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Beyond Eating

Beyond Eating


Food is central to most of our lives. Whether we have it or not. If we don't have it, we want it and if we do have it, we, or I, typically want more of it. Food has been fairly central to my life as I've worked in one capacity or another at various restaurants, both back in Chicago and here in St Louis. One of the greatest venture that I've been able to be a part of is called Entre. Working with John and all the people of Entre has always been a joy. This video of an Entre event I helped out with, shot by Tangent Mind for The Other Journal, tells why.

Of Salt and Light from The Other Journal on Vimeo.


The Drama

I got a new book in the mail yesterday. Saturday I was talking to my old roommate-- old referring both to rooming with him in the past and his decrepit and crotchety nature-- and he told me about the "big orange pumkin" that is The Drama of Doctrine by Kevin Vanhoozer.

I read the Preface last night and I'm really looking forward to getting through it, especially since I haven't read an entire book that wasn't on a syllabus in quite a few years. And even then...

What's this book about? In Vanhoozer's words:

The Drama of Doctrine argues that there is no more urgent task in the church than to demonstrate faith's understanding by living truthfully with others before God. It further argues that doctrine is an indispensable aid to understanding and and to truthful living. Doctrine is a vital ingredient in the well-being of the church, a vital aid to the public witness. The problem is not with the doctrine per se but with a picture of doctrine, or perhaps several pictures, that have held us captive.

(Vanhoozer, xii)

Free Book

The last thing that I want to do right now is to read another book, at least for the next couple of weeks. I about have a book to write in essays and that's before the exams and presentations I have to do. But I can't resist a free book, especially one that doesn't require any actual reading.

Christian is giving away Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor in audio form. Upon check out all you have to do is type MAY2007 into the coupon line and start your mp3 download. The really neat thing is that they got Richard to read it. Pretty sweet really.

Sex and the Lies We Tell

One of the things that I truly enjoy about being at Seminary is the chance to hear some great speakers. A couple times a year North Park brings in Biblical scholars and theologians to speak on a variety of topics ranging from the Johannine literature to the Trinity. This time they brought in someone to talk about the Trinity, as well as the more interesting topic of sex--Lauren Winner.

Winner, a converted Jew, has written a few books, including one called Real Sex. I've only been able to read a couple chapters of Real Sex, but it's on the ever-extensive and constantly growing list of books to read. In her hour that she had today though, she spoke on the four lies the Church tells about extramarital sex, explicitly or implicitly.

  1. You'll feel bad afterwards. Youth pastors across America love to proclaim this, but in truth, there are many different emotions one may feel after sex ranging from elation to hung over. All sin promotes itself as being a pleasing and satisfying endeavor-- if the serpent had told Eve that she would feel bad after the apple, we would certainly be in a different place.
  2. While men are animals when it comes to sex, women have no sex drive. This is propagated with the purest of intentions of protecting our daughters against the sex-driven pubescent boy. The reality is that both men and women have sex drives. We need to educate accordingly.
  3. Premarital sex will leave you with scars and ghosts. While there are certainly consequences of having sex outside of the confines of marriage, we do not carry the ghosts of past sexual partners into our marriage beds.
  4. Marriage is the end all of sexual delinquency and final maturity into adulthood. All too often the Church promotes marriage as the final step into adulthood. Either through only choosing families to light the advent candles at Christmas or sitting the 28 year old single woman at the children's table, while the 24 year old married sibling is at the "adult" table, single Christians are left out of adulthood. Further, Winner spoke of marriage being another step in sexual formation with its own inherent struggles.

Winner pointed out that when the Church begins to talk about sex it always begins with the negative, when in fact God always declares sex to be good. And while the negatives are necessary to proclaim, the Church needs to extol the positive aspects of sex. Something else worth exploring that she touched only briefly on referred to people's thought that they govern their own bodies. She pointed out that in baptism we are joining our bodies to the body of Christ (also known as the Church) and we no longer, as if ever, have rights over what else to which we join our bodies. This seems to me a strong point of connection to begin to speak of chastity to post-moderns. The Church certainly should have a lot to say about the goodness with which God has created sex and we need to stop being drowned out by the culture around us.