Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Month: February, 2009

How on earth…?

A website called Typealyzer claims to be able to scan your blog and through it tell what kind of blogger you are. How the heck do they do that? Here’s what it said about mine:

INTP – The Thinkers

The logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.

Child-like

I’m going to be preaching this morning. I thought I’d share one little part of my sermon that affected me.

Because of God’s transcendence and ‘other’ness, it’s really impossible to completely know him. Which is why Christ encouraged us to have a child-like faith. Most people, when they hear that, think that means faith without proof. But I don’t think that’s how a child has faith. A child’s faith is curious and full of wonder. A child is relentless, even in the face of an impossible task, like knowing a transcendent God. A child’s faith is anything but blind. We all know a child’s favorite question: why?
Blind faith, as I see it, isn’t really faith at all. Isn’t it more of a delusion? How could God be honored by a belief about him that had no ground in reality or reason? I think faith is more about living and acting and believe in accordance with your worldview than it is about belieing something to be true even when you have no reason to believe it.

God’s blessings

Hey every one!
This is Ruth. We are in Canada and I want to thank you all for praying for us through out these past years. I hope we can see many of you soon:)
Here is something I have been meaning to write. Just want to share it with every one. I guess I am just happy about what I have to say that I can’t keep it inside me! :)
As I sit here and think of all the blessings God has bestowed upon me, I think of my best friend and companion that God has given to me – Matthew. There are 2 people in my life who mean so much to me. My dad and my husband. I am blessed that I had a godly father who always loved his Master and was obedient to His Word no matter what. I still try to understand how he could be so enduring, kind and patient! He actually lived out what most people just claim to live for. I miss him so much and the thought of seeing him again excites me!
Matthew reminds me a lot of my dad in a way that he too is so kind, patient and humble. I love him so much and pray that our marriage would bless us and others around us. I truly find it amazing how Matthew adapted my culture, befriended my people and became one of us! Most people who met us for the first time while in Pakistan told me how humble and good man at a heart Matthew was. I am so proud to be his wife:)
I want to tell every one that I am so blessed by God and am very happy. Thank you Matthew for always taking care of me and my family in Pakistan during the hard times. For comforting us all in times of trouble and sorrows. For always showing how much you care and love. I know for sure that you are here for me no matter what and I can always count on you. You are a wonderful husband, great and fun father and my best friend and I love you so much!!!!

Green Wood

It’s nice being back in Canada, but I’m shocked at how suddenly I am busier than I have ever been in my life. If anyone has good advice for getting the plethora of things I want to do done, please let me know!

For now I’ll share a few thoughts I’ve been having.

For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?

So Jesus is on his way down the Via Dolorosa he makes this very enigmatic comment to the women weeping for him. Immediately I wondered what he meant by wood being green. Is it dry yet? I scribbled a few notes into a book I carry around. I don’t know if I have this figured out, but I’ll share what I have.

‘They’ must refer to the authorities, especially the religious authorities with whom Jesus had most of his beef. I think, though, you could take it also to mean society in general, especially (again) religious society. Religious sub-cultures are almost always willing to commit any evil so long as respected religious leaders tell them it’s a good idea.

‘These things’ refer specifically to the crucifixion of Christ. And, by association, refer to every act of deceit, injustice, abuse of power and misuse of truth that the authorities and their followers commit. No one could argue against the fact that these religious leaders completely betrayed their sacred commitment to aid people in coming to a fuller understanding of God and brotherly love. And it seems they did this while the wood was ‘green’.

Green wood. Healthy. Strong. Resistant to burning. The authorities and religious leaders of that day had it made. People respected the institutions that were set up. A rabbi was generally considered a good man. A governor was obeyed. With the right man in charge the conditions were ripe for life, health and resilience. They had a decent shot at fulfilling their purpose.

But they blew it. Big time. And they blew it while all the conditions were right. And now, partially because they blew it, the conditions are no longer right. The institutions have lost the trust of society and, as a result, lost all power to make things right. But they haven’t lost the power to make a buck.

So the wood is dry. A rabbi or pastor or mayor is hard-pressed to make a positive difference in his circles because no one trusts him anymore. But he could still make a profit from his office or religion. And if he can’t make a positive difference anyway, why not just sell out?

Dry wood sucks.