Thursday, October 15, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - October 15

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.

 

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 14

When Christian caring for others becomes ultimately about self-preservation, either privately or institutionally, something has gone terribly wrong. The other, as a Christ follower should well know, is not an object for selfish use or a commercial enterprise for profit, although there is plenty of hidden or sometimes even blatant rhetoric that attempts to endorse these views under the subterfuge of care. Such a distortion of caring will eventually be shown up for what it is: hypocrisy. Fresh directions are available. Starting with a hermeneutics of charity will go a long ways towards developing a fruitful dialogue with oneself as another, where mutuality becomes one of the keys that unlocks real care.

 

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Reflection for the Week - October 13

Unless the church confronts the greed of the world, instead of participating in it, a Christ centered concern for the voice of the poor and oppressed will be gagged and the exploitation of the weak and disenfranchised will continue unabated. If ever there was a time for the Western church to be reading the biblical text not merely for itself, but against itself, it is now.

 

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Friday, October 9, 2020

Here's the new ebook. If you're interested in this topic, check it out.

Living 1 Corinthians 7 with Saint Paul: Sex, Marriage, a Feminist Option and the Rhetoric of Equality. Is Celibacy more Spiritual than Marriage? Kindle Edition

by Gregory Laughery (Author) Format: Kindle Edition
#1 New Release in Paul's Letters on Amazon

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New Book!

Living 1 Corinthians 7 with Saint Paul: Sex, Marriage, a Feminist Option and the Rhetoric of Equality. Is Celibacy more Spiritual than Marriage? Kindle Edition

by Gregory Laughery (Author) Format: Kindle Edition


https://www.amazon.com/Living-Corinthians-Saint-Paul-Equality-ebook/dp/B08JV6KD9X/

#1 New Release in Paul's Letters


 

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - October 8

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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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 7

A supposedly insurmountable antagonism towards self – self-hate – read as a continual experience of fault and denial, undoes dialogue and strikes at the heart of selfhood. When trust and suspicion cancel each other out, there will be little or no capacity to change self-hate. What and who to trust and what and who to be suspicious of, if suspended in this manner, result in a default adherence to the status quo. To break the cycle of the same, it must be realized that trust and suspicion orientations cannot rest solely on the self, and other informers have to be taken into consideration. An embrace of a dialogue with these reliable informers can help to validate appropriate trust and suspicion, and thereby expose self-hate as a lie, eventually replacing it with a finite, yet genuine picture of a truer self to love and be loved, in the configuration of oneself as another.

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Monday, October 5, 2020

Reflection for the Week - October 5

On the one hand, the biblical text resists being collapsed into just another ANE or GR text, though it is one, and on the other, it is unable to attain the status of a pure revelation from God, however, it does reveal. Some of the biblical stories may be exaggerated or even outlandish, but there is still in the overarching mega story a testimony to God in time – something happened to produce the narrative recountings of such a common, yet remarkably unique character. Thus, this perspective invites one into a tension, without guarantees.

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - October 1

The essence of Mutuality is not an exchange, but a “recognition” comprised of the fragility of giving to and receiving from the other. There’s no buying and selling involved here because the festive gesture of mutuality belongs to that which has no price.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

New ebook now available.

Sex, celibacy, marriage, feminism, and equality are important realities and cutting edge issues today. If you’re interested in an in-depth attempt to discern what Saint Paul had to say on these topics, check out my new ebook: Living 1 Corinthians 7 with Saint Paul. Sex, Marriage, a Feminist Option, and the Rhetoric of Equality. Is Celibacy more Spiritual than Marriage?
 
Living 1 Corinthians 7 with Saint Paul: Sex, Marriage, a Feminist Option and the Rhetoric of Equality. Is Celibacy more Spiritual than Marriage? by [Gregory Laughery]
https://www.amazon.com/Living-Corinthians-Saint-Paul-Equality-ebook/dp/B08JV6KD9X/

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Monday, September 28, 2020

Reflection for the Week - September 28

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 are able to be re-engaged in a life mode – a life setting dialogue that calls us to explore fresh options that transcend the toxicity of false endings and their emergent illusions.

