Monday, November 28, 2011
I Just Wanna Ride!
A friend asked for some suggestions about leading a Sunday School class on prayer.
My response: "The best book of prayers is Psalms. The best book on the best book of prayers is Bonhoeffer's Psalms: The Prayerbook of the Bible. The best book on the ease/authenticity of 'praying without ceasing' is Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God. The best book on why we need to pray is I Just Wanna Ride. Uh, forget the previous sentence; but order lots of copies for the book-signing at your church."
Though critics will certainly contend with my, uh, contention, I think I Just Wanna Ride raises serious questions about/for...
Ah, read the blurbs plastered all over this site.
Cheap electronic versions are now available via www.amazon.com and hard copies should be available for Christmas shoppers long before the official 1/1/12 publication date.
My mom is concerned about the "raw, rough, real, and maybe even redemptive" style.
Specifically, she doesn't like the honest use of language in parts of it.
She asked, "What will some people think?"
My response: "The book is in the language of 'real' not posing pewsitters/pulpiteers. It will offend some; but as Paul noted, we must learn the language of people to communicate. I'm willing to take some personal risks to get people to discover the kinda faith that makes a difference 'cause the conventional kind ain't doin' much for many anymore."
Of course, that's all I'm gonna say about the content for now; 'cause, geez, I want you to buy some and encourage others to the same.
My mom's question kinda bugged me for a while.
It's a vocational hazard - the question not my mother.
While our family of faith at First Presbyterian Church in Belvidere, Illinois has come a long way in realizing authentic faith is more about a relationship with Jesus than a posing religion polluted with cultural PCs, I know, well, uh, read the blurbs...
Be that as it is, I read Peterson's translation/paraphrase of Matthew 15 and found some relief/confirmation as the official publication date approaches.
The Message: "Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus...criticizing, 'Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?' But Jesus put it right back on them. 'Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God's commands?'"
Read that again and then read the last KD on baptism(s) again.
The Message: "You cancel God's commands by your rules. Frauds! Isaiah's prophecy hit the bulls-eye: 'These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn't in it. They act like they're worshiping me, but they don't mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy.'"
When we start confusing human traditions/inventions with God's revealed Word in Jesus and Holy Scripture, we re-write Genesis: "People created God in their own image. In the image of people, people created God."
Dogma is not divine unless it is clearly and conclusively confirmed by the person of Jesus and prescriptions of Holy Scripture.
Anything other is a, uh, guess at best and navel-gazing idolatry at...
Read the first few of the big ten.
The Message: "Later his disciples came and told him, 'Did you know how upset the Pharisees were when they heard what you said?' Jesus shrugged it off. 'Every tree that wasn't planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.'"
Of course, I Just Wanna Ride looks at biker culture as a metaphor and challenge to "church ladies" and, uh, so, uh, the "ditch' metaphor can be a tad too...
The Message: "Peter said, 'I don't get it. Put it in plain language.' Jesus replied, 'Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands - that's neither here nor there.'"
O.K., Jesus liked metaphors.
Peter was thick.
But history proves Peter got it/Him.
There's a difference between authentic faith which is all about a relationship with Jesus as revealed in Holy Scripture and the posing frauds being promoted by too many pewsitters and pulpiteers whose religion is often only coincidental to...
So why did I write it?
Readers will decide for themselves; but, yeah, I have...
My concern is the message not mechanics (kinda like, uh, baptisms); and if the later offends, well, to quote that guy in Gone With the Wind, frankly, I don't...
I want the publisher to make lots of $ for taking the risk to publish it.
I want to make some $ to bless family, friends, and the increasing needs of people during these challenging times.
Yeah, I have a selfish...
The goal in writing, concomitant to my love for Jesus and biker culture, is to provoke church ladies, pewsitters, pulpiteers, and bikers to move from posing to...
And, yeah, BTW, I was confronted with my own posings while writing it.
I'm still a WIP.
When I told Rus about the music selections for my inevitable funeral, he said he'd honor most of 'em; reminding me that such services are not rock concerts.
Fortunately, my sister and sons will make sure to include...
But Rus is right about this.
My favorite sacred song, reflecting my highest goal and greatest ambition and most fervent prayer, is...
That's why I wrote the book.
That's why I continue as an undershepherd.
That's why I'm increasingly fearless about John 3:19-21, John 17, and Ephesians 4.
That's why my first personal prayer every day, after praise and thanks for His existential and eternal graces, is Psalm 51.
That's why I just wanna ride.