Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dawson's Creek Syndrome

I have had a theory for a number of years, but I don't think I have ever written it down. Today, I am going to explain the phenomenon I call Dawson's Creek Syndrome.

First, I have to admit I have never seen Dawson's Creek, but it sounded like a fitting name, because the show is a teenage drama. There have been plenty of teenage drama shows, and many, many more for adults. Each of these shows (and almost any show, movie or book) have the same basic plot progression. We all learned it in 8th grade, you remember. First, we have a protagonist that meets with some sort of antagonist. There ensues some sort of crisis which hits a climax, and then comes a resolution.

So the question of the ages, does art imitate life or does life imitate art has a limited answer with Dawson's Creek Syndrome, we imitate art. We (as a society) have become so enamoured with these dramas, that we begin to feel like this is what our life needs to reflect to have value. So we begin to mimic this cycle in our lives.

The issue comes in when there is no drama. The only option is to create drama. We get bossy, we become nosey, we get gossipy, we get angry, we become involved in something that isn't any of our buisness, the entire purpose is to create drama. Most of the time (almost all of the time) we are totally unaware that we are doing it. It's just natural, it's a natural response to this need to feel valid. We want to feel important, the people on TV, they are important, so if we can imitate them, we feel important.

I originally came up with this theory when I worked with High School and College students, but adults are just as guilty. It happens most often in relationship with friends, significant others, people you work with, or attend church with. The creation of drama, conflict and things of the like, which create the cycle in order to feel important. Do you have DCS?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why be Woven

As I continue to work on Woven Theology, that is, the process is which Salvation happens though space time and paradoxical reality, the question exists "why does it matter". I hear this question a lot when it comes to understanding God, or understanding the nature of Salvation, or sanctification. After all, if it happens, does it matter how it happens?

There are multiple driving forces, let me start with the weakest. The first force, which provides me with a little motivation is the drive to know where I came from in a spiritual sense. It's the same motivation that causes secular scientists to study evolution, and Christian scientists to study creation. We want to know where it came from, how it started.

My next motivation is trying to bring come unity. I believe that Woven Theology moves beyond the limiting factors of most theological systems. The interpretation of most systems today have created and either-or dichotomy. You either accept this premise, or that premise. Somehow, we have to reconcile what we find in scripture, even though they seem to be conflicting ideas. My analogy is that most present systems exist like Newtonian Physics, they are progressive, straight line, action to reaction type systems. Woven theology is more Astrophysics, where time moving backwards and forwards at the same time, contradictory things being true until an event or observation interacts with them. Things are put together, superimposed to create the reality of Salvation.

My last motivation is to help make ministry practical. A good friend of mine was talking about self-help books. If a self-help booked really worked, why are there so many of them. If one really made you a better person, everyone would buy it. They don't work, which is why there are so many. I fear our process of evangelism is similar. We have so many different tools, outlines, strategies and formulas, but they so often fall short. There is no magic bullet, no one size fits all. I wrote a book in an attempt to pull all these strategies together in an attempt to be able to use multiple outlines and resources for the common purpose of Evangelism.

I think if we better understand Salvation, we are better equipped to be involved in it. We have been too far on extremes, either sitting on the side, waiting for the predestined to just get there, or trying to argue people into the Kingdom, with little success. We need a system to understand how Salvation operates so we see our part in the structure. I really believe we pray too little, stress too much, make things overly complicated and have low expectations. We either give up or become overly confrontational, and in the end, it's been more about our duty and less about presenting the Good News. We need to learn to be the kind of Evangelists that we see in the New Testament (that is another blog).

Those are my reasoning for the creation of Woven Theology. My desire to be more in God's will, to be a good steward with the time and opportunity I have to share my faith with others. During this process, I have been able to witness individuals coming to the Lord in ways that I would not have predicted. Praying for people, and seeing them get saved in ways I wouldn't have imagined, because it's the work of the Lord, and not the effort I put into it. It's been amazing, and my prayer is that as we examine the mystery that is how the Lord moves in the work of Salvation, you will see Him work in mighty ways too.