Triperspectivalism, The Appearance of Evil, and College Football

November 8, 2012 — Leave a comment

Since I recently reached the magic number of 3, I thought I’d share the links to several guest posts I’ve written recently.

This one is not all that recent, but I offered some thoughts on triperspectivalism and small groups over at Joey Cochran’s blog:

Knowing what someone loves ties into what they functionally worship. Many people can tell you a story of conversion to Christianity (situational) and repeat important Christian truths (normative) but may have set their affections outside of Christ. Getting to know someone from the existential perspective helps you discern if their affections line up with their beliefs and actions. Or in short, if helps you see if the heart is in sync with the head and hands.

You can read the rest here.

Then, I filled in a few Wednesdays back at Mathew Sims’ blog Grace for Sinners and explained how I think we’ve misunderstood 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (the “appearance of evil”):

The problem with thinking like this is that is assumes people are reading your actions with a hermeneutic of suspicion. If you’re not familiar with the term from literary theory, it basically means interpreting texts with the assumption that the author is up to something (usually something ideological that he isn’t just coming out and saying directly). In this case, it would mean interpreting an ambiguous action (me showing up to church with a girl not my wife) as if I were up to something. But this isn’t giving me the benefit of the doubt and is basically assuming that any ambiguous action on my part deserves a negative interpretation.

In short, this is how gossip starts. Maybe not every case, but I would be willing wager most cases. Someone does something that is ambiguous or somehow unclear. Someone else sees it, in part or whole, and interprets it suspiciously, and then passes that suspicious interpretation (notice the layer that has been added to the action) on to someone else. The circulation of the interpretation is textbook gossip, and rather than going to the original actor for clarification, we just keep debating who has the best interpretation of what might have happened (or been said).

You can read the rest of that post here.

Then, this past Saturday, I was part of a blog roundup at Near Emmaus on the NFL and Christian Theology. I focused on the relationship of worship and football:

Following football, whether in the NFL or college, began looking suspiciously like a religious activity. It didn’t seem to necessarily be religious, but in the culture I came from, and in the culture I was currently immersed, it definitely slanted that way. What is a football stadium if not a kind of temple? Speaking as someone who has been inside European cathedrals andone of the largest football stadiums in the world on a weekday, the effect is eerily similar. When in use, the effect is even more pronounced, and while I’m not going to develop it more here, there is a certain kind of “liturgy” to a football game.

What is more interesting to me is how being a football fan has the potential to shape a person’s worship. We tend to worship what we love, or you could say we love what we worship (I realize those are different propositions, but they tend to go hand in hand). Generally speaking, no one loves football in the abstract.  You can like football in a general sense, but if you love the game, then you usually have a specific team you love, and if you really love that particular team, you’re starting to look a worshiper instead of just a fan.

You can read the rest of that post here and see all the other posts here.

Nate

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I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

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