Joel L. Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. and MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014). his latest, Jesus as Divine Suicide, is forthcoming.
I’m currently working on a book on attachment and how this … need… is not only what drives us, but is what makes us so very fragile that once it is disrupted, we begin to lose rapidly what makes us more than the animals, and less than the angels.
I am a constructionist in many ways, namely the way we form what appears to be the Self. I found this quote important. But more than one needing another, like an image needing a mirror to cause a reflection, how does this play into us needing the Divine?
Jesus demonstrated the presence and power of God by performing miracles. He turned water into wine, healed the sick, calmed the storm, opened blind eyes, and raised the dead. While these beloved stories draw our attention to divine power, Christ’s miracles signify something deeper—they’re windows into God’s grand story of human desperation and redemption. Every time we see Jesus performing a miracle, we also get a glimpse into the gift of desperation, a gift that opens us to the dramatic power of God through our desperate need for him.
By explaining the meaning and significance of these miracles, Jessica LaGrone shows us their relevance for our lives today. She unpacks how understanding the meaning of Christ’s miracles will help us better grasp the salvation God has brought into the world, see that our weakness is an invitation for God to work powerfully in our lives, and remind us that we need God on our best days just as much as we do on our worst.
Jessica is a UMC clergy woman, speaker, and has served on the COWF and a lot nicer than me on social media. You should pick it up.
This is an older book, but given that it is a consideration of some of the giants of pre-WWII anthropology, and that is part of what I want to focus on, I guess it is alright. Given that it has been reprinted without modification since 1974, it must hold up, right?
Anyway, as I am researching my book/tome/thesis on Attachment and the role attachment plays in a variety of human aspects, anthropology must come into play. Somewhat. Attachment is at the heart, an evolutionary tale that has created social bonds preparing us for where we are now. Culture springs up around those bonds and is part of how those bonds are explained naturally. So yeah, I have to check out what anthropologists have to say, and the more so given how families appear to be different across cultures. Further, we need some working theories on where the individual fits into all of this.
My hypothesis right now? The basic unit of humanity is not the one, but the two. We don’t know who we are except by another. Because are becoming increasing individualized and separated from one another, we are losing what it means to be human.
The Bible Trump’s evangelicals quote sanctifies humanity’s moral infancy idolizing the worldview of the Iron Age, leaving believers susceptible to justifying all manner of Trump’s evil in the name of God.
Face it: American Evangelicals are the Number 1 threat to democracy.
I am not an Evangelical, nor do I play one on social media. Further, I have friends who are Evangelical and did not, and would not, vote for Trump. Period.
What I find troublesome about this bombastic statement is the reverse is a hidden truth. Those on the ideological extremes are the “threat” and often display cult-like symptoms while promoting hate, as Frank has done.
Look, I don’t like those in the pocket of Trump, but I also can’t stomach of the more extreme liberals. I am not going to consider either side an actual threat. The threat comes from those who follow along too easily, who do not educate themselves about the issues, and who do not speak up about what is important.
When Rome fell, it fell between the imperialists and the republicans. The vast majority of Roman citizens were neither, only crowd followers. They were the mob, and the mob is the most dangerous threat to our Republic.
This came up in a group the other day. The client was struggling to forgive but decided they needed the answer to the “why” before they could. Other clients noted the same thing.
We sometimes do need to know the why before we can forgive, but is it the healthy way? I’m not perfect, sometimes I need to understand before I can move on. But I am trying to change that. Why? Because forgiveness is healthy and if something is preventing health, we should seek to remove it. Sometimes, our need to understand the why something has occurred prevents us from moving on by forgiving.
Don’t get me wrong. Forgiveness and forgetfulness are two different things.
I think about my mother who struggled with alcoholism until her death due to her alcoholism. I struggled for many years to understand why she had done that. It ate me up. When I did, I struggled to understand and come to terms with the way I had treated her as well as all of the years I had spent not forgiving her.
Another way I look at it, is that sometimes we have built up a wall so high, and so deep that we cannot possibly understand. It is during these moments that we do have to forgive in order to break down that wall so that we may finally come to understand.
I think about the verse… He loved us while we were yet sinners.
Can we forgive first before we have to know the why?