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· One min read
Patrick Pace

Since moving to the current website, sharing my additions to social media has been more difficult. Not that anyone really follows me, and not that I have much taste for social media's inherent character, but it's better than writing in the dark.

I plan to experiment with a couple services to automate posts. For new items that aren't blog posts, I'll probably have to create blog posts listing them (at least for now).

There's also always my recent items page: https://wheredeathdelightstodie.com/recent

· One min read
Patrick Pace

Who enjoys fragility? Who delights in death's prickles? But death is in us, and seeking its remedy is the enterprise of every man. And yet with each honest word, we expose our soft underbellies. Someone takes that stab, and then death prickles.

And who of us lacks all taste of belly? We are wolves. We condemn and we dominate and we ostracize in our pursuit of safety. And we develop our defenses.

But in the image of our creator, we were created to relate. Relationship is connection. Connection is living. And if we're either severing or being severed, how can we?

And because connection requires honesty, and honesty requires vulnerability, if our connections will remain, not only must we ackowledge our counterparts' vulnerability, you must allow them to do the same with ours.

So, a healthy relationship requires two things: 1) grace and 2) dependence on another's grace. We must abstain from belly-tasting, and we must risk our bellies being tasted.

· 3 min read
Patrick Pace

I feel more and more distant from from my theological training. Someone mentions reformed and dispensational, and I don't feel like I recall enough to keep up. Someone mentions a propechy of Isaiah's, and I can't recall its context--whether he was a prophet to the northern or southern kingdom and when. I've read many, many books and have written numerous papers on all this stuff!

This is an attempt to redeem the loss. Hopefully it's all true and not just me trying to make myself feel better. Though if it is true, I'm no doubt still trying to make myself feel better.*

  1. Dr. Hannah, one of the wonderful professors at DTS, told us that we would forget 95% of the things they taught us. Much more important is learning a) how to think and b) where to find information. I do believe I learned how to think, and I do believe I know where to find information.

  2. Lack of use. It's been seven years since I graduated, and there's no Greek in IT. But on top of that, the past few years have been growth by way of failure (or perceived failure). I have not been disciplined in conventional spiritual disciplines. I have not had a strong place in a local body of believers. I spend my days fixing computers--not researching the Scriptures or thinking what some new world God created might be like. My time is much different now than what it was during and just after DTS.

  3. The Dunning-Kruger effect. The more you know in some field, the less you think you know, and vice versa. Undergraduates think they know everything, and experts feel like they know nothing. If DTS did it's job, I should feel like I know nothing. That said, I do see evidence of having forgotten much. But perhaps it's not as much as I'm thinking.

  4. Age. I am getting older. Do I need to say any more than what everyone already knows?

  5. Fear. I am afraid of being unintelligent or of being perceived by others as unintelligent. Any item that suggests my incapability twists my perception of any real capability. (The opposite is also true.)

  6. And that leads into this. In my flesh, one of the ways I attempt to remedy my death is to feel knowledgable, skilled, capable, and ultimately, ideal. As a believer, I naturally want to be an "ideal" one--"ideal" being defined according to whatever pseudo-Christian and American cultural values I have adopted. If God wants to teach me the truth of my dependence, how would he do it but by denying me the things I put in his place? That is, wouldn't he show me that I am knowledge-less, incapable, and far from ideal? Such could be the case here, and if I were looking at this with faith, I would see it as such.

Incidentally, the ideal believer is the one that Christ loves. That's it. And as we know, "For God so loved the world..."

That's all for now.

*In reality, even if it is a tragic loss, and it's all my fault, I am still wholly dependent on the grace of God through Christ--just as I would be if I lost nothing and had then built on it, rather than being whatever meager man I have become, and instead becoming a theological giant.

· 2 min read
Patrick Pace

Getting praise makes me giddy. And then I start craving it and fearing not getting it. It starts taking over my motivation for creatition. Some of it may have to do with how much praise I received as a kid, but I think it's perhaps just my brand of remedy-our-own-death--those things we pursue instead of God that either deaden the pain or attempt to fix whatever dead parts we recognize within ourselves.

Jeremy mentioned that he's had several years experience working on collaborative creative projects (most of mine are either alone or else according to some teacher's/boss's mandate). And he has found that you end up with the best results when all members of the team feel a sense of ownership and have a say. That of course means not only having our own way but also moving out of the way of others.

That sounds an awful lot like godliness, or love. One might even take it a step further and say that the relationships, themselves, are the thing. The relationships and the collaborative work. Anything that gets in the way of those gets in the way of those things worth working for. And focusing on one's own praise certainly does that.

That's not to say that praise shouldn't gratify. It should. But as soon as we elevate it beyond its encouraging and salving role, it only hurts us.

Serve the other person. Serve the work.

· 2 min read
Patrick Pace

I have forgotten much from the intensity of seminary and the quiet years after. I lament the loss, and I can’t help but feel that my current career speeds the process. I do not feel like the theological thinker I was while working on my creative writing after seminary. But hopefully it’s just a widow’s mite in the the Spirit’s development of my endurance.

In any case, one idea that was brought back to me recently is how creating something beautiful necessarily glorifies God. Among what seems like many other things, I believed this and forgot it.

Madeleine L’Engle comes to mind with her cosmos from chaos concept. God, as creator, takes from the waters of chaos and fashions the earth. Such are all creative acts, and in their likeness to the Creator, they honor him. As L'Engle says, there is no “Christian” art. But there is good art—cosmos from chaos art—and good art is inherently Christian. Even when it doesn’t do so consicously or even willingly, good art imitates the creator. Tolkien called it subcreation.

Good art, then, is art that fashions cosmos from chaos.

What about beauty? Is good art necessary beautiful? Are beauty and goodness the same thing? Or perhaps do they just correlate so closely that you can’t have one without the other? What is beauty?

I don’t have an answer to that yet. Hopefully I will remember to spend the time thinking about it later on.

· One min read
Patrick Pace

Elipsis


All the pieces I mentioned are now posted. More will arrive as they’re written.

But to help you get around, a quick tour. In the menu at the top, you’ll find all my non-writing creations in the Other Projects section. And in the Writing section, you’ll find the following categories:

  1. Collection - I’d like to develop a collection of pieces that explore the theology of the inhabitants of a world I’ve dabbled in for about a decade.

· 2 min read
Patrick Pace

Keep creating


I’m still here.

I’m not where I want to be, not where at the end of DTS I thought I would be, and not where my fear thinks I should be, but I’m where God has me. Life and its lessons continue, and the lessons of the moment are mediocrity and dependence.

And after several years of word-by-word labor, withholding my works from friends in hopes of distributing it to strangers, the bell rang and I approached the mob of commercial publishing.