Sunday, April 08, 2018

What Does It All Mean? The Beginning of the End

This post starts the final series of posts for Moose Tracks. Some of the remaining are just "standard posts", however I made a promise to end the blog, and I didn't want anyone watching to see posts keep dribbling out -- the end should show up virtually at the same time as this series.

There are over 4600 posts in the blog, so I'm the not a moose of few words. In conversation however, I have often summed up the meaning of it all with the stolen anecdote, "Jesus loves me, this I know". Here is the proof of that oft repeated anecdote.

According to the best accounts of the incident I have heard (many have taken on weird additions), Karl Barth was at Rockefeller Chapel (really a Gothic cathedral!) on the campus of the University of Chicago during his lecture tour of the U.S. in 1962. After his lecture, during the Q & A time, a student asked Barth if he could summarize his whole life’s work in theology in a sentence. Barth allegedly said something like “Yes, I can. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” That is the simple, unadorned story. Many tellers have adorned it with additions of their own (in sermons, etc.).

Karl Barth is considered by many to be the most important theologian of the 20th Century. Life is short, eternity is long -- it's good that the truly important things are simple! There is nothing simpler nor more profound than "Jesus loves me, this I know".

What did the Jesus who loves us have to say about what is important? Matthew 22:37-40

7 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

God, Family, Friends, Vocation, and Study are where my life focus remains as I close on the age of 62 this fall. 

The solo trip that I took on the Wing back in 2104 was something that I enjoyed putting on the blog -- the final entry from that trip is "I Hold On".  It was an advanture that I was blessed to be able to have. It was not profound, it was self centered, it served no purpose but being a fun adventure. I believe life is more than that, however having such things in your life can make it a little richer. If our life is "about fun", that is a concern. It does not however make "having fun" wrong! To everything there is a season!

As long time readers know, I love putting in little song or video clips in the blog. I like doing it mostly because it anchors sometimes nebulous or dry information in a modern idiom at least for me. It is also one of those things that we CAN do with a lot of ease in a digital blog medium that is not possible on the paper printed page.

The most profound work I read in the last year was "The Divine Conspiracy" by Dallas Willard, while the most daunting was "The Secular Age" ... both of them relate to the same common theme that I return to again and again. The conviction of my soul that this "stuff", this mere matter is not all there is, and the dull dread that if Western civilization continues it's fall from Metaphysical Realism to Nominalism, there will be nothing left for Christians to do but to hide out to maintain a remnant in some sort of "Benedict Option".

And so the end begins.

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