Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - May 24

It seems to me Western culture is increasingly one of dislocation and fragmentation. Modernist notions of stability and permanence are rightly being shattered, as they were rooted in deception. In its place, however, postmodern nomads now wander from here to there - to nowhere, and this is not primarily a physical or geographical phenomenon, it pertains to the way some folks view life. False certainty has been replaced by false uncertainty. Flitting from this to that and back again is so common today. Many attempt to re-invent themselves by the hour. No home, no boundaries, no commitments – drifting. Yet, these powerful, persuasive, and misleading images often peddled by our culture and embraced by the crowd, leave us destitute and floundering. In light of the waning credibility of modernism, nomadic postmodernism is not a viable option. We’re worth more than that and thus have to explore other possibilities that take this key factor seriously and then go from there.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - May 23

Faithful biblical interpretation does not stop when the reader better understands the meaning of the text, but only when the reader lives that meaning out towards the other and into the world. Once this action takes place there is then a retro movement back from other and world to the reader, who then re-engages and is re-engaged by the text, in order to prepare for possible modifications and a new encounter. Responsible interpretation means that readers must know what to do with meaning, as this is not information to be stored or defended as ideology or utopia, but it is to be lived in a loving and gracious manner that gives testimony to the Crucified and Risen One.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Reflection for the Week - May 21

Humans have the outstanding capacity to navigate through various physical states and material obstacles in life, while at the same moment being immersed into imagination, which takes us into another space, tethered to what’s in front of and around us, but also allowing a ‘being’ beyond it. Fantastic ! 


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - May 16

Tenacious obscurity sometimes plagues us and we’re unable to see as clearly as we would like. Groping around for illumination saturates our thoughts and feelings, and there are no easy answers to be found. We fear being excluded, alienated, and lost. Yet, living and working through the shadow of time is a continual and viable challenge, as we search for renewed light and embrace it as we are able.


Living Spiritual Rhythms - May 15

Finding our way through the thicket of problems that perpetuate unbelief in God and the redeeming work of Christ is no easy task. And so often many churches are unhelpful in that they contribute to the production of unfaith by setting out isolationist views that have so little to do with living in the world. To participate in the reversal of unfaith our theology needs to be connected to, yet not dominated by the natural world, as we seek to be real and to live lives that have integrity and honesty, combined with a legitimate faith that is open to addressing problems and that can be shown to make viable sense.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Reflection for the Week - May 14

Theology is facing serious challenges today. Some are becoming aware of this, while others remain unaware. As the natural world informer has gained credibility, in particular as far as evolution is concerned, questions concerning God, the fall, sin, and Divine action, are pounding at the door and asking for a response.

Let’s further investigate these issues as we are able. Where such explorations will eventually take us, I’m not sure, but they must be undertaken if theists and Christians want to engage with the information and be in dialogue with a fast paced and changing world.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - May 10

Many Christians unthinkingly assume that the biblical text is all they need for their point of view. But theology, like philosophy, science or art can’t go it alone. There is an obligation nowadays, for the sake of integrity, to consider a dialogue between a multiplicity of informers before drawing conclusions.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - May 9

Many people today are caught in a commitment phobia syndrome. They have a difficult time knowing who and what to trust or be suspicious of. Because of human limitations, it is true that there will be appropriate places where it is almost impossible to decide which is which. This is a complicated scenario and frequently produces a stalemate. But, when it comes to God, self, other, and world there will also be perspectives that are more or less trustworthy. In some contexts, suspicion will carry greater weight and trust less, yet in others trust will be stronger and suspicion weaker. If this is the case, which seems likely, it means two things are true at the same time. Even though trust and suspicion may sometimes cancel each other out, they do not always do so. If they did, all interpretations would be equal and we would be perpetually stuck; unable of building on anything, have convictions about, or confidence in what we know and believe. In fact, so often today, ironically, a trust and suspicion stand-off functions as a metanarrative – a totalizing point of view. But this is absurd, since there are no complete or comprehensive stories. Furthermore, no one really lives as if there is. Metanarrative is an illusion. Sliding scales of trust and suspicion therefore are unavoidable and thus make some commitments a viable enterprise. We’re just those kinds of selves, who live in that kind of world.         


Monday, May 7, 2018

Reflections for the Week - May 7

When it comes to reflecting on reality, having to choose between solely my perception of it or reality as it is on its own, are both problematic. The former is insufficient, while the latter is inaccessible. My perception is related to reality, but also distinct from it. One of the ways that I know this is because sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it wrong. I either correctly or erroneously interpret reality and each can have consequences. Surely, reality is more than merely an awareness of my valid or inaccurate interpretations, but it is not less.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Friday Musings - May 4

Faith seeking understanding is often assumed by evangelicals to be “spiritual,” but I’d wager that unless it’s complemented by understanding seeking faith, it’s nothing of the sort. There are no simple templates for spirituality. Everything is complex, which means tension. And in light of a relentless complexity in the world, we’d better get used to it. 


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - May 3

A recent discussion reminded me again of the crucial issue of “starting points’ for doing theology. Fundamentalists, but others too, claim to ‘start’ with God and the biblical text, and if you don’t, you’re not quite measuring up to them. So, it goes. “Since we start with God and the Bible, let us tell you all about who God is, exactly what God is doing, and precisely what the Bible says.” Such blustering, I’d wager, amounts to an illusion on several levels, but it’s primarily false because humans start with and from themselves in the world before ever getting to God and the biblical text. Beginning with interpreting ourselves, we then move to interpreting God and text, and then back to ourselves. No one here has ‘leverage’ or a ‘moral high ground’ start point. This means, as interpreters, it’s impossible to actually ignore or bracket out ourselves and the world, which are both significant features of any ‘hermeneutically realistic’ trajectory for better interpretations of God, self, other, and text.