Here are the top five posts from the month of August. I can’t say I’m terribly surprised to see The Psychology of Social Networking at the top of the list. Getting a link from Tim Challies really messes with your blog stats (not that I’m complaining!). And for some reason my post on reading fiction also got a lot of traffic from somewhere. So even though it’s an older post, it shot into the top five.
We’ve reached the middle of our first week in Slovakia. The worst of the jet lag is behind us, though we’ve discovered that some Slovakians really like to sing and yell on their way home after the bars close. And we’ve also noticed that most of them like to walk right past our open window. So I’m now up a tad earlier than normal. But as a morning person, I really don’t mind all that much.
The last couple of days have come with some great experiences and one important life lesson. On the “experiences” side of the equation, we’ve spent a lot of time just getting to know our own team. We joined this team rather late in the process, so we weren’t able to make most of the team meetings before the trip. We had to introduce ourselves to several team members at the airport, and didn’t meet some others until we arrived in Slovakia. So much of our time over the last few days has been about relationships. And that’s been good.
And last night we got to take a little side-trip to Zilina, a nearby town with a nice downtown. It’s primarily a shopping area now, complete with a Tesco and a very modern shopping mall. But there’s still plenty of traditional architecture, several beautiful town squares, and a nice cathedral. So it was well worth visiting.
When you look at me, you see God.
Did I get your attention? That’s a rather dramatic claim, isn’t it? Most people would immediately reject such an incredible statement–especially anyone who has ever met me. I can be a jerk at times, I look kinda funny, and I make a lot of mistakes. I’m sure people think about a lot of things when they look at me, but I doubt that God is one of them (unless they’re using “God” in a less-than-appropriate manner).
Yet, at the very beginning of the biblical narrative, we find just such an audacious claim: ‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them’ (Gen. 1.27). Many of us have, perhaps, grown so comfortable with this verse and the claims that it makes for the nature and identity of human persons that we no longer recognize the fabulous nature of this assertion. At the beginning of a work clearly committed to belief in a God who is invisible and cannot be–indeed, should not be–depicted by images, and who transcends human understanding, God himself declares that he will image himself in finite, physical, and imperfect human beings.
Wow. That should get your attention.
But what does it mean? That’s been the real debate for centuries. And it’s one that I’d like to explore for a bit. So I’m going to start a series on the image of God–or, of you’d like to sound highly educated, the imago Dei.
I can’t say for sure how this series will play out. But here’s what I have in mind at the moment. I’ll update this list as the series goes along. So feel free to bookmark this post if you’d like to follow the series.
- 5 Reasons the Image of God Is Ambiguous
- 6 Things We Can All Agree on about the Image of God
- Humans Aren’t Hamsters, But the “Image” Is More Than That
- “Image” Is a Verb: Finding the image in human function
- Sex Is Natural, Sex Is Good: Finding the image in human relationships
- When in Doubt, Pick “All of the Above”
- There’s a God in There! Moving toward a conclusion on the “image of God”
- Personal Presence: Another Step toward the Image of God
- The Image Is a Story
A car, three planes, a bus, and nearly 24 hours. That’s what it took for us to arrive safely in Martin, Slovakia. And overall, the trip went without a hitch. The only major problem is that my daughters don’t sleep when we travel. Ever. Especially my youngest. You’d think that a 6-year old who got up at 3am after only five hours of sleep would have no problem sleeping on a trans-Atlantic flight. And you’d be wrong. She slept for a grand total of one hour on the entire trip. Fortunately, she’s also a great traveler. So it really wasn’t a problem.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we’ve embarked as a family on a short-term mission trip with a team from my church. We’ll be in Slovakia for the next two weeks teaching English and helping with summer camps for Junior and High School students. My family’s primary responsibility is with the Junior High camp next week. So this week we’ll just be doing miscellaneous stuff at the Bible college here. And I’m always interested to see what “miscellaneous stuff” looks like on a mission trip.
Last month’s top posts are an interesting mix of the informative, the humorous, and the spiritual. That sounds like just about the perfect combination to me! The post on what “mainline” means really struck a chord, so it’s no shock to see that at the top of the list. But the real surprise is “The Meaning of Life according to Siri.” I don’t usually include older posts in the monthly updates, but this one came out of nowhere to make the top five. So I thought I’d go ahead and give it a spot.
Last Month’s Top 5:
Thanks to everyone who entered this week’s book giveaway for a chance to win Journeys of Faith: Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Anglicanism. Sadly, there can only be one winner. And this week’s winner is:
Congratulations Daniel. Send me your contact info and I’ll get that shipped right over to you.