Thursday, October 31, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - October 31

Dismantling naïveté can be a painful, yet rewarding process if it results in a more careful and critical formulation of beliefs. But this process is often short circuited. A shattered naïveté usually results in recognizing that one’s beliefs did not merit the trust that one invested in them. We can call this a growing awareness of the need to be critical of our beliefs, let’s say, a move into the mode of criticism. This is a necessary and good thing. The problem is that there is a tendency to stop here, since suspicion now seems so much more reliable than trust (though in reality, it really isn’t because trust is a center of gravity at the core of being human and thus we are obliged to trust our suspicions). When the critical mode, valid as it is, persists as a monologue, the end of the story can tend to become criticism itself, and this in turn can emerge into skepticism or relativism. It is imperative, therefore, that we find ways to credibly move through the critical mode, not back to a rightly left behind naïveté, but towards a critical trust and sustainable beliefs. When this takes place, we can be re-engaged in a life setting dialogue that calls us to explore fresh options that transcend the toxicity of false endings and their emergent illusions.    


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 30

Rocked by debt and greed, the Western world as we know it is slowly but surely disintegrating. There is a rising sense, a vibrant pulse if you will that fraud and betrayal are leaving us without direction and hope. Austerity plans are put in place, interest rates are cut, and more money is printed, though little really changes. But where to turn in the midst of the tailspin remains a significant question. Facing large scale and personal, moral, and economic meltdowns, the viable options seem slim, yet we try this and do a bit of that to no avail, or embrace various forms of fundamentalism, which collapse under the weight of fanaticism. Both relativism and absolutism, for example, strip us of reality. To be real-ly hopeful, I’d wager, is at least to move away from self-centeredness and to admit of having a need for a credible other worldly perspective that can be integrated with our own, yet not consumed by it.


Monday, October 28, 2019

Reflection for the Week - October 28

Fundamentalist evangelicalism in its refusal to rethink theology in light of evolution, especially when it comes to Genesis 1-3, reminds me of La peste by Camus. In this book, Dr Rieux, struggling to find out why so many are dying, finally receives the grim confirmation that a plague should be acknowledged and the city closed down. Intriguingly, this type of proclamation and act of closure, though often unconfessed, is happening in a myriad of conservative church contexts that simply refuse to look carefully at the issues, which in turn perpetuates the spread of plague. Pretending evolution doesn’t exist and hiding its effects is having devastating results. At the moment, a sensitive fundamentalist might admit, the prognosis is not good. Hope for the future, in this context, is connected to being willing to explore new options that carry with them the vaccine of credibility, but sadly this is not likely to happen soon.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Friday Musings - October 25

Interpreting something does not make it what it is. The interpreter is always related to, but distinct from, the interpreted. This may seem mundane, but it’s explosive because it informs us about a crucial aspect of what humans and the world are like.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 23

Since absolute knowledge is unattainable, a conflict of interpretations is inevitable and I’d wager, beneficial.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Reflection for the Week - October 21

Evangelical Christianity is gradually dying the death it so richly deserves. Will it be resurrected? I’d wager, not in the near future. When you ignore science and demean other religious perspectives, this is not only dismissive of potential possibilities, but arrogant and selfish. In addition, an evangelical claim to have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth turns out to victimize its adherents by proposing such folly. Surely, as the blindness, bigotry, and truth hoax are more and more exposed, this form of Christianity will disappear and become a historical blip on the screen of time.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 9

What we’re starting to find out about the gigantic and minuscule character of our galaxy and the universe makes belief in God for me both harder and easier. Harder because of the overwhelmingly momentous size of it all and the seemingly endless frontiers yet to be discovered and explored. It appears to go on and on and on. Easier because the detail is so exquisitely striking and looks like an adequate, viable, and richly textured development of life from a prior personal source who has a creative loving impulse. It seems loaded with meaning and significance.