Life is lived in the midst of goodness and beauty, while at the same time being threatened by evil and absurdity. This delicate truth ebbs and flows. At some moments it’s calm and peaceful and at others raging out of control. That is, life, as Shakespeare would suggest, is venomous; both a remedy and a poison; and as the biblical text confirms, a joy and a burden.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
I’ve been around this block for a few years now. Generally speaking, the debate over the compatibility of evolution and Christianity, especially among evangelicals, lacks the input of scientists who not only practice their discipline but who have thought deeply and reflectively about the theological…
Monday, July 27, 2015
WELCOME to The Empty Church! C’mon along y’all. We have no challenging teaching that asks you to think about your beliefs or raises serious questions. If you read the biblical text at all, we’d suggest that you read it any way that pleases you. Just skip over any hard parts and focus on what makes you feel good. Devote all your devotion to yourselves. One of our goals is to help you be hyper wealthy and very happy, not like those inferior types y’know. No helping the poor and oppressed around here. In addition, rest assured there’s no concern for pollution or caring for the environment, since it’s all gettin’ burned up anyway. Oh, and yes it’s true, the best part of all this is there’ll be loads of donuts and espressos after our 15 minutes together. A-wo-men
Friday, July 24, 2015
Thanks Joyce for this review. “I recommend this book to every Christian who takes the Bible seriously, particularly those with a conservative bent who feel they must interpret Genesis literally in order to be faithful to Biblical Authority. It would also be of great value to those who are or have been struggling with their Faith believing it is in conflict with recent discoveries in the Sciences. Likewise, it offers a needed challenge to those in the scientific community who have long discounted religion and the Bible as contributing nothing to Truth.
Laughery and Diepstra’s insights and challenge to both the religious and scientific communities for “open dialog” is important and timely to the world today in which we live.”
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Unconscious Christianity. “Oh no, don’t tell me that I have to be concerned about what I believe and how I act. Never crossed my mind. You know, I mean, I just treat others the way I see fit. Furthermore, I pay no attention to how my beliefs are entirely incongruent and don’t really have to make sufficient sense. After all, I’m humble, broken, and sinful. I’m so impoverished that I have no sense of responsibility. God will take care of everything for me. That’s certain. Just read your Bible. I actually have little knowledge, but I can tell you exactly what God is doing in my life and should be doing in yours. Hey, I’m really in this for heaven. Aren’t you?”
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
The age long debates about the Christ have reached a stale and musty status quo. As theologians in general and philosophers in particular went down the false path of trying to sort out the ‘what’ of God as substance – essence, the real question that probably lay on the hearts and minds of early Christians and should resonate with our own, was the mega narrative consideration of ‘who’ God is. This means that the true path of discovery moves in the direction of the ‘identity’ of divinity, rather than its speculative composition. Christ as son of God, for example, is recognized as having the same ‘identity’ as the God of Israel, and then he enacts that ‘identity’ to the awesome degree of a tight compatibility, which didn’t slip out of history, but was noticed and testified to in a plurality of ways. Packed with density, this identification trajectory begins to make good sense as the interlocking sub-plots connect with the plot, and therefore offer a renewed perception of Messiah and all he means for God, humanity, us, and the world.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Receiving the gift of a new self, anchored in a Divine call from beyond and a Christo-redemptive act from within, deconstructs manipulative power and conniving selfishness, setting us on the path to life with all its detours and complexities. The vistas opened up along the journey are breathtaking, as God’s promises for the past, present, and future begin come into focus and to coalesce in our lives. As a result of this re-constructive reality taking place, novel ways of seeing, being, and living sear the landscape of the whole of who we are, encouraging us to begin to let go of self-defeating strategies of control and exploitation, and to embrace God’s project of genuine love that is out to transform us and the world.
