more about this sight

"you're packing a suitcase for a place that you've never been...a place that has to be believed to be seen"...'Walk On' by U2

WATERSHED: A voice in the wilderness. DARYL UNDERWOOD.

 

The concept of Centerpoint Christianity briefly stated is:

Christianity from the centerpoint outward.

Christianity from the climax forward.

This blog constitutes concepts for a new view of Christianity that begins with what is foundational and moves forward from that point. It is based on the assumption that we are being pulled towards something unseen and pushed from a place that once was.

What Centerpoint Christianity attempts to do is bypass some of the constraints imposed by metanarratives by using the life of Christ and particularly the climactic actions of Christ as beginning points.

It supports the conviction that God is essentially timeless. From this beginning point we endeavor to move outward from the definitive moment of the parousia (visitation) of Christ and forward to the future which functions as a type of magnet to "what can be--and is coming".

When we begin at the life of Christ and move outward as from the centerpoint of a web, rather than in a linear timeline of history, another wide picture emerges.


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WELCOME:

The slideshow you see above is from the work of Kevin Rolly. He is a very talented and inspiring artist living in California. All rights were purchased through Eyekons Image Bank. Please do not copy any of the images. If you would like to purchase the images you can contact www.eyekons.com to inquire as to whether you might obtain this CD collection of "Tributes for Kings: The Stations of the Cross". Should you like to purchase a book of the images, along with descriptive prose from the author, you can go to this link: http://www.blurb.com/books/594511.

To me they represent a memory, filled with images and emotions, and wonder. And they are part of a book I am writing entitled "Miles to Go: the life of God laid bare".

The premise of this book is prof

ound and simple. I believe that 'essentially the Bible is the love story we all want to live'. To live this life we must become One with someone else. It can be any one else, a child, a friend, a lover, a companion, just another particular person, in our own particular time, in our own particular life. While it can be anyone it must be Someone. Anything less is a fantasy vulnerable to our manipulations and imaginative desires. Love must be experienced in the real world of dialogue and relationship. It can't be known by 'thinking about it' or 'dreaming of it'. It must come through the crucible of relationship.  Just one time we must give ourselves away so that another might raise us up. This is where love finds wings. And along that journey we will experience life, and if we hold the course till the very end; real love. There is not another way, no shortcut, no easy road. This is the way we meet God on a deep level. If God is love then we will come to know him in that experience.

For those who have found love--this will be a familiar road. Love is powerful. It is found in most of the songs we love, the movies we watch, and the stories we listen for. We are so hungry. And sometimes we don't even know it. We just long for...always long for.

Love.

May you find that which you've always longed for. May you find the courage to have your life laid bare, to be naked and unashamed, again. May you rise to another place--somehow familiar, somehow known, always waiting for you.


 

'I was bruised and battered and I couldn't tell what I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
I saw my reflection in a window I didn't know
My own face
Oh, brother are you gonna leave me
Wastin´away
On the streets...

'and my clothes don't fit me no more...I've walked a thousand miles just to slip this skin' `

--Bruce Springsteen


 

Let us stand for right ...






Friday
Jun282013

the hammer shapes the hand

With our hands we shape, we create, we make a tool used to build something and it is useful for a time. But over time this tool we've made begins to shape our hand. We become tied to the tool to the point where we are so tied to the thing we have made that it starts to own us, to shape us, to eventually take over and deform us, to drive us, to control us.

To-own us.

It gains a power over us to the point where the original hand is unable to open again, having becomes stiff and inflexible perhaps from gripping the tool so tight, and we become mastered, trapped by that which we made. The tool becomes a machine, the thing, the only thing that must be fed. We become cornered by our own rules, our own systems, our own power, our own policy, our own stuff, and the created has now become the 'sustainer of us all'...that which we made to serve us...has us...and we now must serve it.

This is when it becomes a monster. It's a parasite, a vampire, a drain of energy and life. It's dead but it takes on a persona of it's own. It demands our attention and will have no one before it.

It must be named; it is 'Idol'.

The Idol is never creator. It is an imposter. Unchecked 'Idol' will turn on us...and only the strong, that is to say, the most powerful, who feed this Idol will survive.  The strong feed Idol with the weak, the vulnerable, the lowers.

