Monday, March 1, 2021

Reflection for the Week - March 1

Trust is often assumed to be a virtue, but without suspicion it could indeed be a detriment. Thus, when you’re considering virtues, don’t leave out suspicion.


 

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - February 25

There are no simple templates for spirituality. So much is complex, which means tension. And in light of the unfolding and relentless density of the world, I’d wager we better get used to it.  

 


 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - February 24

Life & Death seem to be inextricably woven together, until Death is no longer a necessary feature of Life. 

 

 


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Monday, February 15, 2021

Reflection for the Week - February 15

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. This re-telling is deeply engraved with complexity and mysteriously forged by extravagance, and the multiple informers in the story present significant challenges for readers, taking us to the limits of imagination. 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 portrayals of the times.

 

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - February 11

Letting go of assumed truths about God that turn out not to be true is not betrayal, but wisdom. As enshrined as these assumptions sometimes can be, abandoning them for the evolving ‘truer’ is a worthwhile and challenging adventure that, in this life, knows no end.

 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - February 10

Tenacious obscurity sometimes plagues us and we’re unable to see as clearly as we would like. Groping around for illumination saturates our thoughts and feelings, and there are no easy answers to be found. We fear being excluded, alienated, and lost. Yet, living and working through the shadow of time is a continual and viable challenge, as we search for slivers of light, embracing and dispersing them, as we are able.

 

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Monday, February 8, 2021

Reflection for the Week - February 8

In today’s harsh reality of selfishness and greed, some say there is no such thing as a gift. Giving, it is said, is always with motive or interest and that disqualifies it as gift. I would argue that while motive or interest will always be with us in giving, it need not necessarily abolish gift, as this would seem to depend on what the motive or interest are. Let’s say a canceling of gift might be the case if one gave it with the motive of receiving something in return, but if one gifts with a motive to satisfy or please the other and requires nothing in return, then the gift character of giving would not be nullified. That is, other interest wins—over a perverse self-interest—and preserves the possibility of a true gift.

 

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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - February 4

Imagination is an essential of life and a pathway to the discovery of truth. Reason, sense observation, feeling, and our experience all suffer severe impoverishment without the recognition that imagination is the lynch pin that holds them together in a related, yet distinct manner. To be sure, God is a possibility that becomes much more of an accessible reality in and through imagination. I’d wager that for primates like us, there is no truth without imagination.

 

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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - February 3

Being, knowledge, nature, interpretation, ethics, and the biblical text have a tendency to operate as monologues closed into separate compartments, but none of them can go it alone. A dialogue between each informer is necessary in order to lead us in a better direction and in so doing, to give us enriched, even sumptuous innovative and truth oriented perspectives and possibilities.

 

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Monday, February 1, 2021

Reflection for the Week - February 1

Elasticity is an important feature of our belief in God. Imagine faith as a web of intricately woven strands and connections that can be stretched in several directions at one time. Fragile, yet with a viable strength.  

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Podcast on dchurched. The Privilege of Unknowing

https://dchurched.libsyn.com/?fbclid=IwAR3YdwI9U9FZFMk2M7eIvWT_kIjx5MkvNLLW2mTisMIB301xY2aNBROFy-g

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 27

Encountering the infinite mystery of another human being is a sacramental invitation and a sacred adventure towards convergence. This coming alongside or coming 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. We are always to be intensely touched by our engagements with the other, while remaining ourselves.

 

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Monday, January 25, 2021

Reflection for the Week - January 25

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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Thursday, January 21, 2021

New ebook!

Ladies. Despicably, you have been terribly misrepresented for a long time. Some men have contended that you’re merely a womb for male seed, or like wax on which a male stamps his imprint, or a man gone wrong. While these derogatory characterizations may not be as blatant as they once were, I’d wager their unfortunate and oppressive impact remains today. If you’re interested in my interpretation of why Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 rejects such misrepresentations and proposes more egalitarian views, check out my recent ebook.
 
https://www.amazon.com/Living-Corinthians-Saint-Paul-Equality-ebook/dp/B08JV6KD9X/ 

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 20

Struggling with a biblical notion of revelation is the way it’s supposed to be. It’s in the struggle to understand that the pursuit of what’s true continues. In some instances, it appears that the biblical writers were doing likewise. They didn’t have it all together. Thus, a significant dimension of the reality of theism and Christianity is found in the struggle to believe it. Apparently, in this life, hermeneutical entanglements with God, the world, self, and other should never end.

