AnnieKO'Connor


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The Bible Is Not the Word of God

“The Bible is the word of God.”

We hear this all the time. We don’t even think about it.

The statement is used to convince us if we have any disagreement, problems, confusion or negative feelings about the Bible, we are having those reactions against God. It is used to point out that God cannot tell a lie, and so there are no contradictions in the Bible, that creation is a literal six days, that homosexual sex is an abomination.

But there is a major problem with believing the Bible is the word of God. That problem lies in what the Bible itself has to say about the word of God:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, andthe Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

— John 1:1–4

The familiar passage is John’s introduction to Jesus, and is one of the main passages used in defending the doctrine of Jesus’ Godhood.

When we hear people referring to the Bible, listen carefully. Ask, are they giving the Bible the place of Jesus? If we are to take the Bible seriously, we must recognize its acknowledgment of Jesus as the word of God, and its commands never to worship idols. Once we worship the Bible as a way of worshipping God, we are idolaters. The tradition of regarding the Bible as the word of God is so deeply tied to contemporary Christianity, we often fail to see the conflation between it and Jesus. This must be rectified.

Jesus is God. The Bible is not.

Jesus was with God in the beginning, before the creation of the universe. The Bible has only ever existed within the universe, within time.

The world was created through Jesus. The Bible had no participation in creation.

Jesus died on the cross. The Bible did not.

We are saved through of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This would be true even if the Bible had never been written. The Bible has done nothing of the work of our salvation.

Jesus is rightly worshipped. The Bible should never be worshipped.


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The Exploding TARDIS and the Crucifixion

This is Part 2. Read Part 1 and Part 3.

Last week we talked about the near insatiability of the destructive nature of sin.

In Doctor Who, the Doctor discovered his TARDIS could satisfy the crack in all space and time. The TARDIS is devoured by the crack and explodes. Because the crack is everywhere all at once, the TARDIS explodes everywhere all at once. It was a one time event occurring at every time and at everyplace in the universe.

Exploding Tardis

But what of the real crack in space-time? What could satisfy sin? God’s answer is himself.

The crucifixion was a one time event occurring at every time and every place in the universe. We can still see it in suffering and in injustice. Wherever we see the crack of sin, we see Christ suffering within it. Though he was crucified 2,000 years ago, he is still being crucified.

There is still pain, horror, cruelty, destruction and injustice because the crucifixion is still happening. And when it is over, the crack will be satisfied. There will no longer be sin.

The universe in Doctor Who was adversely affected by the crack being satisfied. From the outsides into the origin of the explosion, the universe was erased. In fact, all of the universe had never existed once the crack was satisfied.

It is not enough simply to destroy sin and make the world as if it never existed; the world must be remade. But how? That’s what we’ll explore next week.


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Sin as the Crack in Space and Time

Imagine the universe is broken. Every where you go, in every time, there is this crack in the universe, breaking it further and further, breaking lives, breaking people, pulling loved ones from each other.

This doesn’t sound too far off, does it? There seems to be something—or many things—that make the world a dark, difficult place to live.

Tuesday I wrote about the universal Story written across the universe. The story I’ve mentioned there is present in season 5 of Doctor Who, and it is also the Story of Christ.

In Christianity, this brokenness is called sin. Sin exists in everywhere, in everything. No matter where you are in the world, you will see it.

Doctor Who tells the story of this crack. We start with it’s insatiability.

The story of sin in Christianity is the story of this insatiable, destructive force. Sacrificial laws in the Old Testament reveal this insatiability by requiring ongoing cycles of sacrifices. None of these sacrifices can quench sin. In the New Testament, Jesus offers himself as a sacrifice that can quench sin; he is able to do so since he is God, and this sacrifice is sufficient to close this crack in the universe and fulfill all the  Old Testament laws set to palliate it.

In Doctor Who, we see a similar pattern. The crack across Amy Pond’s bedroom wall is present on the crashed spaceship Byzantium. Several of the characters step into the crack and disappear; the crack devours them and their entire history. After they enter the crack, they were never born; the crack is hungry and destructive. If it is not satisfied, it will continue to pull apart the universe in this way.

In the same episode,  “Flesh and Stone,” we discover that only the most complex space-time event can satisfy the crack and close it. An army of weeping angels calculates that if the Doctor threw himself in, the crack would close. The Doctor, however, allows the gravity produced by the ship to drain, causing the planet’s gravity to pull the entire army of angels into the crack. Angels are complicated space-time events, and an army of them sates the crack: for now.

The angels in the crack are a palliative sacrifice; they are not able to satisfy the crack completely. It isn’t long before the crack returns, devours Rory, and the Doctor discovers what could satisfy the crack forever: his TARDIS.

Continue with Part 2 and Part 3 of this blog series.

DoctorTardis


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Cloud Cult – Love

Cloud Cult’s newest offering Love (out Tues. Mar. 5) opens with their signature twee sound with rough edges. Craig Minowa’s faltering voice sings “Fly, baby, fly, till nothing can get you down” with enough tenderness teach a cynic hope in the opening You’re The Only Thing in Your Way. It’s a painful song about watching a loved one who is the “wind the flood and the flame” fail to reach their potential through self-defeating behavior or beliefs. Minowa tells this truth without reserve, and without cruelty.

This is the type of optimism to be found throughout the album—the kind of hope that takes work in the face of pain or self-doubt or other darknesses.

The album continues with It’s Your Decision. The piece opens with melancholic cello followed by piano like a stained glass window—delicate and colorful—until the song breaks into a postmodern rock. This is musical symbolism for the lyrical content of the album: harsh, driving, steady, delicate and pretty.  They don’t just sing about life, they say, this is what it sounds like. Track three is the album’s thesis and description: Complicated Creation.

Complicated Creation starts with a manic chant reminiscent of Tiny Cities made of Ashes followed by the grunge rock ode, 1x1x1.

Sleepwalker is the standout track of the album. Its ethereal carnivalesque feel sounds like Thomas Newman writing for a music box. It is only made creepier by Minowa’s whispering “We are your conscience. We thought we’d tell, you’ve been sleepwalking through most of your days. Your eyes are open, your body’s moving, your lips are speaking, but you’re far from awake.”

The album then heads to a forceful/happy denouement. It Takes A Lot pulls us through death and birth and broken hearts to the Catharsis where a child happily declares their love atop a lush soundtrack. (Like Raconte-Moi Une Histoire, without the frogs.)

Finally The Show Starts Now is like a benediction, sending us off into the world with the reminder to love and live, here and now. It’s music that’s not afraid to push the boundaries and make something new with all the same old instruments and rhythms. It’s music that’s not afraid to be dark, and not afraid of sounding naive.