Skip to main content

cats and dogs

Someone sent me an article on Cat and Dog Theology, a book written by Bob Sjogren. It takes off from this joke:

A dog says, "You pet me, you feed me, you love me, you must be God."

A cat says, "You pet me, you feed me, you love me, I must be God."

Basically, dogs are all about the master, and cats are all about themselves. And so it is in much of Western Christianity. We think that God is here to make things easy for us, to get us from birth to death as comfortably and with as many blessings as possible. And this self-centredness is a far cry from Jesus' example of giving his life for others and accepting whatever came from the Father's hand. A blessed and successful life by our standards may very well be quite different from the life of abundance that God promises us if we walk with Him and do what he does.

The word, "master" is not a popular one these days, but very biblical and we should not be ones who neglect the concept.

This is Cassie from Brooklyn chillin' in the back yard on Labour Day.


Shelley said…
I agree Matte, but this is such a tricky one, because as a kid I translated stuff like this to mean I was wrong to want what I wanted for myself. Now I think that the issue isn't wanting stuff or heart things like love and acceptance and recognition etc., but what I do with my wants. Asking for them, and trusting Jesus for them is what I should do, and then I can get on with a more others-focused life. If I don't acknowledge what I want, trying to keep that part of me shut up and under control takes all my energy. By trying to be unselfish I become more self-centred. Being real and honest and believing Jesus cares about what I want sets me free...
Matte Downey said…
I agree, Shelley. It is not about trying to be the right person with the right attitudes, but really looking to Jesus to be enough for everything (all my wants and desires). It is all about who we are looking at.

Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

building the church

Imagine two scenarios: 1) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Ask them to come together and put their sticks onto a table. Invariably, you end up with a random pile of sticks on a table. 2) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Show a picture of a popsicle stick bird feeder and ask people to come together and put their sticks on a table according to the picture. You will end up with the beginnings of a bird feeder on a table.

What is the difference between the two scenarios? In both, each person brought what they had and contributed it to the collective. However, in the first scenario, there were no guidelines, no plan, and no right or wrong way to pile the sticks. People came, placed their sticks on the table, and walked away. In the second scenario, people were given a plan to follow and as a result, something specific was built. Instead of walking away after they made their contribution, people huddled around the table to watch what was being built. Some were…