Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - April 1


Seems like much of what has been known as “church” in the West will skip at least a generation. The declining church is in big trouble. Younger people are turning away in droves, while even those with a long history of church involvement are having serious questions about its sustainability. In not being able to realize that the Jesus that it so arrogantly assumes is on its side is actually out to contradict the consumerism, privilege, and nonsense it stands for, the deal is done and it’s unlikely that much will change in the near future. But this may indeed be for the best, as out of the ruins new forms of church will arise that are hopefully more gracious, loving, and open minded, and thus closer to the gospel than what preceded them.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Alpes Suisse





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Monday, March 30, 2020

Reflection for the Week - March 30


I’d wager we often tend to put far too much weight on knowing and being a knower. This over-emphasis is a major plague, and expresses itself in several ways including: reductionism, hiddenness, and falsification. Other perspectives are necessary. My proposal, for one of these, is that to have knowledge is to ‘be known.’ Being known carries significant influence in knowing and therefore without this ‘knowness’ our knowledge will surely be greatly impoverished. The more one attempts to be a single focus knower, the further one is away from the actuality of knowledge.

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Alpes Suisse






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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - March 26

“God sustains everything.” I hear this kind of bold statement often. I suppose those who use it assume that it protects God’s Godness. Yet, I’m uncomfortable with it and doubt if it really accomplishes what some suggest. For one thing, when I consider that the natural world seems to have always been filled with pathogens as part of the complexity of life, I think it rather unlikely that this sustaining everything God actually exists. It seems preferable to view God’s Godness along the lines of giving nature a degree of autonomy to develop as it will, but at the same time to envision that God is not held hostage by natural causality.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - March 25

The Trusting Primate
 
Many people are intoxicated with suspicion. They claim they are suspicious of everything. And why not? What’s worth trusting? After all, heroines and heroes have all but disappeared from the scene these days, except in fantasy stories. As that is the case, this view may have something going for it. But I wonder if such elevated toxicity levels could be a problem, since it seems that no one is entirely suspicious. Here’s why. Trust always precedes suspicion, thus suspicion presupposes trust because we have to trust the accuracy of our suspicions, or we wouldn’t have them. I’d wager humans are first strike trusting primates and can’t help but trust, and this may indeed be a revealing insight concerning an important dimension of who we are.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Alpes Suisse





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Monday, March 23, 2020

Reflection for the Week - March 23


What is narrative? Umberto Eco, of The Name of the Rose fame, suggests that to tell a story or write a narrative you have to construct a world. Yet, Eco’s suggestion, while helpful, needs to be supplemented by another feature of story. Stories connect actions – narrative creates causal relations between one action and another. Think about this. “She sees a cow in the field” is not a narrative – “she sees a cow in the field and milks it” is.


One last feature of narrative, brought to light by Paul Ricoeur, is time. What is recounted in narrative takes place in time and makes time. Stories have a temporal component that is not to be missed or ignored if we are to better understand them. But surely there are at least a few other important elements of narrative: plot, point of view, characters, intrigue, suspense, and drama. I’d wager all these dimensions require due consideration when reading the biblical stories.

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Alpes Suisse




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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - March 19

Total self-independence or total God dependence are not realistic options for life. Totalities are just out of the question. We lack access. Rather, it seems to me that God challenges us to be “dependently independent.” This blended configuration has to be worked out, but it gives us an opportunity to be the “in tension” creatures we’re intended to be, instead of violating ourselves, others, or God through totalizing illusions.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - March 18

I find it hard to believe that some of the ancients mentioned in the biblical story lived to be hundreds of years old. I’d wager that when this scenario presents itself it’s more likely that these legends were probably out to bolster the credibility of Israel’s national founding narrative and to draw attention to its God. Longevity, at one time, had national and theological concerns attached to it. Seems like this type of portrayal would have been typical ancient Near Eastern procedure for expressing competing interests between nations and how the gods were viewed as attached to them. In the biblical story, the nation of Israel is remarkably similar to, yet radically different from all the rest.

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