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Thursday, April 15, 2010



The sauce did change my life. And I keep looking for another version of it even though I know none exists. I can't help myself.

I also have thought that I was a victim of the disease. Every attempt at eradication has proved futile. In fact, the more I try, the worse it gets. If it is, in fact, a sauce or a soup, perhaps I have attempted to engage it wrongly; a sauce should not be treated in the same manner as a disease.

But now that you mention it, I know I have something good in there, something tasty--*that* doesn't sound like disease. But the flavor is buried. It needs something else. A lot of elses. Is this sauce-making another metaphor for the work of "sanctification"? Maybe we have misunderstood the work as well as the end goals.

I am challenged to call myself a "Christian scholar." (Oh, how I love the Reformed terminology!) As I read about the theology of work, I'm realizing that if I am ever to live into an identity of Christian scholar, I need to trust that who I am is who I need to be in the world instead of the ironically characterized 'worship' songs: "I'm useless crap. I deserve to die. God's the only thing that's good. You're worthy; I suck." (Insert magical four chord alternation, drums, an electric guitar solo).

In my sauce, I am beginning to add this truth: I am truly giving and receiving life--and the crap is just part of the path. (Which is why I need you to wash my feet.) I am trying out listening to a voice of love and hope--rather than ridiculing it. Speaking truth about myself and the world around me. I'll let you know how that goes. I am still addicted to the negativity, the sarcasm, the criticism, but I'm wondering if that's what's leaving the intolerably bitter aftertaste.

John L

Michael, I would suggest that the "peculiar ingredient" is not something that can be "said" but only demonstrated as unconditional love. Really good conversation in similar vein at Scot's blog earlier this week http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2010/04/david-opderbeck-on-that-soul-s.html

The often guilt-inspired need to "share Jesus" may be contrary to what Jesus had in mind. I wonder if Jesus is better understood as freedom FROM religious identity? Maybe his intention (cross, etc.) was to replace religion and religious identity with transformative, unconditional, interpersonal love?

Instead of evangelism which perpetuates this sense of “us-and-them” by polarizing ourselves as enlightened aliens among the damned - I suggest that we have been set free from the need to marginalize others into dualistic religious categories like “saved” and “unsaved.”

Perhaps authentic, unconditional love sees other people not as evangelistic targets, but simply as fellow strugglers. Embracing this (cross), we die to our religious ego and accept others without dualistic judgment or premeditated agenda, and begin to frame our world in the language of unspeakable grace (cross), for we have found no greater love. Faith becomes a rhythm of life, rather than a duty, a ‘calling’, a career, or any other assumed identity that sets us inorganically apart from others.

Oh, I REALLY like the way you pointed at the comment box in your video. It reminded me of the Brady Bunch opening credits when they all look at each others boxes :-)

John L

one more thought - why not make your own version of arbol sauce? i just googled a bunch of recipes for pumpkin-sesame sauce. here's one i'm going to try. http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/413/Chile-De-Arbol-Hot-Sauce127626.shtml

Jon Reid

Hmm. Hmmm. Hmmmm.

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