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Week 7: It's Not Too Late

For the week of October 12: Chapter 7 in We Make the Road by Walking.
A brief (and sorta gory) introduction to human sacrifice (~1 minute)
Human sacrifice sounds to most of us like an obviously bad idea, but it wasn't obvious at all back in the time of Abraham.  To them, only a CRAZY person would risk going through life without sacrificing to the gods.  For them, if you wanted to succeed in life, human sacrifice was a necessary part of getting there.  That's the world Abraham grew up in.

But then came the day when Abraham learned something new about God. A crazy new idea...
The main playlist here is me midrash-ing the Abraham-Sacrificing-Isaac story, the same story as told by the History Channel's excellent BIBLE miniseries, and a short cartoon trailer for a Jewish videogame where you put your sins onto an digital scapegoat. (~10 minutes).

Getting to know God is a bit like science -- you're always learning stuff you didn't know before, and sometimes you have to throw out your old ideas.

On the off chance that you're like me and are always looking for excuses to include THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS songs into your parenting, here are two music videos -- one about the sun being made of gas, and then the new song they had to make when the discovery was made that the sun is made of plasma, not gas. (~4.5 minutes)

This story about Abraham and Isaac is about one of the most important discoveries we've ever made about God -- that GOD DOESN'T EAT CHILDREN.  I know that's sort of like "DUH!" for us, but it was a really important step in the right direction.

Sacrifice was such a big part of ancient ideas about God, that I think God decided to move in baby steps with Abraham.  God let him and his family continue doing animal sacrifices, and then only much later had them stop the sacrifices altogether, teaching them that all God really wants is to love us and for us to love God and each other.

It's never too late to learn a new thing about anything -- especially God.

Now... LET'S TALK!  What one thought or idea from today's lesson especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped, or surprised you?

{ Usually, at some point during the conversation, I will read a paragraph from WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING that I thought was particularly interesting }

As the quality of our theories goes up, it raises our ability to make better-informed decisions. Living and thinking in ways that fit the real world, in turn, makes us more able to ask insightful questions, which improves the quality of our theories.  This is a self-reinforcing loop (indicated by the "snowball" icon in the middle). Abraham's theory of a non-child-eating God revolutionized human knowing of God.
MODELS, NOT MORALS:  We use the visual language of Systems Thinking to talk about Bible stories as models of reality (rather than as examples of moral behavior). 
THIS WEEK'S BIG IDEA: You're never done getting to know God.
Play an extremely dark and disturbing videogame based on this week's text!
Join in the collaboration and idea-sharing at our Top-Secret Facebook Group. To request an invitation, just send a Facebook message to John.

EXTRAS: Really interesting (and gory) extras this week, including more on human sacrifice, plus a trailer for the above videogame.

KID READING to be completed before family conversation: Pages 35-41 of Manga Bible, Vol.1: Names, Games, and the Long Road Trip.

SECONDARY TEXTS: This optional playlist includes the secondary texts -- Micah 6.6-8; Acts 17.19-34, plus the Sodom and Gomorrah story (~11 minutes).

COLORING PAGES for younger visual learners.

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