Thursday, January 30, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - January 30

Biblical interpretation, in the best sense of the art and practice, has been rightly focused on God, the text, and the reader. Recently, culture has been fittingly added to this trio, but it seems to me that there is at least one other consideration that will help us better interpret the biblical story; and that is the natural world. If we leave out this feature, our interpretations will be less sufficient and perhaps even more wrong headed than they would be otherwise.


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 29

I’d wager we all go through times of spiritual convalescence where we can start to renew our perspectives and explore possibilities of the “enough of belief.” For me, it’s not as if “enough” is a static level that I have to attain or reach, but it is better understood as a morphing from one enough to another via a lived life, albeit within the sphere of belief in God. I suggest taking it a day at a time. Embrace the tension – the ebb and flow – don’t expect it to be all sorted – it’s ok that it’s not. God understands and loves us as we continue our journey towards a fuller encounter with the Divine.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Reflection for the Week - January 27

We live and die in the midst of brokenness and beauty. They both engage us deeply with an insightful truth: life is like this. Our world and our lives, as it were, are cut in two. This tension permeates creation and us as part of it. Looking outside and then inside reminds us that this is the way it is. Sometimes there’s lament and sometimes there’s praise, yet both are woven together. One never effaces the other.


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - January 23

It is monumentally important to realize that there is no absolute certainty concerning God, the biblical text, the self, or the world, but degrees of knowing – more about this or that – less about that or this. When such a discovery takes place, shock therapy can set in. What to do and who to be without certainty might leave one in a quandary. No more hyper conservative on one side – hyper liberal on the other, since both fail. Then what? Weighing up options and possibilities comes to the fore. Finding the viable middle somewhere is less stifling than embracing polarization, though it often appears to leave one without a voice. Yet a veracity tension in the middle “says more” and is far preferable to the alternatives.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 22

The judgmental critique by ‘those in the know’ of anyone who does not hold to their ‘conservative’ ‘traditional’ ‘orthodox’ Christian position can be hurtful, even devastating for some. If you’ve experienced it, remember this. Such criticism is usually not well founded and can often be merely a desperate attempt to bring you back into the ‘fold.’ Don’t buy it. Spending all your time and energy watching your back for the next attack is nonsense. Rather, grow stronger and more informed about your own trajectory; learning, refining, sharpening, and formulating credible points of view – think direction, not certainty or closure. Though this will scare the hell out of the ‘religious elite’ and maybe even yourself, it’s worth pursuing.


Monday, January 20, 2020

Reflection for the Week - January 20

Attempts to do 'beginnings' without science are like trying to fly a kite without wind. As crucial, for example, as it is to read the early Genesis stories through ancient Near Eastern eyes, it is all the more essential to consider current scientific informers when it comes to drawing theological conclusions today.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - January 16

Many Christians have no problem believing in the incarnation of Jesus, but belief in evolution, in spite of it having much more evidence, is assumed to be dubious. Go figure.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 15

A poetics – being, doing, and making true stories plays a significant role in understanding life. Taking disparate and unconnected events and dynamically shaping them into a mysterious whole is tied to a plot that we are already submersed in, yet not enslaved to. Stories break the status quo and help articulate who we are, what we are to do, and why we are here. They embody possible worlds and on the trajectory of our creative imitation impulse, we are involved in the emplotment of scenarios that function more as breathing pictures, than mirrors or windows. Swept up into a dialogue with God, nature, the biblical text, self, and other sets us off in new directions of discovery and exploration, where living is like a massive work of art painted on the canvas of imagination and projected out into the world.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Reflection for the Week - January 13

The patron saints of reductionism and polarization in contemporary thought frequently dominate disputes over language, philosophy, theology, science, and their interaction. Let’s move in a different direction in order to create a space for dialogue, mediate one-sided extremes, and offer a hermeneutic of relation and distinction, which depicts a new vision for engaging with these contested issues. In doing so, I’d wager, we’re after something like a perceptive and tension-filled wisdom that goes beyond modernist and postmodernist dead ends and thus offers a valid way ahead.


Thursday, January 9, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - January 9

Maimonides - Guide for the perplexed – 1190 - 3.14.

It has been proved that the distance between the centre of the earth and the outer surface of the sphere of Saturn is a journey of nearly eight thousand seven hundred solar years. Suppose a day’s journey to be forty legal miles of two thousand ordinary cubits, and consider the great and enormous distance! [125,000,000 miles] or in the words of Scripture, “Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!” (Job 22:12); that is to say, learn from the height of the heavens how far we are from comprehending God, for there is an enormous distance between ourselves and these corporeal objects, and the latter are greatly distinguished from us by their position, and hidden from us as regards their essence and most of their actions. How much more incomprehensible therefore is their Maker, who is incorporeal!


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 8

Kierkegaard – Works of Love, p. 23, 1847 (?)
"If it were true—as conceited shrewdness, proud of not being deceived, thinks—that one should believe nothing which one cannot see by means of her/his physical eyes, then first and foremost one ought to give up believing in love. If one did this and did it out of fear of being deceived, would not one then be deceived? Indeed, one can be deceived in many ways; one can be deceived in believing what is untrue, but on the other hand, one is also deceived in not believing what is true; one can be deceived by appearances, but one can also be deceived by the superficiality of shrewdness, by the flattering conceit which is absolutely certain that it cannot be deceived.

Which deception is most dangerous?"


Monday, January 6, 2020

Reflections for the Week - January 6

When fictional and historical narratives are reduced to being merely literary or aesthetic, all that’s left is power.