Monday, May 21, 2007
You Will Buyyyy Me A Terry-Cloth Robe
It's Monday morning and I'm giving myself 15 minutes of stall-time before I start up thesis work again. Blech. So last week I was trying to finish a chapter, which is why there was no bloggery, only 1 comment. Unfortunately I failed my task, but I'm hoping that the next two days will afford me the necessary time to finish that chapter. In the meantime, we are currently missing two likes and one hate. Consider this an extravaganza. I guess I'll go one hate and then two loves, so that we can all have a nice pick-me-up for the beginning of the week.
I hate Colfax events all summer in Denver. This includes events such as the Colfax Marathon, the Denver marathon, cinco de mayo, the gay pride parade, etc. Before you accuse me of hating runners, people from Mexico (this is not meant to be an all-encompassing term for Latino people, rather Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday), and gay people, let me clarify. If you're not familiar with Denver, Colfax runs from Kansas to Utah, so it is relatively infinite. Another name for it could be 15th street, because it is at 1500 North. The church we attend is on 16th street, or 1600 north. We, however, live in south Denver. This means that we have to figure out a way to cross Colfax. Every event all summer long takes place on Sunday mornings all along colfax. The only way to get past colfax is to take I-25. However, there is no good exit to get to church from 25. If you take auraria, it is too close to colfax, so there's insane traffic. If you take 17th, it takes you to Mile High at Invesco, which is sweet, but not helpful for getting to church. So you have to take 23rd, then go northeast to 17th street and go all through downtown where the stoplights are terribly timed. Ultimately, this turns a 10-15 minute trip into a 30-40 minute trip. In addition, we typically don't think to find out if such events are taking place, so we end up driving up Broadway until traffic is completely stopped at about 12th. When this happens, we usually give up and go to church at night. The ultimate reason I hate all of this is that it makes us late for church. Personally, I don't really care about that. Judge me if you want, but I don't really connect very well with singing worship. I dig liturgy and that usually comes after the word. But Erika loves singing worship time. And as you might expect, if Erika's grumpy, I get grumpy. I know this all makes me sound like a whiny Christian. Do I want events to cease? Absolutely not. It is really fun to see various cultures gather downtown and celebrate their commonality (from running to ethnicity to sexual orientation), so I certainly do not object to these things. My problem is with the city of Denver. They should build a sweet car-bridge over Colfax at various points in the city. Perhaps at every other road downtown. Or even better, there should be a car crane, where you pull onto a platform and a crane picks you up and drops you on the other side of the street. That would be outstanding.
The two things I love this week are similar but different. Both are related to coolness. Specifically, what is hip and urban these days. The first is social awareness. At least in Denver, it is becoming extremely chic to be conscious of human and global concerns. This is evident in the increasing amount of coffee shops advertising the earth-friendly, fair-trade coffee they sell. It's hip to go to the farmer's market and support local farmers instead of produce conglomerates. Even Wal-Mart is going green, which is a hilariously bad ploy to improve their image, but that's another topic. Insanely high gas prices are making people much more conscious of the amount of gas they use. I see people everywhere on bikes. A lot of the people at my church ride bikes or scooters, and the people at my church are insanely hip and urban. I don't fit in at all. It's become cool to help people. That is outstanding.
The other hip thing that I love is the evangelical embrace (in certain circles) of the Christus Victor model of the atonement. As some of you know, I have a very hard time with all other models of the atonement because of the hypocrisy of a Kingdom of Peace and Non-Violence being brought about by an act of violence that was willed by God. This discussion is infinitely beyond the bounds of any online discussion. For our purposes here, let me just say that within this framework, the Christus Victor model is both biblical and incredibly good. Especially the narrative Christus Victor (read Denny Weaver). Amidst all of this, it seems that the Christus Victor is back in style. Among evangelicals, it has not enjoyed much endorsement thanks to a combination of its adoption by Liberation Theology and a misunderstanding of it which fundamentally married it to the Ransom theory. Since evangelicals seem to not like liberationists or ransom, it was typically rejected. But now that some evangelicals realize how sweet non-violent liberationists are and that christus victor can stand free from ransom, it is back and better than ever. Case in point, Greg Boyd has championed the cause of the furtherance of Christus Victor, preaching on it at Rob Bell's church, writing books on it, naming his organization after it because it is the foundation for liberation and social activism. Also, according to David, at his Anglican church there was preaching on it yesterday, and this coming Sunday there will be preaching on it at my church. It is the hip deal as well it should be. I believe David is writing something on it, so check out his bloggery. Please enjoy Christus Victor, because it is an amazing example of God working out good from the actions of evil free humans. What beauty is found in Christ's destruction of sin and death. For now, this is outstanding.
I hope you enjoyed the marathon. You probably don't like my notions on the atonement. They are multi-faceted and require extended explanation, because particular understandings of the penal substitutionary theory are deeply ingrained for many people. Just so you can breathe easier, I do believe in penal substitution, but the manner in which it took place and the definition of various aspects of it vary from orthodox notions. But that's another day and another dollar. And I have to get to work.