Category Archives: Growing Edges

Human beings grow and develop. Posts on the how, the why, and the “what-does-it-mean?!” go here.

Star Wars VIII: We Need To Talk About Poe

When a movie’s 2.5 hours long, you can sometimes write THREE blog posts about it! (And, uh, possibly more as I think of topics …). There are spoilers if you click in or read further, friends. I know that warning will seem laughable if you’re reading this anytime after, say, March 2018, but remember how it felt when the movie was only a week old? Spoilers ahead.

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Filed under Growing Edges, Movies, Myths, Stories, and Fairy Tales, Science Fiction, Uncategorized

History, Theology, and Faith

You remember that time when everyone got fed up with how long God’s plan was taking and decided to make a golden calf statue and worship it instead? Pretty simple story, right? Moses has been gone a long time, and the people demand that Aaron make them idols to protect them. Aaron has them take off all their gold jewelry, and casts it into a cow shape, and they make sacrifices and throw a feast. And God sends Moses back to clean up the mess.

But what if we also knew that the Egyptians had a cow goddess named Hathor, who was a sky goddess and a goddess of foreign lands . . . the two constants in the wilderness where Israel was “wandering?” Does that make the sin of the Hebrew people worse – or a more understandable fear that had crept in without God’s servant Moses there to reassure them that they were indeed traveling somewhere better? What if we also knew that taking off your jewelry was a sign of mourning . . . perhaps for Moses, who had been gone for so long? What if we knew that the world then – indeed, even the language God uses in some of the early books of the Bible – thought there were many gods, in conflict with one another? Had the God of Moses been shown as weak or ineffective, if he could not even protect his powerful servant, Moses? Continue reading

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Filed under Growing Edges, Myths, Stories, and Fairy Tales, Spirituality, Theologia Practica (Practical Theology)

Making Stories Sacred

It’s been a busy year since my last post here on Rootweaving.  Among other things, I started working for a parish full-time, and that has (appropriately) drawn my creative energies largely into the community that I’m serving.  So I have to chuckle a bit that several of the things that have given me content to write from again are, just as was my last post in July of 2011, drawn from science fiction. And even, as it so happens, another offering from the Stargate series.
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Filed under Growing Edges, Myths, Stories, and Fairy Tales, Science Fiction

Stargate SG-1, Orthodoxy, and Imagination

(Edit: This piece was also published on episcopal café, a blog that offers writings on a number of topics related to spirituality. There were some strong opinions offered in the comments; read it here)

I recently (last night!) finished a lengthy project of mine, and finished watching Stargate SG-1 on DVD, putting me several years behind those who followed it on-air. For those who don’t know, the show had a mixture of religious themes, mythology, romance, humor, and the US Air Force going into space by walking through wormholes in the Stargate. But this morning, walking to work (following my own busgate trip), I found myself thinking back over my time watching it, and while I found it a fun romp, I realized that I disagree with (at least) one of the basic assumptions of the show’s fantasy. Continue reading

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Filed under Growing Edges, Myths, Stories, and Fairy Tales, Spirituality, Theologia Practica (Practical Theology)

Strong Roots

Recently, a post by Jeff Lehn helped me put words to something I’ve been thinking through recently: my resistance to “strong” versions of statements. (Jeff was wondering about how Christians answer the question “What is the gospel,” and I found myself resisting any single, strong answer)

A statement is in its “strong” version when it is closer to an absolute statement. It’s a history that’s written by the victors. It’s often something true when you look at it head on, but it can often leave you with a “well, yes, but . . .” thought. Strong claims are things like “The key to fixing the economy is reducing entitlements” (or any other thing you’d care to put in there), or “The history of the western world will always tend towards progress, and science will replace unnecessary religious myths.”

But even as I resist them, I can’t help but wonder if strong statements aren’t actually a more “true” thing to hold to than their more complex and nuanced counterparts. Let me explain. Continue reading

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Filed under Growing Edges, Myths, Stories, and Fairy Tales, Systems Theory

The Squares on the Board

Recently I’ve been thinking about how people make decisions (I’m usually thinking about this, on some level or another). Sometime in the last few weeks, I heard about “mirror neurons,” which basically, as I understand them, “fire” as if you were doing the same activity you observe someone else doing. So when we’re babies, we use these to learn how to perform increasingly advanced tasks, and when we’re more cognitively-developed, we can use these to empathize with others, “feeling” their pain, understanding what they’re going through, etc.

Now, I think that biology offers us some of the most powerful metaphors for other aspects of our lives (partly on the theory that, being embodied, all of our experiences come through bodies, so we can only analogize from those experiences, whether we like it or not). So I got to wondering, to what extent do we have emotional, spiritual, or ethical “mirror neurons?” Continue reading

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Filed under Growing Edges, Myths, Stories, and Fairy Tales, Politics, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Face(book)ing Our Selves

I’ve resisted it for a good while, but I’m finally going to put some thoughts down about social media and facebook, which are not, in fact, ruining everything. Now, I don’t think of myself as facebook’s biggest fan (if it had its own page, I wouldn’t “friend” or “like” it), but over the last month I’ve heard enough charges leveled against social media to feel that it’s worth giving the angst a response: it’s going to be okay.
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