Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday Musings - September 8

A key part of the drama of the gospel narratives is that Jesus manifests himself as the sent One in the midst of the “actual” world in order to point people in the direction of a “possible” world that is so much more than the actual one. The actual and possible world connection and trajectory he provides leads us into the “real” world, which can only be grasped through imagination. Thus, when our imaginations are engaged by these stories and in dialogue with the rest of who we are, the beliefs and actions that pertain to this real world gradually come into focus and in so doing offer us an illuminating vision for beginning to live a transformed life.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - September 7

The notion of the supposed loss or partial loss of humans being “images of God” has had disastrous results for humanity, but especially for the weak, disabled, and impoverished, as well as for those with a skin color other than white, or for women. Approaches to God’s image have all too frequently been more connected to early church, Medieval, or Reformation ideas (of course the case for God too), than the biblical narrative. As far as I can tell from my contemporary standpoint, in that mega story, all humans were, are, and will continue to be “images of God,” and thus should be treated as such.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Living Spiritual Rhythms - September 6

Fallen leaves, so fragile, flutter in the breeze.
Their dance illuminates, amidst the torrent of death, as beauty fades away. Yet, caught in the throes of decay and winter light opens the possibility of an astonishing renewal, not beyond recognition, yet vague and visceral.
To await its coming requires patience; looking for change in the seemingly unchanging, and the disclosure of transforming being in speech and act.    


Monday, September 4, 2017

Reflection for the Week - September 4

We can often tend to put far too much weight on knowing and being a knower. While this is fitting to some degree, the 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 power for knowing and therefore without this ‘knowness’ our knowledge will surely be greatly impoverished. The more one attempts to be a knower with a single focus trajectory of knowing, the further one is away from the actuality of knowledge.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Vive l'imagination

What’s your take on imagination? Do you see it as opening up creative possibilities or fraught with dangerous fantasies?

If you’re interested in how various poets, philosophers, and theologians over many centuries have pictured this mysterious, yet essential part of being human and what my assessment is, check out this new book, Living Imagination. Who am I and What is Real?


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - August 31

It is monumentally important to realize that there is no absolute certainty concerning God, the biblical text, the self, or the world, but degrees of knowing – more about this or that – less about that or this. When such a discovery takes place, shock therapy can set in. What to do and who to be might leave one in a quandary. No more hyper conservative on one side – hyper liberal on the other, since both fail. Then what? Weighing up options and possibilities comes to the fore. Finding the viable middle somewhere is less stifling than embracing polarization, though it often appears to leave one without a voice. Yet a veracity tension in the middle “says more” and is far preferable to the alternatives.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Living Spiritual Rhythms - August 30

A realistic faith is a constant dialogue between the because of and the in spite of. In living a spiritual life, we traverse periods of belief in God that are like the vistas of a changing landscape. Sometimes the viability of the reasons for faith are convincing and firm, while at other times we are clinging to faith with little conviction or strength. We can experience the joy of sufficient answers or the dread of the awareness that many questions are left unresolved. Passing through, as we are, invites us into this tension, which is inescapably connected to life in this world.   


Monday, August 28, 2017

Reflection for the Week - August 28

In addition to Freud’s atheism, there are many others, including Nietzsche, Barthes, and Foucault, who argue that God is a contradiction to life, for the death of the Author, and that the strategic alignments of power interests are out to control knowledge, relationships, and truth. While these thinkers have some salient insights, their wayward conclusions have contributed to the cultural construction and propagation of a cynical, pessimistic, and decentered self. Yet, in the face of such views, the counter-cultural and always avant-garde perspective of Christian promise and hope defies this manufactured status quo. Destroying idols and listening to symbols is one of the keys that unlock living spirituality and possibilities for engaging God. When this takes place we are no longer trapped within a network of self – other power plays that exploit us, but we are embraced by a Divine love without measure, where freedom leads to redemption and transformation. Being loved in this manner supplies us with a re-centered self and an identity that goes far beyond any of our own making.