Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - December 13

In the attempt to maintain an authoritative position over others who may not agree, some today try to draw a line between theological doctrine and theological theory. Doctrine, they assume, is fixed and unchangeable, while theory is speculative and open to modification. I’d wager this is a false division, since it requires that what someone believed at a point in time is set in stone, versus something else that wasn’t, and thus we’re obliged to accept it. But, or at least so it seems to me, there is no separation because doctrine was, is, and will continue to be theory all the way down, though it is possible that there are better and worse theories.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - December 12

The bio-cultural neuro “event” of the other prepares the way for encounter. This preliminary experience, recounted prior to an express “act” of contact, opens up a rich, fabulous, and fragile invitation that unveils the suspense of possibilities for trust and suspicion in the recognition of oneself as another.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Reflection for the Week - December 10

Statistics maniacs are attempting to run the world. They’re high on the opium of administrative power and the acid of technocratic rage. Bah! Rebel, whenever and wherever, you can.


Friday, December 7, 2018

A glance out the office window


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - December 6

Many Christians who hold to the interpretation that God created in six literal 24 hour days fret about the strong scientific evidence for human evolution and I’d wager they have good reason to do so. This reading is becoming less plausible all the time and will continue to do so. But the fear for them is that if things didn’t happen exactly as they think, then the biblical text can no longer be trusted – it is not history. Yet, this is a false fear, since the biblical text is comprised of several different directions and genres – sometimes conflicting, sometimes harmonious. Surely, for example, the gospels have a much more historiographical impulse than early Genesis. So, my suggestion is to go ahead and let go of your views of the literal history of the creation accounts, since there are far better alternatives. You have much to gain, and nothing worthwhile to lose.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - December 5

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 a typical ancient Near Eastern procedure for expressing competing interests between nations and how the gods were viewed as attached to them.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Reflection for the Week - December 3

Today, what matters in many a classroom is not a well thought out argument, but how the view affects one’s personal emotional state. If someone says “that hurts my feelings,” even when it may be a valid position, this tends to be a weightier reason for rejecting it than offering a credible riposte on the level of ideas. As such “feelings” increasingly become the criteria for a better or worse view; this will create serious conflict, and even sometimes jeopardize job security for teachers.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Musings - November 30

Interiors & Exteriors – Speaking for myself, I spend more than half the time in my imagination, while somehow managing in the other less than half to find my way around within the empirical world. And, of course, I’m often doing both at the same time. I can easily pass an hour internally, without any deliberate focus on the external, though I don’t usually fall off my bike when riding up the road, or I strenuously focus externally on a narrowly dangerous mountain path that leaves little room for internal processing, yet it is still in play. Remarkable. There is indeed a mysterious and dynamic relation and distinction here between self and self, self and other, self and world, and self and God. On this register, being a human being can be a pretty wild adventure.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - November 29

A traditional account of certainty always promises that there’s one truth, one correct view, one accurate interpretation - and our job is to find ‘it.’ This illusory picture has been unhelpful, even destructive and many have paid a steep price for chasing after the wind. In today’s world, it is far more important to recognize the value of diversity, where embracing multiple perspectives on a given topic is likely to be far closer to ‘what is,’ than any assumption of certainty.  


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - November 28

Mark’s gospel is full of role reversals. Those who think they see and hear are blind and deaf and those who are blind and deaf see and hear. A life of following Jesus is not about possessing people and things but about dispossession; being willing to let go, take risks, be courageous, and not to fear. To be great you have to be least and the first will be last and the last first. Those who want to save their lives will have to lose them for the sake of Jesus and the gospel. And in perhaps one of the most striking reversals of all it is the demons and unclean spirits who know who Jesus is, while the disciples don’t > go figure.