Thursday, April 30, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - April 30

Encountering the infinite mystery of another human being is a sacramental invitation and a sacred adventure towards convergence. This coming alongside or together phenomenon will take place at different levels of familiarity; it is never nothing or everything. That is, to be unaffected by or irredeemably lost in another is an expression of inappropriate selfhood. Unadulterated oneness is not desirable. I'd wager we are always to be intensely touched by our engagements with the other, while remaining ourselves.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - April 29

I'd wager our reading strategies for the biblical text, self, other, and the world should have a similarity. That is, not too objective, nor too subjective (walking a tightrope might be a good image). These phenomena are not to be mere objects of analysis and study or simply personal subjects of possession and interest, but understood as related and distinct in tension. Falling into compartmentalized or collapsing approaches will lead to a short circuiting of making necessary tensional connections that will deepen our spirituality and challenge and enhance our lives, while helping us recognize that we are in the midst of a complex living adventure filled with convictions, doubts, and questions concerning life and its emerging possibilities.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Reflection for the Week - April 27

Systems of compensation for failed standard keeping never work. They are corrosive and rust our insides. Our hope of achieving an “OK” self if we “overdid that” and therefore “do this” will fail. True, there may be a place for standards in life, but they can’t be the grounding of who we perceive ourselves to be. The problem is that the “overdid that” and “do this” won’t give us what we long for – an ability to accept ourselves because of who we are and in spite of who we’re not. If we are to avoid a collapse into a vicious circle of self-condemnation, we need to embrace the living tension between freedom and responsibility founded on several informers, including: nature, humanity, and God, which all promote that our value, dignity, and worth are “already there” and thus not something that we earn by measuring up to self-made standards.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Alpes Suisse


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - April 23

Love goes beyond justice and justice goes beyond love. Neither can go it alone, nor can one be fully collapsed into the other. Thus, there is a tension here that requires dialogue in order to come to a reflective equilibrium, which nevertheless will necessitate endless revision.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - April 22

Rocked by debt, greed, sickness, and death, the world as we know it is slowly but surely disintegrating. There is a rising sense, a vibrant pulse if you will, that uncertainty, fraud, and betrayal are leaving us without direction and hope. Austerity plans are put in place, interest rates are cut, more money is printed, masks, ventilators, and vaccines are desperately sought, 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. A move towards the offer of an other worldly perspective of transformation by grace, which can be integrated with our own, yet not consumed by it, now more than ever seems a hopeful and worthwhile consideration.


Monday, April 20, 2020

Reflection for the Week - April 20

Christians can no longer do theology from the Bible and ancient culture alone, but also have to consider scientific claims, especially when interpreting Genesis 1-3. What is the force of genes, cells, amino acids, proteins, etc. for theology? Many Christians say: Nothing. But, at worst this is reductionistic, claiming the Bible alone is their theological resource, and at even worse, it is blindness to the grandeur of the natural world informer and its implications for understanding God.


Friday, April 17, 2020

Friday Musings - April 16

I’d wager that the Genesis authors had no historical, biological, or genetic information to rely on when they processed and wrote the creation stories. Thus, early Genesis is likely to be a post-Exodus founding narrative set in place to enhance the identity of the nation of Israel and its God.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - April 15

The fragility of life and the tragedy of death are relentless. Almost no one escapes questions of purpose, well being, alienation, and degeneration. But in the end, a transformed life overcomes death by going through it, not around it. This is crucifixion and resurrection; part of the massive drama to make all things new.


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Reflection for the Week - April 14

The biblical writers were influenced by an exposure to and a reading of cultural repertoire for theistic and Christian orientations. Their perspectives, therefore, would be likely to contain some relevant and irrelevant information about who God is, how the world works, and what it means to be human. Thus, other informers today are necessary for helping us discern the difference and for sketching out a fuller, yet nevertheless incomplete picture.


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Alpes Suisse


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - April 9

Deeply engraved with complexity and mysteriously forged by extravagance, the drama of the biblical and natural world informers presents significant challenges for readers, taking us to the limits of our imaginations. Pushing reality to the edges of perception raises questions and issues that mustn’t be ignored. To take each informer seriously means being open to learning and embracing truth wherever it is to be found


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - April 8

Disease, suffering, and death are awful, though I’d wager they’re not awful because ‘it should not be this way,’ but rather because of the terrible personal, familial, and relational consequences that are unleashed in such circumstances. As far as I can tell the actual world has never been any different. That is, there was no golden age; an illusory perfection or a paradise way back when, which means there’s no ultimate standard to compare with this actual world. Thus, a better direction than turning to the past, or at least so it seems, is to envision an imaginary future possible world through which God will generate a thorough going transformation of the actual world, so it won’t any longer be as it always has been.


Monday, April 6, 2020

Reflection for the Week - April 6

Interiors & Exteriors ? – Speaking for myself, I spend more than half the time in my imagination, while somehow managing in the other less than half to find my way around within the empirical world. And, of course, I’m often doing both at the same time. I can easily pass an hour internally, without any deliberate focus on the external, though I don’t usually fall off my bike when riding up the road, or I strenuously focus externally on a narrowly dangerous mountain path that leaves little room for internal processing, yet it is still in play. Remarkable. There is indeed a mysterious and dynamic relation and distinction here between self and self, self and other, and self and world. On this register, being a human being can be a pretty wild adventure.


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - April 2

The incisive depiction of self-deception found in the biblical text is striking. We are never the selves we simply assume ourselves to be. Consequently, self-designation for good or ill is severely limited, leaving us adrift in a sea of questionable options. There can be no doubt about it – we are in need of more - being and becoming new selves. Receiving the gift of a new self anchored in a call from beyond and generated by the love of the Infinite One deconstructs the death force of manipulative power strategies and sets us on the pathway to life with all its detours and complexities. Vistas of past, present, and future now opened up along the journey are breathtaking, as time and story coalesce and separate on the glistening horizon of the Divine promise of redemption.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - April 1

Seems like much of what has been known as “church” in the West will skip at least a generation. The declining church is in big trouble. Younger people are turning away in droves, while even those with a long history of church involvement are having serious questions about its sustainability. In not being able to realize that the Jesus that it so arrogantly assumes is on its side is actually out to contradict the consumerism, privilege, and nonsense it stands for, the deal is done and it’s unlikely that much will change in the near future. But this may indeed be for the best, as out of the ruins new forms of church will arise that are hopefully more gracious, loving, and open minded, and thus closer to the gospel than what preceded them.