Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Friday, September 24, 2004

Martin Luther and The Dude

During our discussion in class last night (Ecclesiology with Lee Camp), we reviewed Martin Luther's teaching and ideology of the ethic of vocation. By this Luther states that we are called to be many things, such as a preacher, a father/mother, a prince, an executioner, a judge, a soldier, etc. There is also another call that is from Jesus that is found in the Sermon on the Mount which regards individual ethics, relationships, etc. The problem with this is Luther separates these two into categories of sacred as well as spiritual. Again, let me not critisize Luther for during his time he was introducing a new (modern) thought into a deeply medieval society. Almost like these "emergent" leaders are doing now.

After class I began asking myself how we would handle such a merging of these two categories. Example, what would it mean regarding "just" wars and killing others for the sake of our safety? What would it mean to operate and manage a business? How would we view holistic healing? Would the body and soul merge into one unified cell? Could we as Christians enlist in the military knowing full well that we would have to kill our so-called "enemy?"

Eugene Peterson has been a big influence for me for one particular reason. "Knowing who you are precedes what you do." I love the Coen brother's movies. One of which is the Big Labowski. The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is asked by a prominent handicapped man what he does. The Dude answers, "Well, I sometimes I walk on the beach, take naps, etc. I'm the Dude. That or Duder. His Dudeness. Or El Duderino, if you're not into the whole brevity thing." The point is the Dude is. . . . The Dude. He takes his identity as who he is, not in what he does.

So my overarching theme there is we must view this world not in two separate paradigms, but as one unified whole. Then, I believe, our identity will be shaped by who we are instead of what we do.