New to ThirtySixWords? Here's an overview of all the interconnections between the parts of our identity. This Lexicon is a guidemap through the content for ThirtySixWords, but if you'd like to know more, you can also explore more deeply by exploring the below:Read More
The frame of the SOUL triggers our BODY into action or inaction. The frame of the HEART drives all our our prevailing narratives, impulses and will to exist. In between the SOUL and the HEART is the translation center of the MIND: life’s incredible tool for extracting meaning, interpretation and theory out of the rich and various experiences of life and how we respond to it.Read More
In all my years among the Bible-believers, one thing has become increasingly true: we have a problem with the Bible. It is not the problem that the thumpers would have you believe that we just need to read it more and then obey what we read. I had the lead in a Sunday morning musical entitled “The Bible Tells Me So Show,” (a riff on Jeopardy!) as a child. I know a lot about reading the text and doing what it says. And in all my experience, this admonition has does us little good in the work of real transformation. In fact, the evidence shows that the trend in such trite admonitions is that it has proven to harden the hearts of the convinced and the not-so, deepen the divide between the insiders and the outsiders, and build up a pantheon of exegetical celebrities whose fame is purely based on their ability to guilt us into more “Biblical” action.
No, read-it-more/do-what-it-says is not our problem.Read More
The Self-Help section is one of the largest at Barnes and Noble, and without a doubt high on the profitability scale. The idea of an accessible and simple formula for lifetime success has now even seeped into the biography section. There was a time when one read biographies to view from the long end of history how a life had been formed by experience, choice and belief. Not today. Today, the majority of “biographies” more accurately stand as mid-life memoirs (some earlier than that) and they don’t intent to map out the story of life so far, but instead to manipulate the events of an unfinished life into the few short platitudes which can create tips for a ravenous public.
Our new ways of defining human thriving have so denigrated our ability to stand in our own skin and to relate to each other with love and respect that anyone with an objective view would jettison these views in an instant. But without a meaningful alternative, an attainable counter-narrative to the way to life, the deep and addictive rut of the status-quo will continue to hold us in its sway. Thankfully this counter-narrative is not far off. There are signs for optimism.Read More
I have stated previously that desire is a sequence. It is a way of functioning in the world that draws us from the surface of our lives into our deepest heart. In the murky crevices of our
being is where we meet the Triune God who subsists as Faith, Hope and Love—an infinite giving and receiving of desire in relation. This, to say the least, is a mouthful. More than a
mouthful, it is a life-ful because attempting to live conscious of such a pervasive reality as the desire of God working through the distorted desires of human hearts is something that only
the unfettered and ordained days and years of a lifetime can begin to untangle.
Daunting as it may be, we must begin here, because desire in the beginning of everything. And for our surface wants and preferences to transition into the deeper waters of intimacy with God, it is required that we have accessible places to being. To have categories. Categories are like rungs on a ladder or grips on a climbing wall. They don’t define the precipice your climbing, but they sure make the summit a whole lot easier. In the grand context of desire and longing, I think there are such ladders. The frame of them was acknowledged by Plato millennia ago and has been affirmed by thoughtful people ever since. Plato called them the “forms:” truth, goodness and beauty. Not only do these three useful frames of reality occur around us with regularity, drawing us into God’s presence, calling us into the Trinitarian life, they are also the spheres in which our desires play out. The desire to know the Truth, act out the Good, be the Beautiful.Read More