Monday, February 19, 2018

Reflection for the Week - February 19

Rethinking how little we really know should bring us to the recognition that we ought to be cautious about what we defend, and open about what we still need to explore.


Adam & Eve? Talking Serpents & Magic Trees?

Many argue that there is either contradiction or complementarity in Genesis 1-2:3 and 2:4&3. Our take in From Evolution to Eden.Making Sense of Early Genesis
is that neither of these arguments applies. In our view, it’s likely that these are separate founding stories of beginnings that point to God and give a raison d’être for national Israel. The editor, who at some point put them together, didn’t see fit to rearrange or smooth out the “narratives.” We suggest that the two very different stories are purposefully left in tension and both remain avant-garde in their own ways right up to today. 


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - February 15

Misrecognizing that there will always be a relation and distinction between self and other leads to inappropriate ways of connecting that both demand too much, and expect too little. Self and other deserve to be ‘mutually recognized’ as having worth and value, which is to result in developing a finely tuned dialogical interaction between them. But when self or other is the sole referent for life or no referent at all – each becomes artificially constituted in a double misrecognition – neither should be perceived in such roles. Since it is always tempting to ignore the complex tension of relation and distinction it will be ‘hard work’ to avoid false characterizations of who we are and thus to reject the liabilities of forcing self to be other or other to be self.  Yet, work it out we must, though as we do so let it be in a careful and compassionate manner, delicately balanced on the tight rope of trust and suspicion.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - February 14

To not have faith in God is to have faith in someone or something else. There is no neutral place available for us to be without faith. If this is the case, which appears likely, then if we don’t have faith in God, the question becomes who or what we do have faith in, and does this who or what merit our trust. It is essential not to stack the deck in favor of one world view or the other and to be willing to entertain the same kinds of questions and implications for whatever our faith position may be. Faith, it appears to me, is a feature of being human and a choice - something like a relational justified true belief. Whatever and whoever this belief is in would require a holistic (not reductionist or compartmentalized) interactive connectivity, which is capable of coherently flowing through and making sufficient sense of a web of important matters, including self, other, and world.


Important New Book! - February 14

This is a fascinating book dealing with the Apostle Paul’s anthropology, a topic that deserves much more attention than it has been given recently. Eastman’s work, at least partially, makes up for that lacuna. In light of ancient philosophy and advances in evolution and neuroscience today, Eastman explores one of the key issues of our times: Paul’s view of personhood. I’d wager that for reframing Paul’s anthropology Eastman could have benefited from interacting with the works of Paul Ricoeur, notably Oneself as Another, Kevin Vanhoozer, especially Remythologizing Theology, Darrel Falk, specifically Coming to Peace with Science, and particularly The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns. Nonetheless, her book opens up interesting possibilities. 


Monday, February 12, 2018

Reflection for the Week - February 12

Desire seems like a pre-given part of who I am. Its expression can be constructive or destructive, but this does not explain its existence. I am not in control of desire, but merely its outcome, as it’s already there before I am conscious of it. If this is the case, it’s one more nail in the coffin of the prominent, but wayward proposal of a self-authenticating self, which attempts to be the founder of itself and the final foundation of meaning and knowledge. A more accurate hermeneutics of self is one that takes into account the truth that I am a mediator of that which precedes me; that which is given, and that my accountability is connected to what I do with this, not that I make it be in the first place. This portrayal of selfhood should make room for the transcendent and in doing so therefore, ultimately open up a very real signpost to the Infinite One.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Klee was in Bâle. Sumptuous!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - February 8

If we try to do love without knowledge and ethics, we will undoubtedly end up further away from love.


New Book Announcement !

Reading the Gospel of Mark is a fascinating adventure, with the destiny of humanity hanging in the balance. Where’s it all going? In this narrative commentary, Gregory J. Laughery wagers that to read and hear this story is to enter a possible world; a world of subversive reversals of perspective, intrigue, mystery, and strange riddles, with Jesus as its central protagonist. Far from a simple tale, filled with easy answers or a basic list of rules to follow, Mark’s story is explosive; combining exquisite literary creativity and formidable theological force. Readers are challenged to participate in the recounting and to lose their lives so that they, in turn, may find them. Thus, this compelling story is a drama to be performed―lived—acted out. Since the world of self-serving power, fame, and control is decaying, only the embrace of a possible world and all it offers, according to Mark, will lead to life after death.