Thursday, October 11, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - October 11


In the search for personal knowledge it is possible 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 increasing in 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 validity of knowledge.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 10

A key part of the drama of the gospel narratives shows  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 into the “real” world, which can only be grasped through imagination. When imagination is engaged and in dialogue with the rest of who we are, the beliefs and actions that pertain to this real world begin to come into focus and in so doing, offer a sign for living a transformed life.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Reflection for the Week - October 8


Imagination expands our lives. It can help us to understand God, the world, and ourselves. No doubt fear of imagining wrong things in the Christian tradition has led to smothering and sedating imagination, as much of what we see and do has a greater connection with the ugliness, than a vision of beauty. So many have been scolded and told – it’s all about following the rules and regulations, get in line, conform to the status quo, as if creativity and imagination are somehow always connected to the unreal. There is nothing less at stake here than humanness – being a creative, imaginative, rational, sense observing, feeling, experiencing, and participating person. Marginalized artists, poets, story tellers, and musicians, who have been forced to the edges of their churches or completely out of them are not required to paint crosses, recount a story with the name Jesus in every other line, or compose a syrupy chorus that has nothing to do with reality. Vive l’imagination!

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - October 4

As I repeatedly underscored in my book on Ricoeur and biblical hermeneutics, reductionism is, and rightly so, faltering. While reductionism has been and still is popular, a transdisciplinary path, though more arduous, is gradually replacing it. Transdisciplinarity (being open to a suite of disciplines that can impact, even transform each other) is indeed becoming recognized as necessary when investigating issues like self, God, other, or more specifically anthropology, genetics, and biology. Being as well informed as possible in several disciplines is a new challenge, though of course one cannot be a specialist to the same degree in each one. Learning from one another’s expertise is also essential. Thus, I’d wager the playing surface is now being enlarged and extensive templates are becoming available for more productive transdisciplinary research in a diversity of fields.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 3

Artist Georges Braque quipped: “Art is meant to disturb; science reassures.” But in today’s world I wonder if it’s fair to say that art can also reassure and science can also disturb, depending on “who” the observer is at any given time. I’d wager art and science “excess” opens mystery, without ever “resolving” it, which is both comforting and unsettling. That is, the art and science bi-directional tension is one that mirrors life itself.

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Reflection for the Week - October 1


Feeling lost. Turning to prolonged periods of doubt, suspicion, and fear, instead of engaging with at least interpersonal checks and balances, the other, the natural world, and the biblical text, will have severe drawbacks for gradually regaining a holistic equilibrium. In our context today there is a tremendous need for a greater degree of objectivity in our subjectivity. There has to be someone or something to pry us away from the force of our self-focused monologue and into the challenging adventure of dialogue. We may find this enterprise painful, since we’re so familiar with monologue, but the radically uncomfortable will lead us in the direction of viable possibilities, as we find our way along one step at a time. 

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