Friday, July 17, 2015
We live and die in the midst of brokenness and beauty. They both engage us deeply with an insightful truth: life is like this. Our world and our lives, as it were, are cut in two. This tension permeates creation and us. Looking outside and then inside reminds us that this is the way it is. Sometimes there’s lament and sometimes there’s praise, yet both are woven together. One never effaces the other. Faced with this reality, we long for redemption and the gift of resolution, where brokenness is absolved and beauty alone remains.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Holding to metaphysics with no grounding in science is like running a 100 meters race with a 99.5 meters head start – you’ll never lose. There’s a real credibility issue here that is now more than ever staring Christians in the face. Metaphysics, if it’s going to have traction, has to have a viable scientific connection to the physical world. As we point out in our new book From Evolution to Eden, it is crucial that there’s some symmetry here, but also essential to accept and underline a place for dissymmetry. We’re not in the business of ‘proof,’ however a tighter more responsible liaison between these two is highly welcome. Let’s allow them to constrain and complement each other, recognizing that sometimes there’ll be greater harmony, while at other times a loaded tension. In short, relation and distinction has to be in play or in the race from the outset. Collapse them or keep them entirely separate and the wager is; we tend to slip away from reality.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Being, knowledge, nature, interpretation, ethics, and the biblical text have a tendency to operate as monologues closed into separate compartments, but none of them can go it alone. A dialogue between each informer is necessary in order to lead us in a better direction and in so doing, to give us enriched, even sumptuous innovative and truth oriented perspectives and possibilities.
Monday, July 13, 2015
Being captive to the ideologies of certainty or uncertainty is like being pulled into a vortex that leads nowhere. Certainty aims to insure us that we have it all together and that everything is straight forward, while uncertainty attempts to illustrate that we don’t have anything together and that nothing is clear. We can become so addicted to polarizations, that moving into the middle seems highly unsatisfactory. Yet, withdrawal symptoms are required and sometimes painful, as uncovering that which binds us and leads us astray is so deeply entrenched in every perspective and dimension of our identities. Letting go of poles will be extremely difficult. Release, however, comes from learning to follow in the footsteps of the Crucified and Risen One, which is not least to discover the hidden ideological trends and currents in our lives, and in so doing, to open us up to the possibility of a refigured destiny, culminating in transformation.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Today, scientific data from anthropology, paleontology, and genetics are coalescing to challenge more traditional interpretations of human origins that are based, for example, on exclusive and literalistic readings of the biblical story. Such readings will have to be modified or replaced in light of the natural world informer. For more, check out our new book From Evolution to Eden.
Posted by Greg at 1:01 PM
Friday, July 10, 2015
Someone may claim that the interpretation of the biblical text cannot be limited to interpreting what the human authors wrote. Ok, that’s a possibility. But even if a case can be made that a particular part of the text is God’s word in this distinct manner, it seems that it still has to be interpreted. Thus, to make this type of appeal in order to defend a view that the human authors don’t say that, but God does, is a distinction that might be difficult to support or to actually get us very far.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
In Science & Theology discussions, especially amongst theists and Christians, the question is often posed: Was Paul right or wrong about his views of an historical Adam & Eve? Perhaps, to frame the question this way is not the best way of approaching it. It looks to me like Paul appeals to the OT and tradition out of his Jewish/Greco-Roman perspective. There seems little doubt he would have believed in a historical Adam & Eve, but since he would have had no other option, he therefore can’t be right or wrong. He worked with what he had and with what was being revealed. When it comes to human origins, cosmology, and the theology connected to them, Paul writes as an authoritative apostle and communicates what he could about these matters. Yet, because of a lack of information (not the case for his encounter with the Risen One, though this was still somewhat opaque according to one narrator; three conversion stories in Acts) on any alternative for origins or cosmology and their theological implications, Paul has to be understood within the limits of his historical and cultural context on such issues. I’d wager he can be more and less influenced by this context, depending on the matter at hand. Paul is therefore not right or wrong regarding his views of Adam & Eve. He is the more contextually influenced Paul on these matters and as such, right and wrong are a category mistake. Thus, it is no longer an option, but now an obligation to try to sort out the varying degrees of context and the role they played in Paul’s writings, and then to try to work other things out from there.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Cherishing a moment in a light mist filled breeze refreshes and awakens the spirit to wisdom. Take the time to be swept away with the clouds, to ride on the stars, and to rise and set with the sun. The striking power and order of creation is so often missed today, as we distract ourselves to death with gadgets and gimmicks. Losing touch with the natural reality that surrounds us, intimidates us, and motivates us is sheer folly. The heart of wisdom beats in the Infinite One, who calls out: follow the path that leads to the tree of life and embrace it.