Monday, July 30, 2018

Reflection for the Week - July 30

We can always affirm or deny a belief in God’s present action in the world. If this is the case, the extent to which either of these directions is legitimate will depend on how we evaluate varying degrees of subjectivity and objectivity, since such a process will enable us to have some measure of credibility for claims about the probable or doubtful dimension of God’s involvement. Reliable trust and suspicion in these matters would seem to be a valid goal for us all. In order to start to move towards reliability, one prominent feature of this type of exploration will be to observe and assess the character, spirituality, and wisdom of the claimer, and to connect that to God, the biblical text, self, other, and world. It’s not a good idea, nor is it an act of love to let someone make it up as they go along (I would wager there can be valid criteria for such a challenge), but neither is it gracious to not consider a claim about what God might be doing. There’s no easy way out of this tension. We’ll have to aim to be responsible as we interact with each other’s stories and attempt to come to better interpretations of God. 


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - July 26

Searching for better interpretations of God, the biblical text, the world, and ourselves is a life-long task and joy. The freedom to explore is not a drawback, but a marvel. This doesn’t mean that in and through our probing investigations, we stand or kneel nowhere. That is simply not a credible possibility. Taking a point of view as a conscious choice is both valid and instructive when based on interpretative sufficiency, though this is to be done within the ongoing tensional configuration of confidence and humility in dialogue.  


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - July 25

Theology is facing serious challenges today. Some are becoming aware of this, while others remain unaware. As the scientific informer has gained in stature, in particular as far as evolution is concerned, questions concerning God, the fall, sin, and Divine action, are pounding at the door and asking for a response. Let’s further investigate these issues as we are able. Where such explorations will eventually take us, I’m not sure, but they must be undertaken if theists and Christians want to have credibility and be in dialogue with a fast paced and changing world.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Reflection for the Week - July 23

I find several things about the Flood story (Genesis 6-9), leaving aside the ‘sons of God’ taking wives and the Nephilim, rather amusing: trying to get all those animals, birds, and insects into the ark; only Noah and his clan are left; trying to get all those animals, birds, and insects out of the ark; from the three sons of Noah come all earth people; Noah gets drunk; Noah was naked; Noah is upset that he is ‘seen’ naked and this results in a cursing (slavery) for ‘seeing’ and a blessing (master) for ‘not seeing.’Surely, in the midst of all this the tale has theological and political points of view that rescue it from historical irrelevance, though these are definitely influenced by the story’s cultural context and the attempt to construct a ‘founding narrative’ for the nation of Israel and its God.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - July 19

Ironically, many biblical literalists and evolutionary materialists share the view that there’s a lot wrong with the world, including defects of function and purpose. As horrible as these instances may sometimes be, this position often mistakenly assumes a perfect standard by which to evaluate creational or evolutionary history. It appears, at least presently, that there is no such norm and that the natural world has been like this for an awfully long time. Why precisely that’s the case, even though the human mind desperately wants to ‘construct’ an answer, escapes us.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Living Spiritual Rhythms - July 18

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.