This is called 'Idolotry' in scripture...it isn't something ancient or old...it is as current as the air we breathe...and we see it in almost all arenas when trouble comes...and it comes down from the mythical mountain, from the hierarchical top. Idol is served at the cost of the many. And we feed at the foot of the new golden calf. Here is where we bow to worship our own created Lord.

'And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you'
U2 in 'Peace on Earth'

Tuesday
May282013

some birds are not meant to be caged

That's where Andy crossed. When I picture him heading south in his own car with the top down, it always makes me laugh. Andy Dufrense... who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. Andy Dufrense... headed for the Pacific.

East of Eden.

In my mind's eye I can see Jesus and Andy Dufrense headed for the blue, tranquility of freedom. Their portion comes somewhere East of Eden and far from Shawshank. Out of the dusty dry ground into the deep blue Pacific. They rise out of the muck, the shroud, the dead man's wrap, clean. They shed the skin of marked men. They cheat death. They become the symbols of hope. Here on the western shore is where it all comes full circle. And Andy would have his best friend with him. Red is given the key to the kingdom beneath a secret place, hidden behind a rock. And Jesus would have his friends come too. That is where I come in. And you too. We are all invited to get wet. I have been down to the Jordan. I've walked in the ocean. And come out clean.

Naked and unashamed. It's been a long time coming. I have been wrapped in the shroud of Shawshank for so long now. I have felt dirty forever. I always dreamed there would be a place like this. And it stretches for as far as the eye can see. I know this paradise has no end. I can hardly believe my eyes. Talk of hell if you like; I just dream of heaven.

So I am on my way. Riding in the red t-bird, top down, heading west. Sea-breeze and sunshine on my face. Beyond the desert of the dirt-dust of this day into the deep blue sea of tomorrow. I am young again. I will be Jack on the deck of the Titanic...and I like the way your sparkling errings lay against your skin so brown. Can you see what I see, or feel what I feel; about a place where there is no time and we are what we dream we were?

This world is not my home and Shawshank is not my destiny. The key to redemption is found in the pages of the Exodus. And so I keep chipping away at these rocks in my wilderness journey. I know there is a place. Somewhere out there I can see it, taste the salt, feel the wash. Somewhere over the rainbow way up high and wide, oh so wide, as broad as the deep blue sea. I believe it. I feel it, I can taste it.

And we are never going back to Shawshank again. And, of course, we are never gonna go back at all. And I like the way your sparkling errings lay against your skin so brown...and I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight...with a million stars all around. And you may try to take away my dream. But you won't.

'And when I look back on the stars
It'll be like a candlelight in Central Park
And it won't break my heart to say goodbye'

 

Wednesday
May152013

living in the tension

The truth of this is summed up in some words Maggie Ross quotes in her recent post on Walter Bruggemann’s An Unsettling God:

At the centre of reality is a deep, radical, painful, costly fissure that will, soon or later, break every self-arranged pattern of well-being… It cannot be helped, and it cannot be avoided…

This insistence on the reality of brokenness flies in the face of the Enlightenment practice of denial. Enlightenment rationality, in its popular, uncriticized form, teaches that with enough reason and resources brokenness can be avoided. And so Enlightenment rationality, in its frenzied commercial advertising, hucksters the good of denial and avoidance: denial of headaches and perspiration and loneliness, impotence and poverty and shame, embarrassment and, finally, death. In such ideology there are no genuinely broken people. When brokenness intrudes into such an assembly of denial, as surely it must, it comes as failure, stupidity, incompetence, and guilt. The church, so wrapped in the narrative of denial, tends to collude in this. When denial is transposed into guilt—into personal failure—the system of denial remains intact and uncriticized, in the way Job’s friends defended the system.

It is the brokenness that Bruggemann refers to that is the source of the tears; its mending is the promise from Isaiah 61 that Jesus quotes at the beginning of his ministry (Luke 4:18-19) that he has been sent to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…

The Kingdom is here, in the fellowship of believers and in the presence of Christ himself among them (Matthew 18:20, and the High Priestly prayer from John 17); yet it is still to come (Matthew 24:14; Luke 19:11, etc., and the entire book of Revelation). Until that day, when the last wounds is healed, and the last tear dried, we must be content to weep—be content, too, with our “failure, stupidity, incompetence, and guilt.” Our victory in Christ is our willingness to be crucified with him (Galatians 2:20), and our forgivenness is our willingness to assume the guilt inherent in our humanity (Daniel 9:5ff; Romans 3:21-28).

