond our sensible recognition. Are these real? By otherness, I mean the emphasis on that which is beyond our control, the objective nature of the world we live in. It is in light of these two themes that life as a Christian can come into and remain in focus; following the Way, the Truth, and the Life only makes sense when one recognizes there is reality beyond which our eyes can perceive, and the swollen pride that deceives one into subjugating that which cannot be subjugated must be bled (or iced, if you prefer). Continue reading

Millennials Need Worship that’s Been Around for Millennia


Joel:

I would highly encourage our readers to head over and read this post. Why look to create new worship when true worship has existed for 2,000 years?

Originally posted on Hipsterdox:

DSC01969 Thom Rainer, the current CEO of the Southern Baptist LifeWay story chain, recently wrote about what type of worship the so-called “Millennials” like. He defines a Millennial as anyone born between 1980 and 2000, essentially those who grew up watching the rise of the internet and technology, or the pre-9/11 generation. The entire article is very much worth the read and I believe he is accurate. All of it is summarized by one statement toward the end:

And you will hear Millennials speak less and less about worship style. Their focus is on theologically rich music, authenticity, and quality that reflects adequate preparation in time and prayer.

In other words, what young people want is a real worship experience, something that really strikes at the heart. The above statement is really unpacked earlier in the article, where Rainer states,

  1. They desire the music to have rich content. They desire to…

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Two New Websites


First, I’d like to thank Jonathan Anderson for allowing The Christian Watershed to obtain ownership of both Hipsterdox and Orthodox Ruminations. We will keep up all his work and begin to contribute our own.

We’re going to take some time before really adding any new content to both sites as we decide the direction we want to head with both. We do plan on upgrading both sites and taking them in different directions. On both, we anticipate and hope to add guest authors on a frequent basis. While at The Christian Watershed we look at the world through a lens of “theology applied,” we hope to make Orthodox Ruminations a place for Eastern Christian theology and Hipsterdox a place for finding how Eastern Christianity applies to our tempestuous era.

We at The Christian Watershed will meet sometime in early February to hash things out and prepare the sites, with a hopeful “relaunch” on March 1. Until that time, we’ll work to bring some content over in order to keep everything up to date.

In all of this, we pray Lord have mercy.

- Joel Borofsky

A Completely Selfish Request


Possible book cover

Possible book cover

Josh and I want to thank everyone who tolerated this website for the past year. 2013 ended up being our most successful year in terms of readers. Not only did our parents read it, but our friends did too, which was a drastic improvement (we actually had around 24,000 unique visitors for the entire year…not exactly a big time operation).

Our overall goal is to write books and hopefully bring some change to the communities we live in. Of course, in our modern world, anyone and everyone can produce a book. Both of us have worked on manuscripts, but obviously no one would publish a manuscript from some unheard of author (nor should they, that’s an irresponsible financial risk). Since January 1, we’ve averaged around 350-380 views a day. Again, that’s really not a lot, but for us it’s okay. The main driver of views the last few days, however, has been Facebook, or people just sharing what we’ve written.

If you like what you read here, please share it. Our goal is to increase our readers to about 1,000 a day. We feel if we can sustain that number, we can justify self-publishing books (knowing we’d have an audience we could sell the books to). Again, we’re not looking to turn a profit or make a living on this stuff, we’re realist. But we do have to justify the financial costs involved in self-publishing and that can only be done if we know we have an audience that would actually purchase what we wrote.

Of course, this plea also comes with the promise that we’re going to do what we can to write more (that might upset a few people) and write succinctly. Josh, of course, has mastered the art of brevity. I, however, have not. I’ll get there.

I already have one manuscript that is done and simply needs editing(What Sinners Dare Not Dream: Hope Fulfilled). Josh already has a very short, satirical book published. Point being, we have some things we really want to put out there, but lack the audience to justify doing so. If you like what we write and mostly agree with it, then please share our website via Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, email, or smoke signals (check with the EPA on that last one). If you have a website and want to repost something we wrote, then please do it (just provide a link back to us). If not, then don’t worry about it. Either way, we’ll continue to write on here and our mothers will continue to be proud of us (mostly).

On Pascha (Easter), or the Hope of Things to Come


Icon of the Resurrection

Icon of the Resurrection

Once in the Garden of Eden, at the beginning of our sorrows, the pre-incarnate Christ walked within the Garden looking for Man and Woman. He knew what had occurred. He knew His creation had rebelled. He knew the pain and suffering that was to come.

We can almost hear the pain as we read the most overlooked, but painful words within the entire Bible, “And the LORD God said unto them, ‘Where are you?’” God knew where they were, He knew where they were hiding; His question was a rhetorical one. Man answered and admitted to his rebellion and Woman confessed what she had done. The march toward Calvary had begun.

In a small insignificant town in the Roman province of Judea, the Christ child was born. God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, Son of God who was present at creation and the Fall, had come to fix what was broken.

We cannot begin to fathom what the world looked like through the eyes of Christ. For Him to walk in human flesh amongst His creation, to see the effects of sin on His world, what did the incarnate God feel? “Where are you?” He must have uttered to creation as He walked through the various towns of Judea.

God asked Man and Woman where they were, but He did not wait on them to come find Him. He instead went into the world to find them.

God incarnate, who cursed Man for his rebellion, who sought after Man in the Garden, hung upon a cross. The crafty serpent of old thought he had defeated God, but Christ arose, solidifying His solution. The serpent had bruised His heal, but He had crushed the head of the serpent.

“Where are you?” His question echoes throughout human history up to the present age and all the way to when He returns. “Where are you?” As He watches humanity rip itself apart, as He watches humanity turn against Him on a daily basis, He must be asking, “Where are you?”

In the first garden man was cursed with death. In the resurrection the curse on man was lifted. In the first first garden man tore himself away from God. In the garden of the resurrection, God united Himself to man. In the first garden we were cursed because of the fruit from a tree. In the garden of the resurrection, we were saved because of Who died upon a tree. The first garden was a paradise after creation and cursed in the fall, the second garden was cursed but was made paradise because of God’s recreation. In the first garden Man was lost, but in the second garden Man was found.

Yet, in this rebellious world there are those who are covered by His Son. Just as Man and Woman needed a covering to hide their nakedness, their shame, we too have a covering to hide our wickedness, our shame. Our covering is Christ. There is a future hope, an end to our suffering, a time where we will not sin, where we will be done in our rebellion.

There will be a time when those who suffer from physical ailments, from these disease-ridden bodies, shall be given new bodies where such pain is gone. The blind will look into the eyes of Christ and see the wondrous acts of His love. The deaf shall hear with clarity the songs of the angels praising God almighty. The hungry will feast with the Lord at the great banquet table. The orphans shall feel the loving embrace of their Heavenly Father and no longer feel the sting of loneliness.

There will be a time when the oppressed shall experience freedom in the presence of the Spirit. Those who are bed-ridden, those who are diseased, those who suffer constant pain will walk amongst God’s beautiful creation, dancing and leaping across His land with Christ by their sides.

But all of this pales in comparison to the reconciliation we will have with Him. We will no longer offend Him. We will no longer contradict Him. We will be in perfect union with the Father as we fall down and worship Him eternally. We will no longer have to hear those painful and cursed words, “Where are you?” We shall instead hear His soothing words of grace; “I have found you.”