 

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Reflection for the Week - January 18

We may now find ourselves in a somewhat dazed and confused context after the failure of modernism and its assurances of certainty, optimism, and progress. Postmodernism, however, has not fared much better, even in its rightful sweeping away of the illusions of the modernist dream. Problem is, postmodernism often leaves us with the opposite pole of modernism; uncertainty, pessimism, and circularity. Embracing the dirge for these two modes of seeing, living, and being may be painful, but it opens up the possibility of grasping something of the hope expressed in God’s promises and their trajectory toward a future that has sufficient lucidity to have an impact on the present.

 

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - January 14

As I underscored in my book on Ricoeur and biblical hermeneutics, reductionism is, and rightly so, faltering. While reductionism has been and still is popular, a transdisciplinary path, though more arduous, is gradually replacing it. Transdisciplinarity (being open to a suite of disciplines that can impact, even transform each other) is indeed becoming recognized as necessary when investigating issues like self, God, other, or more specifically anthropology, genetics, and biology. Being as well informed as possible in several disciplines is a new challenge, though of course one cannot be a specialist to the same degree in each one. Learning from one another’s expertise is also essential. Thus, I’d wager the playing surface is now being enlarged and extensive templates are becoming available for more productive transdisciplinary research in a diversity of fields.

 

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 13

I’d wager that reality is subjectively objective. This configuration appears to correspond to nature and humanity. That is, God, the other, and the world are objectively there, but our access to them is subjective. Yet, subjectivity does not cancel out objectivity, or vice versa. If that’s the case, they are related and distinct at the same time. This ‘tensional’ perspective is important because it helps us avoid absolute confusion between or a complete blurring of self, other, and world.

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Reflection for the Week - January 11

Traditional worldview apologetics, as practiced by several notable Christians in the twentieth century, are dead. They simply lack credibility. I’d wager there are several reasons for this, but one of them is basically that our understanding of the world today is no longer the same as it was supposed to be then. While the world remains an informer, the information (neurosciences, genetics, evolution) it now offers challenges, rather than confirms the centrality of apologetics. Let’s move in another direction. Any assumed belief in an Absolute God who is, ought to be replaced by belief in a possible God who gives.

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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - January 7

Having serious questions about the nature of the biblical text should be considered a good idea. Getting concerns about authority, history, and the universe out on the table, is essential. Taking time to work through questions and learn from them will be rewarding, though we may not find many answers. Don’t worry, mystery can be exciting. Thus, instead of a blind acceptance of the biblical text, we should be promoting a spirit of openness that welcomes questioning it.

 

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 6

If you never felt you had ‘permission’ in church, at home, or in community, to ask questions about the biblical text or its interpretation, something was/is wrong. Get that. Something was/is wrong. No shaming tactics, guilt trips, or theological dogmatism, should put you off. You’re right to raise questions and look for responses where available, come what may. Let’s face it, sometimes there are no answers. We just don’t have enough information. So, go ahead. Question! Be curious. Explore. Certainty about the biblical text or its interpretations is not, as it’s often touted to be, a safe place, but a dangerously controlling and manipulative illusion.

 

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Monday, January 4, 2021

Reflection for the Week - January 4

The clarity of the biblical text, some argue, is based on the truth that it is God’s own communicative action (what God has authored), which gives us light, not a magisterium or a subjective opinion. What is clear is delivered by the Spirit speaking in the text. For me, this raises a number of issues, but I’ll flag just two. I’d wager that it can be extremely difficult to discern Spirit speech. Any difference between the Spirit speaking text and subjective opinions – be they by the magisterium or the individual – is not entirely transparent. Further, when a group of interpreters or even two interpreters come to different conclusions about the meaning of the same text, making the claim that ‘the Spirit is speaking’ can become a foil for ‘my (our) interpretation is the “right” one.’ I mentioned recently that the authority of the biblical text and Divine action are two monumental questions that Christians need to do more work on. In my opinion, general appeals to the apologetic line that the biblical text is God’s communication and the Spirit speaking clarifies this transmission will not get us very far or contribute much to the discussion on authority. A better direction, at the outset, would be to recognize that the biblical text is a messy one, tangled up as it is with ancient ways, people, and phenomena. We should do the best we can with the diversity that’s there, rather than assuming that it’s all somehow authored by God.

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