Category Archives: Redemption, Creation, and Revelation

“STJ 86: Taste and Bee” – Process & Theology

This art piece – STJ 86: Taste and Bee – thinks through Anglican, Sarah Coakley’s, articulation of desire in a Mennonite context. Here are a few slightly edited excerpts of an essay I wrote for professor Jeremy Bergen this year at Grebel Uni.:

STJ 86 Taste and Bee

“STJ 86: Taste and Bee” by Lisa Obirek, December 2015

5 reduction linocut on stonehenge paper with added media: water soluble oil, paint pens, raw bees wax, nail polish, gold leaf

This piece is called a “print” and fits within the broader artistic medium of “printmaking.” The more specific term for this particular print is called a five-reduction linocut. This means I use a traditional piece of rubbery linoleum which is essentially just heated up linseed oil and I carve designs into the same block of linoleum in five different stages.  I use carving tools that are similar to traditional wood carving tools on a smaller scale. These carving tools have different ends, or “bits,” that make their own distinct cuts into the linoleum. Continue reading “STJ 86: Taste and Bee” – Process & Theology

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The Onion’s reply to Sloterdijk

“It was the same Karl Barth who arrived at the thesis — unheard of in its time — that Christianity is not a religion, because ‘religion is unbelief’. He had the right idea, but made the wrong point and presented the most unsuitable of all possible justifications: that the ‘word of God’ strikes through the fabric of cultural machinations vertically from above, while mere religion is never more than a part of the system of humanities and all-to-humanities set up from below. The argument may seem impressive as a catastrophe-theological intensification of the situation after 1918, but as a description of the overall situation it would be misleading — for modernity is simply not known for being a time in which God shows Himself vertically to humans. This century was struck by meteorites, plummeting down from the outermost and highest places; but there were no gods among them.” – Sloterdijik from “You Must Change Your Life” (86)

The Onion’s response is fiery: “New Study Finds Majority Of God’s Blessings Burn Up On Entry Into Atmosphere

God in our lives: control freak or aloof?

Though it is incomprehensibly popular, the idea that the Christian God is a God who ensures that all that happens on earth fits into a divine plan and is according to God’s will is also unaccountably stupid. Such a view, briefly, makes a mockery of the immense amount of senseless tragedy and suffering that this earth experiences far, far too often. It robs us of any sort of agency. And it also denies the reality of any sort of evil or sin (all events actions must be perfectly good because they are exactly as God intends them to be). And such a view is alien to Scripture, which continually emphasizes the importance of human choice, the reality of corruption and evil, and presents a God who is often quite dissatisfied with events as they are. Not all that happens on earth is just (obviously!); and there is no plan that everything fits into.

Of course, I am far from the first to see many of the gaping pitfalls in the image of God. Continue reading God in our lives: control freak or aloof?

Three Improvised Meditations for the Baptism of our Lord

Here is another live recording from my Adam’s Fall concert.

Meditation one: Christ our Lord Came to the River Jordan

Mediation two: The River Jordan

Meditation three: The Voice of the Lord, Psalm 19
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD,
over mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

Casavant Organ at All Saints Church, Winnipeg. Recording from the concert, Adam’s Fall which featured the Canadian premiere of Huw Morgan’s piece for organ and electronics called “Adam’s Fall”

Organ — Casavant, Opus 2508, 1959

Adam’s Fall — Live recording

Recently I put together an event that centered around Huw Morgan’s work for organ and electronics called “Adam’s Fall.” Here is my performance of the work on August 26, 2014 in Winnipeg Manitoba.

“Huw Morgan’s Adam’s Fall, meanwhile, was originally commissioned by Michael Bonaventure and was first performed at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter in Köln in 2010. Morgan has described the piece as “a fixed electronics track comprising of five repetitions of a set of six chords (taken from the closing cadence of Bach’s harmonization of the chorale Durch Adam’s Fall) [which] is played while the organist improvises from a pitch-set derived from those chords. Each recorded statement is fractionally flattened and sharpened in alternation in a converging pattern, creating a dialogue between the absolute pitch of the organ and the variable pitch of the electronics.”


Put simply, the fixed electronics track is never in tune with the organ. It always misses its mark and often does so significantly. In this way, Adam’s Fall becomes an analogy for humanity, which continually seems to bend out of tune. And yet, the continuing attempts to repair this brokenness allows the light of redemption to break through the cracks.” – Joel Peters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHRZOV8-9tY (Canadian Premiere)