congrats to the phillies. though it may have taken 3 days to finish one game…you have earned your championship. now go partay!
Archive for October, 2008
then again, is it really jumping on a bandwagon if i never technically jumped off?
if you’re living in the middle of nowhere (i.e. grantham), let me catch you up to speed. the phillies just won the first game of the world series. now you’re caught up. wow, that was easier than i thought it would be.
so i ask the question, if i root for the phillies, does that mean i’m jumping on the bandwagon? because here’s the deal: i was raised in a good phillies-loving home, with practicing phillies fans. i remember very clearly the christmas i received mike schmitt’s sacred text on how to play baseball. i even remember one special summer day in my younger years getting to go to veteran’s stadium (for you newbies, that was the old phillies stadium) for a phillies game. but i must admit, much cynicism and disappointment overcame my life and yes, my love for the phillies diminished.
so i pose the question in a different light: once a phillies fan always a phillies fan? or can one lose their phillies fanship through unorthodox, un-fanlike behavior and language? that begs the question, what must one do to reenter the kingdom of phillies fanship? my girlfriend just got me a victorino shirt…is that good enough? or do i have to go all out and buy a bumper sticker?
…when professors give you an essay prompt that goes as follows:
“tell me everything you’ve learned this semester about the the jews in germany.”
obviously this is for my holocaust class. what kind of lame question is that? i’ve learned a lot about the jews in germany so far this semester…perhaps you could narrow that question down for me a bit! there’s a lot i could say. i could probably write my doctoral dissertation on “the jews in germany.” that’s a broad topic. oh, and how many pages would you like? “oh, i don’t care. however many pages it takes to answer the question.” thanks. multiply that times 4 and that’s my holocaust mid-term due tomorrow.
what kind of prompt would i rather, you might ask? here’s how this lame prompt can be transformed into a freakin awesome essay prompt:
“the nuremberg laws of 1935, enacted by adolf hitler, attempted to define the term “jew.” as such, a “jew” was defined racially as anyone with at least one jewish grandparent. this greatly increased racial discrimination against the jewish population in germany. the breaking point came in the two day event known as kristallnacht. describe the german jewish population before the nuremberg laws were enacted, after they were enacted, and finally after kristallnacht. focus on the progression of their reaction to hitler’s radical ideology and german social norms.”
can i graduate now?
amidst all the reading that i have for my classes this semester, i thought i would recommend one of my favorites so far. the title of the book is “can evangelicals learn from world religions?” by gerald mcdermott and you can check it out here. i had to read it for my christian theology of religious pluralism class and found it to be quite insightful.
essentially his answer is yes, christians CAN learn from world religions. now that i just spoiled the ending i won’t tell you exactly how he goes about unpacking this thesis (you’ll have to read it to find out). his focus is on the value of revelation in other religions.
i think this book is especially important for today’s christian because of the growth of religious diversity (world-wide…including in the U.S.). we need to learn how to intelligently interact with those around us regardless of their religious persuasion. mcdermott does a good job of valuing the other religions (including christianity). to me there just seems to be too much religious slander going around. many christians (and perhaps the same could be said about most religious traditions) spend too much time fighting other religions and not enough time conversing with their fellow journeyers.
no, i’m not a daoist, but that doesn’t mean daoism has nothing to offer me (or that i have nothing to offer doaism). no, i’m not a muslim, but that doesn’t mean that i can’t learn something from their strong affirmation of “no god but allah.” no, i don’t think plato hit the mark completely, but i can certainly still learn from his “shaddow of forms” theory.
the bottom line is that mcdermott is right…there’s much that christians (even the staunchly conservative evangelical) can learn from world religions without forsaking the christian non-negotiables. mcdermott’s book is a good read. if you’re a sunday school teacher or lead a small group, you should especially check this book out.
so there’s my soapbox for monday morning.