Sunday, May 31, 2020

Alpes Suisse


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - May 28

A recent discussion reminded me again of the crucial issue of “starting points’ for doing theology. Fundamentalists, but others too, claim to ‘start’ with God and the biblical text, and if you don’t, you’re not quite measuring up to them. So, it goes. “Since we start with God and the Bible, let us tell you all about who God is, exactly what God is doing, and precisely what the Bible says.” Such blustering, I’d wager, amounts to an illusion on several levels, but it’s primarily false because humans start with and from themselves in the world before ever getting to God and the biblical text. Beginning with interpreting ourselves, we then move to interpreting God and text, and then back to ourselves. No one here has ‘leverage’ or a ‘moral high ground’ start point. This means, as interpreters, it’s impossible to actually ignore or bracket out ourselves and the world, which are both significant features of any ‘hermeneutically realistic’ trajectory for better interpretations of God, self, other, and text.


Monday, May 25, 2020

Reflection for the Week - May 25

To reflect on justice it is crucial to realize that we develop our views in the shadow of Locke, Hume, Kant and other thinkers who still have a tremendous impact and influence on our perspectives today. Theories of justice, therefore, are like texts under negotiation. They require a serious consideration of the points of view of our predecessors, along with a give and take connected to a desire for a better interpretation of what would be just today for the sake of all concerned. No easy task, but nevertheless one that is worthwhile. Questions of human dignity, human responsibility, and human freedom implore us to work hard for and to be committed to deliberating and debating about what justice is.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - May 20

Engage, evaluate, embrace―the Infinite One, other, and world. Enter the spooky haven of relationality (the essence of being relational); the space to dwell in oneself as another.


Monday, May 18, 2020

Reflection for the Week - May 18

We are now living in a suspicion oriented post-trust culture where institutions, politics, economics, and the church have failed to be trustworthy. Thus, suspicion, and rightly so, takes up a fair amount of space. While this environment is within and upon us, there is nevertheless still the surprising possibility that trust underlies being primates like us. In spite of the meltdown of trusting that which is external, the internal primal reality of trust pervades who we are. I’d wager there is no escape from us being kind of first strike trusting beings and this should open up a vision of new understanding of self, other, world, and God. 


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - May 14

If imagination is viewed as having no relevant significance for the knowledge of God, an engagement with the biblical text, and a perception of the natural world, I’d wager we are failing to embrace what is true; knowledge, engagement, and perception are imagination dependent.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - May 13

As new information hits the universities and the streets including, the monumental immensity of the universe and the possibility that there’s more than one; DNA developments that seem to indicate more strongly than ever that humans evolved; neuroscience discoveries concerning how the human brain functions and some of the implications of that for selfhood and religious belief, are all eventually going to have an unavoidable impact, and rightly so, on how we view God. There is far, far, more to learn about who this God character is, which in turn will have spiritual implications. Perhaps, even, we’re at the beginning of an enormous paradigm shift. We’ll see.


Monday, May 11, 2020

Reflection for the Week - May 12

Barriers to belief in God may plague us throughout our lives. Forgone solutions and conclusions will only increase our difficulties, instead of resolving them. After all, our access to the possible world of Eden is beyond reach and we are hampered by a real world inability to get outside of ourselves in order to have an ultimate vantage point that will put all the pieces in place. Since this is true, we are likely to experience times of struggle and questioning, which occur on different levels, but choosing an alternative of automatic pilot spirituality or a rationalistic apologetic where everything makes sense is a foil. There is no such thing. Thus, as we ramble through our days, sometimes villains or sometimes disciples, the pressures of unbelief, as powerful as they may appear to be, are negotiable and the roadblocks on the path can sometimes turn into signposts that point in the direction that belief in God is warranted and sensible in the midst of this wild, wonderful, and crazy world.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - May 7

Primates like us are imaginative meaning makers and story tellers. I’d wager this is just part of our niche. We want to explain things and understand ourselves, God, and the world. Scrambling for answers to significant questions is a neuro event and leads us into an imaginative spark where we make meaning and recount stories. In this vein, we tend to make a lot up and to tell some pretty fabulous tales in the quest to discover what’s true.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Living Spiritual Rhythms - May 6

Luke’s Acts is neither epic, nor a straight telling of history. Rather, it is a story of beginnings and functions as a ‘founding narrative’ for the unfolding drama of the Christian faith, which in Luke’s context was moving towards credibility. Thus, in his re-counting, the reality of a religious movement became narrativized for the first time. In fact, this author’s founding narrative sets out a theological, historical, and literary redescription of the world in a quite unique and controversial manner when read in dialogue with other Greco-Roman historiographical portrayals of the times. Re-reading it today takes us to the limits of imagination.


Monday, May 4, 2020

Reflection for the Week - May 4

A realistic faith is a constant dialogue between the "because of" and the "in spite of." In living a spiritual life, we may traverse periods of belief in God that are like the vistas of a changing landscape. Sometimes the viability of the reasons for faith are convincing and firm, while at other times we are clinging to faith with little conviction or strength. We can experience the joy of sufficient answers or the dread of the awareness that many questions are left unresolved. Passing through, as we are, invites us into this tension, which is inescapably connected to life in this world.