Beware the Amish pirates

The importance of frustration

May 11th, 2007 by natedmyers

Doug Pagitt
“Educational theory tells us people really only learn out of frustration- the frustration that they don’t know but need to, the frustration that life isn’t working but there could be a better way. Frustration is not a bad thing- it’s a necessary thing.”
- Doug Pagitt

In case you hadn’t grasped the connection yet, the picture above is of Pagitt himself. I’ve been reading Preaching Re-Imagined, a great great book that’s scratching me where I itch right now. Introduction aside, my girlfriend Bethany and I have talked about Pagitt’s subject often recently (really over the course of our entire friendship that moved into a dating relationship); reality is often frustrating! And we often interpret that frustration as a negative thing. But what if that frustration is neither positive nor negative, but instead teaches us that reality is mysterious and complex, and so we can’t nail it down right away? So we wrestle with ideas and people and remain committed to growth and find that somehow, in the midst of the frustration, some degree of clarity arises that wouldn’tve if we hadn’t let the frustration motivate us. read more »

Five Things Your Pacifist Friends are Tired of Answering

April 12th, 2007 by natedmyers

protest sign
My title is the title of a good article by a fellow named Jonathan Fitzgerald at the Burnside Writer’s Collective (BWC). The BWC is a solid site started by Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz) and a few of his friends that deals with social justice, sports, general rants or thoughts, and other things. The reason I like the site is because they identify themselves as “an online magazine presenting an alternative to franchise faith.” In other words, they’re not afraid of disagreeing with some “Christian” perspectives on issues that are in fact twisted and not reflective of what Jesus cared deeply about.

And so, knowing this reality, Fitzgerald explores an area (pacifism) that is often marginalized in the church (some call it the ultimate and vilest form of immorality), with five subpoints of questions he’s often asked as a pacifist:

1) What if your (insert loved one here) was attacked?
2) What about the Old Testament?
3) Didn’t Jesus mean to live non-violently in our personal lives, but not corporately
4) What about Romans 13?
5) So, you’re suggesting Christians sit back and do nothing? read more »