Posts in Soul
Being Yourself: The Work of Soul-Making

The confluence of crisis which is penetrating the world is captured in one word: soulless. We are selves without soul, saute without spice, persons without personhood.  This leaves most people you rub shoulders with everyday, people who were designed by God for full, rich, multifarious living, to function as empty shells of personality, all ego and no self.  We find ourselves living in a house of scaffolding with no walls, no furniture, no soft places to land. But it need not be this way; hope arises in the ancient wisdom.

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SOUL: The Attractions and Aversions that Define Us

This question of the lines (more like fuzzy fogs) where one of us ends and begins is what we—in ThirtySixWords jargon—call SOUL.  Soul is a notoriously tricky word because it is used in such multivocal ways, even in the Bible.  It is sometimes used to refer to the deepest part of person (what we call HEART), sometimes used to encompass the emotions, and sometimes is used as we use it here, to define something more amorphous and fluid: the sum total of our acquired personality and character.  We find it easier to grasp not that you have a soul (an immaterial object that you own which may or may not live on into eternity) but that you are a soul which is being made and defined by your drives, passions and interactions with the world around you.  In short, the SOUL is your deep HEART made public.

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The Problem with the Bible

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. 

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