Meeting Jesus at cultural intersections
Hi, I’m Christopher, a follower of Jesus interested in sustainable, triple bottom line economics, ecology, & ecumenism in God’s Word.
You may contact me HERE.
What will you find on Dandelionfluff.ca?
1. Original posts addressing an eclectic mix of subjects that can be broadly characterized as human culture. You will find a particular emphasis on the following: ecology, economics, technology and theology.
Hopefully these will help us in living out Christ’s Kingdom in this world. Hopefully these will help us in honouring the Creator & the ‘givenness’ of creation in our politics & economics; in the practical love of our neighbours near and far, in building resilient communities, and pursuing our first call “….to work [the garden] and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
2. Links to interesting articles in the above areas by both Christian and non-Christian thinkers.
3. Prayers meeting Jesus in the engagement of the topics addressed
4. Commentary and interaction with BOOKS.
(Books you may borrow from your local library, purchase from your local independent book store, or buy through Better World Books or Amazon.ca links on this site. Thank you for your clicks. I receive affiliate commissions when you purchase materials through the links to these two companies.)
5. Reflections of a “white”, ordained protestant, unilingual, anglo / assimilated second generation Netherlands ex R. Catholic guy living in Cree country and called to intercede for relationships between indigenous peoples of “the Americas” and the wider societies of more recent immigrants to these continents.
6.Thoughts on shame, guilt, sin, forgiveness, sexuality and relations between the sexes now that we are living East of Eden & after the resurrection of Jesus.
7. Occasional bits of fluff such as photos of dandelions, Leonard Cohen lyrics & references to such classic literature as The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy & Monty Python.
Fluff is silly. It is foolish.
“… the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”
1 Corinthians 1:18-25, NRSV
The humble Dandelion is a beautiful flower with a wonderful way of spreading its seeds. Dandelions (literally, lions teeth) are highly successful and remarkably hardy, but they are conventionally considered as commonplace weeds. These qualities are reminiscent of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the power of the Spirit the gospel is highly successful and remarkably hardy. However, many who do not yet have eyes to see, may consider it to be something commonplace. They see the gospel as a cultural artifact to take for granted or even as a noxious weed to be countered with ‘wiser’ ideologies.
Our Lord is fond of seed imagery, for indeed He makes all seeds.
[Jesus] said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” Luke 13:18-19, NRSV.
The wind carries dandelion seeds.
” The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:5, NRSV.
The original tag line for the site was life and mission in Babylon.
“The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It said:
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:3-7, NSRV.
Babylon was the ancient imperial power of its time. And Babylon was the place of exile for God’s ancient people when they habitually replaced the wisdom of the LORD with the wisdom of power and empire. The exile was a time for people to learn to depend upon the Creator when most of their central religious practices had been destroyed by invading armies. These invasions resulted from God’s people following the logic of empire rather than living in faithfulness to the LORD.
Hundreds of years later when the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman world, the Church became used to a position of priviledge and power in wider society. This alliance between church and state has echoed throughout more than 1.5 millenia and has come down to us in various modified forms. The national motto of Canada, along with the other versus of scripture on the Peace Tower, and the motto of the order of Canada, are all artifacts of this echo of a priviledged position for Christian life and practice within the nation state. This is a great heritage. But there is a darkside, namely the confusion of empire and faithfulness to our Creator: native residential schools were but one aspect of that darkness.
Things have changed. Now the so-called “main line” churches, such as the denomination to which I belong (The Presbyterian Church in Canada), find ourselves increasingly alienated within a society that has become foreign to our religious practices. Historically, we are used to a certain amount of attention and prestige within the wider society. Culturally, we are used to a certain amount of support for our religious practices and our ways of thinking. However, it is as if over the course of several decades we have gone from being “main line” institutions in society to being “side line”. It is as if we are in exile in our own land. How can we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land where people do not understand our ways? Many of our children and grandchildren find the religious institutions that we cherish to be irrelevant to their ways of life. What does the LORD have in store for us as we relearn how to depend upon the Creator in this strange and alien land?
How do we exercise our faith and citizenship to have a godly influence as Daniel did in his day, or Joseph in an even earlier time? The temptation to relive imagined “glory days” and to seek to impose ourselves upon this strange world is ever before us. It seems we have been usurped from our rightful place and we can get quite fussy that things are not like they used to be. But what does it mean to follow the Curcified One who said to the empiral official who held the power of life and death:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest … . But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36, NRSV