Friday, December 26, 2008

Creational Intent and the Future of Creation

I recently discovered the phrase "creational intent." [Yes, I know it's been around for some time, and I'm behind the curve. Wanna make something of of it?"] A search on Google showed me that it is used in several specific theological contexts, but I'm interested in it as it addresses the matter of God's intent in creating the cosmos (the heavens, the earth, and the contents thereof) in relation to the destiny of the same. I have thought about aspects of that, though not in-depth, for years; now I have a shorthand way of referring to it. Stated briefly, what I have wondered is whether God created and populated the earth, only to blow it to smithereens at some time future to us and sweep some of that population (past and, at the time of the blast, present) away as incorporeal beings to a place called "heaven," where they will dwell forever. The thing that doesn't quite make sense to me is that God would create and organize a corporeal world in the first place, if his ultimate goal was to create a community of "spirit beings" to spend eternity with. I'm becoming aware of a body of literature that deals, directly and indirectly, with this notion of creational intent and the future of the created order. My intent is to read some of those writings as I study the biblical story, seeking the light that they can shed upon one another. Let's see where this goes!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Abuse and Belief

If you have been (or are) the victim of abuse -- physical, sexual, etc. -- check out this posting on Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed weblog: "How can that woman believe?" The posting elicited numerous comments, which are worth reading and pondering. One thing in particular struck me, from the comments of more than one person: for some (perhaps many) God is a convenient whipping boy. "If God exists and is all-powerful and all-loving, why is there evil in the world?" There are numerous issues tucked into that question, and I don't deny the potential difficulty in wrestling with them. But you know, it sure is handy to be able to deflect onto God and avoid our own responsibility.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Heavens Declare . . .

The star cluster above is known as the Christmas Tree Cluster. It's truly amazing how things like this just happen.

Upside Down

A dear friend sent this clever little video to me this morning:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Flesh

How's this for random? Here's a poem I wrote a couple of years ago:

One Flesh

God reached down,
touched the earth, and
made man.
And he became flesh.

God reached in,
touched man’s rib, and
made woman.
And she became flesh.

Man reached out,
touched woman, and
made love.
And they became one flesh.

No ancient tale to satisfy curiosity,
Nor holy myth to justify monogamy,
But a blessing – or a curse – for eternity.

[Copyright 2007 by Craig W. Beard]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Integrity Strikes Again

The most recent addition to my 'People I Want to Meet' list is Billy Watts of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. According to a news story brought to my attention by my cousin Scott, the grandmother of twelve "found [a] purse with nearly $100,000 in it in a Cracker Barrel bathroom last week and gave it back." Not only did Billy return the purse to its owner, she didn't accept the $1,000 reward she was offered. You can read the story here.