Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - January 31

Attempts to do theology without science are like trying to fly a kite without wind. As crucial as it is to read the early Genesis stories through ancient eyes, it is all the more essential to consider current scientific informers when it comes to drawing theological conclusions today. If you’re interested in these issues check out our book From Evolution to Eden.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 30

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.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Looked up from my work in the office this AM and noticed these two wandering by. Les cerfs - Alpes Suisse 1000m


Monday, January 28, 2019

Reflection for the Week - January 28

The eschatological plotline of the biblical narrative is deeply connected to our ability to imagine. God’s promised future can only be accessed through our imaginations, but this picture helps us live lives of imaginative faith, love, and hope in the present, where redemption and renewal are real possibilities to be embraced and embodied. Since we are tethered to the already and acquainted with the not yet, this gives us a new perspective for ‘seeing’ reality in a fuller, yet not complete way. While the parts and the whole imaginatively fit together, there is always more to be imagined and lived, as the relation and distinction between them will never entirely disappear.


Friday, January 25, 2019

Ski de fond - Alpes Suisse - climbing higher and higher.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - January 24

Pride is considered by some Christians as the deadliest of sins. While this may be the case, the scenario needs to be nuanced. Perhaps, it would be better to consider inappropriate pride and appropriate pride? Here’s what I mean: appropriate pride might be an expression of one accomplishing something and doing it well, whereas inappropriate pride would be making an idol of oneself and one’s achievements. There is no reason that I can see why God would have a problem with the former, while surely the latter could create difficulties. But that’s just the point. There is a former and a latter and the two can’t be fused into one. Pride, therefore, is not always a negative. I’d wager a sense of appropriate pride, by contrast, has a valuable place in life and Christian spirituality.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 23

While the evolving picture of nature is looking highly likely, it’s also important to recognize that the more the biblical story advances, through surprising encounters, choices, and detours, the clearer it becomes that this too is an evolving narrative. Think of the way, for example, developing Israel emerges into the Messiah, how the Spirit in the gospel of John flourishes in Paul’s letters, and why the golden age in Jerusalem of Acts provokes a mission to the ends of the earth. The natural world and biblical text informers are related and distinct in telling a story – both evolve, yet with quite different characteristics and features.   


Monday, January 21, 2019

Reflection for the Week - January 21

The significance of Picasso attempting to paint a painting without any trace of Picasso in it should give rise to thought. Could he do it? Was it possible for him to be so disengaged from the work that its meaning and interpretation would be entirely up to the viewer? Picasso, intriguingly, may have set out to accomplish this, but I would wager he failed. What he was attempting – a total distinction of the subject from the object – is a deceptive goal. Neutrality is not a plausible option for us, since intentionality is an unrelenting dimension of who we are. After all, being erased, unnoticed, excluded from participation in creativity would not be human. We are present, involved, and continually leaving traces of ourselves in time. This dynamic truth amounts to the gift of a perspective of the world and humanity that shows us the subject and the object are commissioned to interact with each other. Meaning and interpretation, therefore, cannot ever be reduced to the viewer, as the creator - painter always plays a role in what’s created - painted.