Origins: Where We Come From

I recently completed a 20 page paper on the study of “origins,” the nature of humankind (anthropology) and the universe (cosmogony).

In it, I exegeted Gen. 1:26-31, and brought in some degree of comparitive study between the Hebrew origins narrative, those of the ancient near east in which it was formed, and modern origin narratives.

In summary, I am more convinced than ever that one origin narrative, existing in the world today, stands above and beyond the rest (though carrying shades of many – a gift from God, I believe) in bringing understanding to:

the intelligent and optimal designs of God,

the glory of the human person,

the interplay between humans and our earth home,

the interplay between earth and its near-neighbors in the cosmos,

the presence of pain,

and the alienation in the world that breeds war, hatred and discord.

My early years of faith were tumultuous for me, as I devoured any origins work I could find – reading the books of Islam, Buddhism and many others.

From 2 turtles holding up the planet, to the sacrificial systems surrounding the origins narrative around the Mesopotamian ziggurat, I read them and considered them as best as I could at the time.

I awoke this morning with great joy. I’ve been waiting to linger over what this paper has just begun to touch for over 15 years. Now, the crack is open, and my soul is quite involved.

It seems I care deeply about human origins, and the implications the story we believe (quite different among Christians, I add) have on our daily love and action in the world.

Hence writing this post. I began to edit the origins view of Christianity over at Wikipedia as well.

I’ve started an Origins & Culture discussion over at the Ooze as well (the Ooze is now the message board/blog site of Emergent, so it’s a hub for discussion).


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.