 

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

New e book now available.

 https://www.amazon.com/Living-Corinthians-Saint-Paul-Equality-ebook/dp/B08JV6KD9X/
Living 1 Corinthians 7 with Saint Paul: Sex, Marriage, a Feminist Option and the Rhetoric of Equality. Is Celibacy more Spiritual than Marriage? by [Gregory Laughery]

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - September 23

If spirituality can mean anything, it means nothing. Of course there are plenty of sources of spiritual non-sense around, including that coming out of Evangelical Christian circles. Authoritarian hypocrisy wielded by those in power often steps on the church stage and seeks to control people through performance, superficiality, and manipulation. Many are having none of it, others are fed up. Can’t say I blame ‘em. Redrawing the boundaries for the meaning of ‘spiritual’ is a crucial task. We best begin at home and the sooner the better.

 

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

New e book to be released on September 24, 2020


 

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Monday, September 21, 2020

Reflection for the Week - September 21

One of the salient features of the twenty-first century is that we are living in a post-trust culture. As I have recently mentioned in another post, this means that our ability to trust institutions, governments, politicians, economics, and churches is coming to an end. Furthermore, the Christian faith in the West seems to be losing its traction, coherence, and credibility. The principles of marketing and consumerism in many churches are replacing the deep spiritual realities of truth, unity, and love, which are so essential in a world lost in propaganda and fraud. It seems to me, therefore, that this is a defining moment and the church is at a historic crossroads where its survival is under serious threat, and it is likely that, at this moment in time, it needs to be.

 

 

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - September 10

Since the knower is involved in the knowing, there is always a subjective personal dimension to knowledge, yet this does not mean that knowing is entirely subjective. Rather, it is quasi-subjective, as it must conform to degrees of objectivity. Thus, a better configuration of knowledge might be that it is subjectively objective, especially as represented by self, other, and the world.

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Monday, September 7, 2020

Reflection for the Week - September 7

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 and thus to reject the liabilities of forcing self to be other or other to be self. In this regard, care and compassion, delicately balanced on the tight rope of trust and suspicion, are continually in play.

 

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

Engadine - Suisse









 

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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - September 3

Engaging the challenges of post-modern thought, for better or worse, may now suggest that we have to reassess our understanding of God, ourselves, and the world. That which has been previously assumed to be real or unreal calls for re-exploration.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - September 2

Catharsis, while an indispensable part of the journey towards our destiny, is not an end in and of itself. Rather, deep release is to lead to the conviction that in spite of the tragic circumstances that have so horribly blown the world apart, God is eventually going to transform everything. Such a poetic and imaginative impulse will gradually lure us in the direction of a confident, yet humble faith, as we live in the mysteries of the present and look towards the uncertainties of the future.

 

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Monday, August 31, 2020

Reflection for the Week - August 31

Theological, philosophical, and scientific configurations are so often supposed to represent absolute precision. They’re tenaciously held on to come hell or high water and effectively immersed in a sterilized vat of facts, where mystery and imagination are forced to undergo the steady drip of a powerful anesthetic that aims to control and point to the true path. But what happens? God breaks through. Curiosity and questioning begin to surface and unqualified exactitude is shattered. All of a sudden there may be seemingly nothing to hold on to in a violent sea of uncertainty. Such an experience, though disconcerting and complicated, is unavoidable, and should be considered a necessary development that will hopefully lead towards embracing and standing for truer views of philosophy, science, and theology, where mystery and imagination are part of life with God, the self, the other, and the world.

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Saturday, August 22, 2020

New ebook coming soon.

