Daily Archives: April 26, 2010

Prayer For The Week – A Windsurfer’s Prayer

A Windsurfer’s Prayer (from New Zealand)…

Spirit of Love, you are strong and true,

a constant wind to our sails.

Your power will never fail us

but the direction we take depends

on the way we set our sail,

and that skill can only come

from practical experience of journey.

Yes, we studied manuals, examined charts,

listened to the advice of others,

but in the end it’s a matter

of getting out there and doing it.

And we can be sure that just as we think

we’ve got everything under control,

we tack the wrong way and capsize.

That’s the way it is with learning.

Spirit of Love, strong and unchanging,

you teach us that the trough of the wave

is as important as its crest.

Thank you for giving us the freedom

to learn through trial and error

and thank you for showing us

that if we don’t make mistakes

we don’t make anything at all.

Whose Soul Will Be Condemned To Torment?

There has been a lively discussion going on over at Scot McKnight’s blog, Jesus Creed, about Brian McLaren’s view of the Soul-Sort Narrative in his new book, A New Kind Of Christianity.  Unfortunately, some of the theological talk went over my head but the last comment (at least it was the last one as of today) shared one of those real life illustrations that leaves a lot of the theological banter sounding cold and shallow.  Comment #107 by Lindsey, asked the question:  “Whose soul will be condemned to torment?”   Here’s part of what Lindsey had to say:

I attended a funeral of a man that I worked with. He was in his mid-forties and died of a rare form of cancer. He and his family were devoutly Jewish. The service was moving, spiritual, and had the raw feeling of the God of Abraham in Holy Spirit in the room. This man, Brooke, was an ophthalmologist, and had left his successful and lucrative practice to teach high school science to inner city kids. I taught with him. The kids were heartbreaking, helpless, and hopeless, and he built them up in every way. As he went through painful treatment, he refused to quit teaching, and taught up until a week before he died. The synagogue at his funeral was filled with his students: poor kids, minority kids, kids that had never set foot in a house of worship before. Through Brooke, these kids, and all who worked with him, saw God. Brooke, though he didn’t know it, was a true servant of Christ. Meanwhile, my very Christian neighbors across the street sport a confederate flag bumper sticker right next to their cross. Through this simple gesture, they have turned away many people in my neighborhood from even being willing to hear the name of Jesus. These people, have condemned countless people to eternity without Christ through their ignorance and selfishness.
So tell me, who’s soul will be condemned to torment?

In many ways this question is not relavant for me these days as I don’t embrace the theology that revolves around “who is going to heaven? who is going to hell?” but I believe the story that Lindsey surrounds the question with is important as it demonstrates the problem with the type of theology that I grew up with.

What do you think?