It is here that our identification enables us to intercede for the brokenness that is ours as well as the world’s (Romans 8:26-27), and here that our cry “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” calls down his mercy on all of his broken creation (Romans 8:22) and here that our own tears wash the pierced feet of Christ himself (Matthew 25:40).

Monday
Dec312012

the child embraces destiny

the child...

Friday
Dec212012

a letter to my friend

John,

I like what you said about Jesus absorbing evil and darkness in his body. It makes sense of the cross. The cross then, is not so much a punishment for sin... as much as a way of escape, a 'door of hope', a door bought in blood reminiscent of the 'Exodus event'.

To believe this story is to 'believe by faith' a second, hidden narrative. This other way is the mystery of God revealed. It is 'good news' particularly to those who know they are in crisis (i.e.the poor, the beggars, the children, the vulnerable). It is continuously held in tension by believers ( I pray you won't be martyred) who are surrounded by voices of the violent, dominant narrative, coercing them to abandon faith and acquiesce to evil.

Evil is palpable in dark times. I heard it on April 4. That's why we grieve Martin. He stood against the dominant narrative and died in this prophetic imagination which had seen 'the other side of the mountain'. We felt it when the news of Sandy Hook came into our homes. Unbridled violence is found in the blood of Able. It always shouts. When we feel the repugnance of evil, we know God better.


Unfortunately... 

We are, for the most part, double-minded.There is hidden deep within
most of us, I suspect, a profound tension between these narratives
knowing better than to trust the dominant narrative but having a huge stake in
its being true, wanting the gospel narrative to be true but reluctant to speak
another language about the world other than the one in which we are palpably
invested. It is the hard work of prophetic preaching, I propose, to make that
tension explicit, available, and visible in order to permit informed, knowing
choices. The reason it is such hard work is that the people with whom we do
ministry, in their anxiety, have a huge stake in denial and keeping the tension
hidden. And we ourselves share in that hope of keeping the tension hidden,
because when it is acknowledged, we are held accountable for the work that
is to be done and the decisions that are to be made. Prophetic preaching does
not put people in crisis. Rather it names and makes palpable the crisis already
pulsing among us.


THE DOMINANT NARRATIVE: i.e.: the present evil age where another type of rule reigns; it is rule under the prince of the world. The death of the Egyptians under Pharaoh is the 'result of living by this power narrative'...it is the result of obedience to that system. In reality death and violence (i.e. living by the sword) is the inevitable result of this fallen world. In the most viable way...the wages of this system is death. That is to say, the last curse for Egypt was the death of their children and this event was a precursor or shadow (as you might say) of that which was to be understood as true when the Christ came as the exact representation of God. The final enemy is death. It always has been. When we weep for the children of Sandy Hook, we weep for the childen of Egypt, and we weep for Rachel's children slain in Bethlehem. We weep when the powerful wield the sword. Which is such an irony. Ironic because we grant them the sword, or the assault rifle. Same story, different time.   


The way out of Egypt is to believe in the...

THE GOSPEL NARRATIVE: i.e: the world of Jesus,
who is 'not of this world' but is rather another type of prince like unto the 'prince of Egypt' of the early Jewish narrative of exodus and freedom. The ONLY WAY this narrative could be true unto itself is that it lie down and die...so that it might rise up and live. The gospel is about escape from the 'present evil age' where power rules. The death of the Egyptians under Pharaoh is the 'result of living by this power narrative'...it is the result of obedience to that system. In reality death and violence (i.e. living by the sword) is the inevitable result of this fallen world. In the most viable way...the wages of this system is death. 


May you have the courage, resolve, and imagination to preach the gospel narrative despite the dissent of the dominant contingent. May Haman hang on the gallows he devises. Let it be. But to those whom you touch who believe this story...to them is given...the keys to the kingdom. Long live Camelot.


Your friend,

Daryl

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