 

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - August 20

 In an excellent book I’m reviewing, Love Divine & Human, Thomas Jay Oord responds in a fitting manner to a chapter in the volume by Kevin Vanhoozer on Oord’s work in dialogue with John Webster. Among Oord’s many insightful and interesting thoughts, one thing in particular caught my eye and raised an exegetical question mark. Oord comments on p. 33 to: “Who is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?” Mark 4:41. He writes: “Interestingly, the straightforward reading of this exclamation in Mark leads one to regard the wind and sea anthropomorphically. The language of the text suggests that wind and sea act like personal entities capable of choosing to obey Jesus (or perhaps not). If the wind and sea are capable of obedient responses, my view that miracles require creation to cooperate with God fits this story well.” Thus, according to Oord, miracles require the cooperation of creation with God. I’m not entirely convinced of his interpretation of this story for the following reasons. First, this text poses a question, and is not merely an exclamation. Second, it seems unlikely that the narrator aims to point out that wind and sea, and their choice to obey or not, is the main issue at hand. Third, it is doubtful that the author/narrator is suggesting Oord’s thesis here, though it may be pertinent elsewhere in regard to other biblical texts. Fourth, in what appears to be a better reading of this story it is more likely that Jesus performs some kind of act of mastery and hence the question that arises, as often in this gospel, relates to his identity. Who is Jesus?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - August 19

Rigorous self-examination in life is important, but it’s not the end of the story. To be right or wrong; a trusting or suspicious self, has significance in a multiplicity of ways, yet there is more to life than relying on ourselves. Our limits concerning who and what to trust and what and who to be suspicious of are drastically restricted, when we attempt to be self-determining agents. Try as we might, in strength or weakness, we discover that such efforts are unlivable. There is a genuine need for wisdom and discernment beyond the pale of merely self-decision. I’d wager that freedom from being alone in the world is shocking, since it always enlarges our horizons and comes with increasing responsibility for knowing more and living better.

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Monday, August 17, 2020

Reflection for the Week - August 17

Belief is a dynamic agent in evolutionary processing. For primates like us belief is a given – part of who we are and what we do. Belief is real, but not immediately material. It exists first in a niche of the neurological, biological, perceptual, imaginative, and cultural innovations and sedimentations that stream from, in, and through being a believing primate. In turn, it then plays a significant role in downloading actions into the world. But, belief, as we see clearly from our evolutionary history, will sometimes be useful and productive and other times terrible and damaging. Thus, while belief is not an option, what we believe and how we act on those beliefs is crucial for the present and future of the planet and the human race.

 

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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - August 13

Confusion and clarity in varied degrees unfold and work themselves out in our lives at the same time. I’d wager they are not mutually exclusive, but intertwined core components of who we are and what we believe.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - August 12

We have the outstanding capacity to navigate through various physical states and material obstacles in life, while at the same moment being immersed in imagination, which takes us into another space, tethered to what’s in front of and around us, but also allowing a ‘being’ beyond it. Fantastic !

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Reflection for the Week - August 10

In John’s narrative recounting, Jesus “signs” into the world. By putting his “signature” on acts of revelation he “signs” onlookers to God on whose behalf he has “signed in.” On the narrative register, we have a richly textured testimony “signing” us to the light, good wine, and the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus, therefore, performs his mission as a “signing” for God. Thus, John’s story functions as a notarizing testimony, which verifies this “signing” and thereby authenticates that this is actually the “signature” of the Messiah – the savior of humanity and the world.

 

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - August 6

In today’s world of increasing uncertainty and growing violence there comes a time for seeking shelter - a dwelling place or space, not just an address. This place-space will include memories, stories, emotions, identity, imagination and much more, going far beyond a material structure. Hospitality, rest, refuge, challenge, and direction translate into some of the characteristics that can begin to engage and enlarge possibilities for promoting the being and becoming a truer self.

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Monday, August 3, 2020

Reflection for the Week - August 3

To not be resigned to death in the midst of chaos and uncertainty is a challenge and a destiny. Fighting against addiction and abuse - the injustices of tolerance – takes hard work and deep commitment. As things fray from the peaceful center to the edges of despair and back, death frequently looms large on the horizon of existence. It perversely seeks to convince us that this is the final space. Frantic attempts to escape from this lie only enslave us and lead to false release. By contrast, life, worn as it may be, is a hopeful adventure worth embracing.

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