Monday, November 29, 2010

The Scandal of Particularity Part II

Last, we left the Scandal of Particularity with the Israelites. God chose them as the path through which to reveal himself and his plans. In the Scandal though, God does not end it there. In his revelation of himself to the descendants of Abraham (Israelites) he revealed that a Messiah was going to come and be king, and that the whole world would be subject to this king. Here enters Jesus.

Jesus the Christ isn't just the next step in the Scandal, Jesus is the scandal. Jesus is everything the Israelites were intended to be as God's chosen people. He is the Messiah and the Son of God. So, if he is everything the Israelites were supposed to be, then he is where God reveals himself and his plan. Take a second to think about that and how it fits into the scandal of particularity. Jesus is the revelation of God to the world.

Jesus is the fulcrum of the Scandal of Particularity.

Part of why this is called a Scandal is that if Jesus is the Son of God, that is, the revelation of God and his will, then other people or gods are not. Meaning that Jesus is not one of many ways to get to, or to know God, rather he is the only way. Jesus speaks of himself in that very manner when he calls himself the Way, the Truth, and the Light.

This brings up another facet of the Scandal of Particularity. That is, that there is no passiveness when it comes to understanding Jesus. What I mean by this is the popular notion today that many people like Jesus, but not his church or followers. However, when more questions are asked about the Jesus such people like, it is not the Jesus of history and scripture but rather one they created, a revolutionary nice guy who was misunderstood. The problem with this view is that one has to go to great lengths to create such a Jesus out of imagination. Such a figure just isn't there in history, what is there is a figure that forces the classic "Messiah or Lunatic" argument. Meaning Jesus is who he claims to be, the only Way, or he is a dangerous nut, but never just a "nice guy who was misunderstood."

According to the Scandal, all of history leads up to Jesus and his life. It makes a permanent visible line in the sand, one of exclusiveness and inclusiveness. With Jesus, the Scandal became more evidently Particular, as it were. What are the ramifications for us today then?

If you find this interesting or have strong opinions either way, come on down to Cafe Hollander on Downer Ave tonight, 7pmish. There will be some open discussion time and probably a game or two. Ask for the reservation under 'Marc', we are normally upstairs.

Monday, November 22, 2010

WI State CX Championship

Well, I didn't race it myself. It just didn't work out, but if there is one thing I learned about racing this year it's that it isn't necessarily about the racing that makes it fun. It is the atmosphere and community. I was able to steal away enough time to go watch the P, 1, 2 and the masters 35+ 1,2,3. It was a great day for cx racing.

Unfortunately, Lauren couldn't come, so I was left to take pictures myself. With my junkie camera and my junkie photo taking ability. I took lots of pictures but none turned out very good. So here is the one that still looked cool, plus videos of one of the chicanes.
P, 1, 2 race

The P,1,2

The Masters 35+ 1,2,3

Time learn how to cross country ski and start getting ready for next season!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Scandal of Particularity

While the title of this article may not be familiar to you, the concept or the opposite of the concept probably is. There are many facets to this and I do not want to overburden any one article so I will take it in small chunks. I would also love some interaction with readers as I work through it. To set it up, have you ever heard someone, maybe even yourself say "God is too big for one religion." Or something close to that idea like, "Why would god only be known through Christianity?" Think about it a bit, what other things have you heard or you yourself believe that go along those same lines.

It is called the scandal of particularity for a reason. That is, God chose a particular path to reveal himself and his plan. Not that the existence, or aspects of, God's character cannot be known outside the particular path, but the specifics of God and his plan can only be known through the one path. This is often referred to as natural versus revealed knowledge of God.

The scandal begins with Noah. Noah is the first time in scripture where God chooses one route to carry on his promise of redemption from sin for all of creation. Noah's family is the only one to survive the world-wide flood. The second big time is Abraham. God makes a covenant with Abraham that creation will be redeemed through his ancestral line. This is eventually where the 12 tribes of Israel come into the picture. The 12 tribes eventually became the people of Jewish ancestry today. Which is why they refer to themselves as God's chosen people.

That is of course an oversimplification of the history but it gives a quick glance at the path of God's specific revelation and his plan. And that is why it is particular. While a relationship with God was available to all people during these parts of history, it was only available through the particular path. If one wanted to be right with God and know him, one had to believe what the chosen line said about God and know him the way they knew him. Sounds very exclusive doesn't it? Perhaps that is why it is referred to as a scandal.

That is enough to chew on for today. What thoughts does this first step in the conversation bring to mind?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend recap

Koz's was great again, especially now that it is smoke free. I think we will be back there again soon. There were 2, count 'em 2, 300's rolled! There may have been some help from the pinsetters, but they still got their names up on the wall!

Check out this weird picture were it looks like Ronsta was superimposed onto it.
Koz's Mini Bowl

As far as the Estabrook Cx race, I dnf'd. In the second lap I heard a noise that I thought was my fork, one that didn't sound good but I kept going. In the middle of the 6th lap I hit a pothole in the grass and my bars turned way down. They are what made the noise the first time too, I think. I still haven't pulled the bike apart to check. Somehow they got loose, maybe the cold? Anyways, that was it for me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Koz's Mini Bowl!

If you have never been mini bowling you need to make this a priority this weekend. If you have been, then you know how fun it is, and now it is smoke free! We have all 4 lanes reserved, so tell your friends. We cover the cost of the lanes, and everyone chips in to tip the pin-setters (that's right, real live pin-setters!) Let's crowd up the joint.

This is a bar so you need to be 21+.

When: This Saturday November 6th, lanes reserved 7-9pm

Where: Koz's Mini Bowl map

Everyone's welcome!

Questions? email me at: marc.engelhardt at