Isaac, Jacob, and Judah: Blessings to Non-Firstborn

March 30, 2015

            Contrary to the common tradition in the Ancient Near East, Abraham’s descendants did not pass on blessings and birthrights to their firstborn sons. Instead, beginning with Abraham, sons born later in the birth order received these blessings. Though this shift away from tradition seems to be the consequence of the actions of man, God seems to affirm this shift by reiterating to both Isaac and Jacob the covenant which he first established with Abraham (Gen 26:1-5; 35:10-12). In the midst of this upset of tradition, there are unique interactions between the different family members which play into the development of each family member as an individual.

            This paper will examine this multigenerational transmission process utilizing Bowen’s family systems theory. Some parts will be quite technical; for example, assigning levels of differentiation to individuals or analyzing various triangles. Other parts will be more loosely observational, such as noting the generational tendency toward deception. Ultimately, I will discuss possible treatment for this family, including spiritual direction options. Continue reading “Isaac, Jacob, and Judah: Blessings to Non-Firstborn”


Engaging with “Culture Making” by Andy Crouch

March 2, 2015

Having grown up in the last couple decades immersed in the Christian world, I have heard a lot of discussion about worldviews. I was taught to be conscientious about how I think about the world and to look for the worldviews that are communicated in the media that I consume. But lately, I had started recognizing that there was something missing. It was good to be aware of how I thought about the world and to expose the subtle messages that are communicated in music or movies, but it didn’t feel like enough. Enter Andy Crouch and Culture Making . If culture is what we make of the world, as he so often asserts, the way for Christians to influence culture is by producing something and thereby influencing culture
through that thing. Crouch’s solution makes sense to me. Where discussing worldviews or critiquing culture seems to fall short by staying almost completely in the realm of talk, Crouch pushes the discussion a step further into proactivity and production. If the Church wants to impact the cultures of the world around it, it must make something of the world. Continue reading “Engaging with “Culture Making” by Andy Crouch”