1CB.2 background

               “First Church of Basketball”

When the nomadic Hebrews wandered the desert, their religious leaders forbade the use of the name of God. If God’s name was used by one group, another group with a little different dialect would pronounce it differently. If there is only one God, this would lead to serious misunderstanding. So, not willing to take any chances, the leaders determined not to use the name at all.

 Bla bla bla {editor note xxx} (long story here about the YHWH tetragrammatron, with references).

In the spirit of the Old Testament, if labeling God in any specific manner causes anyone a problem, we will defer to basketball as an object of mutual admiration. There is a recurring theme expressed in this church; the underlying metaphor of the team effort that a good game of basketball requires.

This concept might seem trivial to some, humorous to others. Instead of arguing, let’s go play horse or shoot some free throws.

Let me assure skeptics that sincerity and seriousness drive this effort. Jesus recommended suicide capital punishment for certain individuals. Quoting from the King James Version of the Bible:

“But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a mill stone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

offend: (The original Greek is) “skandalizo” which means entrap, cause to stumble, snare, trip up, scandalize which believe. “Pisteuo” means to have faith, to entrust (your spiritual well being ) to, commit to.

Epistle means “out of the (trusted) faith, out of the (sought after) salvation.”

This serious line from scripture has always impressed me and has stayed with me all my life. I include it here as an affidavit of my understanding of the serious nature of solicitation of attentions of the efforts of a current believer.

Special secular attention is paid to Deming.[1]

Another standard of idea-formation that this book acknowledges is the Scientific Method.[2]

As the organization matures, there may be adjustments made to its structure. As of this writing there is a small membership. As other talent is gathered, energy and new ideas will change the overall look and feel of a church.

Eventually we will become a more complex level of organization that will require details of responsibilities for many different persons who will be doing many different jobs. (When we are large enough to need a janitor, that’s what I want to be.) Presently we don’t even have a minister, but negotiations are slowly taking place between here and New Mexico to hire one.

Religion is an attempt to package a faith. Potential problem: Faith is such an individual act that as soon as the package is sealed, individuals adhere to the religion in different ways. The development of faith may or may not suit the developmental persona of each unique person.

Jesus had the greatest teaching of all time. His life was packaged by the early church Fathers with all good intentions. But as men do, language, custom, geographic, bla bla bla {editor note xxx} have caused flavors of the original message to appeal to sub sets within the whole population. What started out as a universal truth, evolved, over time, into many dogmatic rulebooks. Even the First Church of Basketball has this catechism to contend with.

In Christian scripture, the first Commandment background:

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:28-31)

In order to put all our heart toward God, we need to get control of our self. This is no easy task in a culture that has raised us with an expectation to “have a lot of stuff”. The stuff that we have has an important place in our heart and therefore we are not always “loving the Lord thy God with all [our] heart, and with all [our] soul, and with all [our] strength, and with all [our] mind.” Some of the stuff we have is material possession, some is behavioral possession. Step one on the path to union with God is take make certain that the stuff we have is in third place, after the neighbor (who is in second place with our self), and after God, who is in first place.xxx

There is a purposeful, obvious and recurring theme expressed throughout this new church; the underlying metaphor of the team effort that a good game of basketball requires. Let me warn/assure any skeptics that sincerity and seriousness abound in this effort.

This book is about teaching children how to play basketball.

The concepts contained in this teaching have been “taken” from the great coaches of the game. The basketball concepts that follow have been passed down from great coaches to less great coaches, and then passed on to me. It is to those less great coaches that this book is dedicated.

[1] W.Edwards Deming:A Missionary for Quality, Managing Automation, February 1994

[2] General Pattern of the Scientific Method (SM-14), Edmond,Norman W.,

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