2016 American Politics and Fear

The news cycle surrounding the presidential campaign is ridiculous. It's based largely on fear, and focused primarily on perpetuating fear. Rather than focusing on how to progress as a country, and use our unique position in history and in the world to plot the course forward, the endless barrage of headlines is at best nonsensical discourse and at worst doomsday scare tactics. 

Fear is the name of the game...

You Have Plenty of Time

I wrote Creative Theology over the course of a few years, and during the time I was writing it I had at least one job. When it came time to buckle down, finish the content, and then complete edits, I has started my first corporate "real" job, and was working 45-55 hours a week on average. Oh, and I was newly married and we had just had a baby.

As you can imagine, there was no excess of time.

In that stretch of time where I was trying to write, edit, and crowd fund the publishing of a book, I learned two great lessons...

Individual Creativity

You won't find the following passage on creation in the second section of Creative Theology because along the way it hit the editing room floor. But here...well here, you can read it:

I thanked God for making mountains. In truth, we had only experienced a microcosm of the earth, let alone the cosmos, but in my impatient and finite mind it seemed like I had traveled every inch of the globe.  I am pretty sure God was trying to teach me a lesson about life during that road trip, but it could have just been the fields whispering to me in their lazy drawl...

The Artistic Ego (Pt. 3)

...The couple in the garden was instructed to join God in the creation process. To reflect his creative spirit in their tending to his creation. After the fall, however, they transitioned into creating for utility. They needed something to cover themselves, so they fashioned together leaves in order to make coverings. They created to fulfill a need. To borrow a definition from the dictionary, utility is something, "designed chiefly for use or service rather than beauty, high quality, or the like."

The leaves they sewed together were not because they had a desire to create a great accessory. And it wasn't because they were interested in innovative uses of the leaf.

It was to cover their junk. Literally.

Artists do this all the time. Figuratively...

The Artistic Ego (Pt. 1)

I had a professor in college say that all great writers struggle somewhere between extreme egotism and severe self-deprecation. I think he's right. I think it's indicative of the artist's soul.

I think is indicative of the human soul.

Part of being a writer is believing that you have something to say. And in order to be a successful writer (one who's work is read) you have to tell your story, add your voice, proclaim your message - which is of course, self-promotion...

Boundaries and Destruction

There is a fundamental and profound shift that occurs in the creation story (between Genesis 2:15 and 3:7). In the story, the man and woman place their focus on the singular boundary that God set in place.

The story begins (Genesis 2:15) with God placing man in the garden, as the King James Version translates it, to dress the garden.

To me, this is brilliant translation because it not only represents the participatory nature of our intended relationship with creation but also foreshadows the great misery about to come...

Creativity Begets Creativity

There is a hole-in-the-wall nearby with excellent comfort food. The little restaurant is minimally staffed, and we always wait way too long for our food. But do we keep going back? Absolutely.

While we sit and wait for our food, we talk most of the time about going into the restaurant business.

...

Each time we eat there, the same thing happens. In fact, I've had exactly two conversations with my in-laws about the restaurant business, and they both happened in the same place. Not a coincidence...

Exercise your imagination

Imagination grows by exercise and, contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.

            W. Somerset Maugham

I have two lovely daughters who spend their time (when we shut the TV off and take away our iPhones) using their imagination. They play house, and princesses, and doctor, and on and on and on, with simple props and a healthy dose of imagination. I adore it. It's beautiful to watch their creativity and their ability to speak worlds into existence.

Sadly...imagination tends to die away somewhere around the middle of our school years in our society.