Imitatio Dei

November 24, 2008


 I’ve been looking at the concept of “Imitatio Dei” as an authentic way of experiencing  the Divine (or the Spirit). In other words, by being “godly” or displaying “God-like qualities” we will have transformed hearts and minds. For example, God is compassionate, in Luke 6 Jesus commands us, saying: “Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Therefore, if we show compassion to others, we will experience the Divine.

Is it possible that through living “God-like” lives that we experience God and this is central to the message of the kingdom of God?

Another example is found in 1 John 4:16: “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.”

 Marcus Borg says: “The ethical imperative is to live in accord with God’s character.”

When we couple this with Grace I find an immense sense of freedom to experience God in everyday activities and in others. This is not a legalistic approach that is focused on sin but a gracious life focused on discovering the heart and ways of God.

“And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (The Message)



Dreaming about fishing

November 20, 2008

A few weeks ago I had a semi-epiphany. It came to me in the early hours of the morning. It was something I saw in a dream. In this dream I was standing next to Jesus. He was looking out from high up on the shore towards the disciples who were fishing on a boat just off the shore. In my dream Jesus calls out to the disciples (in the same way as in John 21) to cast their nets on the other side…..

I woke up at this point and knew what this was saying.

It is a wonderful metaphor of our spiritual life. How often we find ourselves fishing on the wrong side of the boat.


November 7, 2008




Bill Maher has teamed up Larry Charles, the director of “Borat”, and stars in this comedy/mockumentry that examines and satirizes organized religion and religious belief.

Religulous opened in the US last month to mostly positive reviews. And it appears to be very funny as it takes on most sacred cows.

It opens in movie houses in South Africa next week.  Even though is sounds altogether “stupid”, this is one movie I look forward to seeing. I’m sure that I will be both laughing and squirming in my seat.  

The philosopher Jacques Derrida wrote at length about the Possible and Impossible Aporias. He believed that “The Gift” and “Hospitality” along with other examples were impossible as the there is always an economy at play. For example, there is no thing as a pure gift as even if the receiver says “thank-you”, the “thank you” is a form of payment. We can take it further and say that even the “satisfaction” of giving is a form of payment. Derrida also believed that with hospitality, the host was empowered and hospitality was limited to the implied rules of the host. An example here would be seen in guests that start to destroy the host’s home, start fighting with the host or simply overstay their welcome. Under these conditions, altruism would play a part but eventually the hospitality would more than likely end.

OK, enough of that!!!

Let’s lighten up…..




 Last week-end I took myself and my son to Afrika Burns. This is an Arts Festival in the Karoo that is also an experimental community of gifting, self-expression and self reliance.  

We were part of a collective called “Sanctuary” and the idea was to create a space where we could serve herbal tea and freshly baked bread. The space was created in a Bedouin style tent. We had arranged bean bags and stacks of cushions, a low table and made things comfortable and aesthetically chilled as possible in the heat of the Karoo. Our 12 volt sound system played meditative and relaxing music.

 On Saturday morning our “shop” opened and it wasn’t long before we were full!!

Our small group (both children and adults) were all involved in one way or the other. For the rest of the day we served the refreshing tea and scrumptious bread to a constant stream of guests.  I would say that our place was a sanctuary to those that came and enjoyed our gifting and hospitality.

The experience of giving and hosting in this way is most extraordinary. What we offered was small, however the sense of euphoria and pleasure around giving was far greater than what was offered. I believe that the giver was rewarded beyond his or her giving.

As I consider this, I realize that Derrida is right and gifting and hospitality are impossible, but not in the way that I first understood. We can take it a step further and look beyond the physical transaction if we consider the (im)possible as a spiritual act . Afrika Burns gave me, my son and my friends at Sanctuary the beautiful gift of experiencing the divine (im)possible. It made our gifts seem insignificant.

Thanks and I look forward to next year!!!




This posting is part of the Afrika Burn 2008 Syncroblog:

Also see

Who’s Heresy ?

April 21, 2008

This post forms part of the schycroblog “Emerging heresy”


“One of the most deplorable aspects of the postmodern era and its so-called ‘thought’ is the return of the religious dimension in all its different guises: from Christian and other fundamentalisms, through the multitude of New Age spiritualisms, up to the emerging religious sensitivity within deconstructionism itself(so-called ‘post-secular’ thought).”

“– the authentic Christian legacy is much too precious to be left to the fundamentalist freaks.”

“Even those who acknowledge this direct lineage from Christianity to Marxism, however, usually fetishize the early ‘authentic’ followers of Christ   against the Church’s ‘institutionalization’ epitomized by the name of Saint Paul: Read the rest of this entry »