Saturday, November 29, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Imagination and perception are two powerful dimensions of selfhood that can attempt to go it on their own – to go unchecked. When this happens, we’re likely to be on the path to fabrication, rather than moving forward on the journey to the authentic.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Dialogue animates and breathes life into ideas, which tend to stagnate into oblivion when reduced to monologue. If we take a dialogical trajectory in our thinking, we will begin to develop formulations that yield a greater credibility. This is so because we are working with a broader sphere of possibilities that combine to offer a surplus of meaning. And reality is like that – breathtaking and overflowing with meaning – which is not entirely captureable, nor however, is it anything we make it out to be.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Living measuredly “out of control” lives in regards to our own standards, exposes us to grace – too much control – too little grace.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
The blows of counter theism expressed by the likes of Dawkins, Dennett, and others, while prolific and challenging, have not extinguished the light. And this is but one “sign of force” that continues to affirm the elasticity and resilience of the faith, which is able to absorb “counters” and to carry illumination to new levels.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
When we’re desperately longing for a sense of worth, dignity, and value, we can easily fall into idolatry. One of the ways this happens is when “standards” play the primary role in our lives. We either applaud ourselves if we meet the standards we set, or disregard ourselves when we fail to measure up. Keeping to standards of rationality, being understood, looking a certain way, exercise, or diet; become the center of our lives. Yet, such primacy demands far too much space within us and in turn results in our being inhospitable to ourselves. If nothing else can get in or through that is more essential, then our standards become idols. But when it comes to worth, value, and dignity, these find their ground in God and being, and thus are realities that are already there, which can’t be earned by doing. Standards we set belong to another category, and cannot give us what we already have. On this basis, recognizing the “isness” of our worth, value, and dignity, we should “make room” for and show ourselves hospitality, so that a real and appropriate love of self can be an actuality.
Monday, November 17, 2014
The issues of science and theology, trust and suspicion, interpretation, art, objectivity and subjectivity, along with others, merit hard and careful thought. If Christians are to continue on the road towards credibility, there is a vital need to face the many challenges ahead. In order to participate in the hope of renewing a thirst for the living God and a living spirituality that touches the whole of life, Christians must not only track their culture, but also trace it. This means it is essential to be aware of the personal and cultural impact of ideas, and to leave, through an involvement with people, a Christian imprint. My hope is that such efforts, dedicated to God and the Christian community, will inspire others to take notice that the God of the biblical text is there and that Christianity is true.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Posted by Greg at 5:02 PM
Keeping standards does not give us value, worth, and dignity, but it may be an expression of them.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Wittgenstein and other pragmatists suggest that when it comes to language - “meaning is use.” But it seems to me that while there’s some truth to this, it is still too reductionistic. That is, it’s not sufficient or holistic enough, even in its attempt to endorse that meaning is not tied to individual words, but goes beyond these to sentences. This view of meaning remains far too small. Of course, meaning can never be total either. Language meaning, as I would want to say, is “more” in that it is connected to persons who are indeed referents related to, but distinct from my “language game.” We need, therefore, a notion of language and meaning that embraces a fuller depiction of self, other, and reality, which then can become explosively and relationally as full as it gets.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Learning to imagine redemptively is one of several key features that pertain to following Christ. As important as it is to realize that imagination is a crucial dimension of being human, it is all the more essential to begin to understand how necessary it is for belief in God and for living the Christian life. To imagine as a believer, is not to make it up as we go along, but to be able to access God in a fuller and richer ways that can be formulated into pictures, scenarios, and stories, which reflect this reality out into the world.
Monday, November 10, 2014
How rationality can be limited to p is not non p escapes me. I must be missing something. These types of proposals cannot really be serious. What’s rational, it seems to me, appears to deal with a larger surface than the mind or principles of logic. After all positivism and rationalism are like; ‘dead in the water.’ But no doubt, I could be mistaken on this. Yet, I can’t help offering a small wager. That is, rationality has to deal with the laboratory of relationality, or even more challengingly, the laboratory of life (see Thursday Thoughts - October 16 and Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 22) if it is to be considered rational. Thus, the notion of rational should be as mega (Big) as it can get, without supposing that it will ever be meta (Total).
Friday, November 7, 2014
Metaphor, symbol, and story may be first order forms of discourse that need to be taken seriously when we seek to understand God, ourselves, and the world. Poetry, for example, may be a fuller expression of truth than mathematical formulations and imagination may prove a reliable guide to the real over the unreal.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Instead of subverting, challenging, and rebelling; leading our culture into redemptive ways – into a release from captivity, Christians tamely and politely do what everyone else is doing: participate in the emptiness. They, far too often, hail sound bites, venerate relativism, and worship the idol of consumerism, all in the name of spirituality. What a joke. Following in the footsteps of the Crucified and Risen One and not thoughtless, empty, and frivolous Western culture, is our Exodus into the land of the living and a fullness that knows no end.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
I hear words like this frequently. “Well, my expectation is that God will do this for me. You know He just has to.” Perhaps, the stark, yet exquisite words penned by the famous author of Ecclesiastes, “Vanity, vanity, vanities of vanities, all is vanity” could, in our own day, be translated into, “Expectations, expectations of expectations, all is expectation.” And God better meet them or else. God expectations are running wild, and the way they’re prioritized is a serious problem. Okay, there’s nothing wrong with expectations, unless they’re playing a role they don’t deserve to be. And unfortunately this is all too often the case. The Christian life is supposedly all about ME and MY expectations being addressed and realized. Some think that being a Christian centers on what’s in it for me, not on whether or not it’s true. People are getting burned by this and the Christian bubble they’re attempting to live in is exploding. Good! The time for a credible faith anchored in whom and what is real couldn’t be more pressing than it is today.
Monday, November 3, 2014
When her/his default mode is undermining belief in her/him self, her/his line of appeal for this is her/him self. Such an orientation creates difficulties, and attempting to be a self-authoritative self in this particular area of life is one of them, as he/she knows very well it will not hold up elsewhere. Isolating modes of being creates monologue, which in contrast to dialogue, leaves much more room for lying to oneself. Another problem is that the scale of trust and suspicion is strongly tipped towards trusting him/her self in unbelief, when suspicion should be tilting the scale in its direction. Clinging to her/his unbelief in him/her self, therefore, is a devastating contradiction, since she/he is supposed to be negating belief in her/him self, but in actuality is really affirming it.