Monday, July 26, 2021

Reflection for the Week - July 26

Evolutionary ethics properly argues that there are biological reasons for ethical developments and orientations in humans. Thus, moral sensitivity appears to be a biological phenomenon, yet this alone does not explain particular or well defined moral codes and configurations that have arisen in the human niche, nor does it help us draw conclusions about right and wrong. So, there’s more. We’re also heavily embedded in and dependent on context, culture, texts, and tradition, and through these become interpreters of ourselves. These informers, which offer some direction, are nevertheless so diverse and porous that we’re left having to continually work out how to live with others in a shared world.   


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - July 22

C. S. Lewis, like Paul Ricoeur, views imagination through its capacity to understand the depths of reality, and to facilitate a mode of being in the world that is also directed beyond it. Imagination is not the organ of truth, but its condition; it touches on the basic and profound questions of "who am I", and "what is real?"



Monday, July 19, 2021

Reflection for the Week - July 19

Since we’re at a “defining moment” in the history of Christianity, I’d wager it’s time for a re-examination of who God is and what God does. Tread carefully, but tread we must. The biblical writers give an Ancient Near Eastern or Greco-Roman picture of God, and their limited understanding of the natural world had a significant influence on their theologies. We are better informed today about nature, notably evolution, and this can’t help but cause us to re-view the theologies of those who precede us. Some of these may be worth holding on to, yet others will have to be let go of. The days where the Christian faith attempted to stand on the biblical text alone for its theology are over. It’s now just a matter of how long it will take for Christians to accept this, consult multiple informers, and refigure what they believe about God and the world.  


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - July 15

 Science is fallible and sometimes gets it wrong. Granted. Some theologians use this as a foil to discount science all together, whenever it goes against their theology. “Oh yes” they quip, “science is often having to revise its findings, frequently changing its views, and therefore it’s untrustworthy.” But this is absurd. There is no reason to entirely discount the stable findings of science, many of which are not going to change. Furthermore, science is frequently self-correcting and capable of offering new and better understandings for where it was in error. Thus, theologians should stop making excuses for not accepting valuable scientific data concerning human evolution and the cosmos, and recognize its potential significance for and justified challenge of some of their theological interpretations regarding who God is and what God does.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - July 14

When reading about the world, Judaism, and resurrection in the biblical text, we must proceed with due caution. These topics cannot all be simply put in the same context because they are thought to be “Revelation,” but they have to be taken on an informational basis that is relevant to each particular subject. Genesis 1, for example, is not the same as Genesis 2-3. Exodus is different than Psalms. Isaiah is not like Proverbs. John is narrative, and Romans a letter. While this diversity of genres is accepted by most, there’s still some work to do in configuring how each of the subjects connects to the “world-views” of the times. Doing so will be one of things that might help us discern just how much of the biblical writings are to be directly applied to our own contexts, which remains an open and explosive hermeneutical question today.



Monday, July 12, 2021

Reflection for the Week - July 12

A key part of the drama of the gospel narratives is that Jesus is reported to manifest himself as the sent One in the midst of the “actual” world in order to point people in the direction of a “possible” world that is so much more than the actual one. The actual and possible world connection and trajectory he provides leads us into the “real” world, which can only be grasped through imagination. Thus, when our imaginations are engaged by these stories and in dialogue with the rest of who we are, the beliefs and actions that pertain to this real world gradually come into focus and in so doing offer us an illuminating vision for beginning to live transformed lives.



Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Living Spiritual Rhythms - July 7

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 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.



Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Reflection for the Week - July 5

Engaging a post-trust culture means facing my valid and invalid suspicions and trying to re-direct them, where necessary, to an ontology of hermeneutical trust. Arrogant appeals made to institutions, politics, or churches, no longer has traction, whereas personal encounter and investment as oneself as another carries significant weight. Hammering out together the cogency, or lack thereof, concerning plausible explanations of reality has to take place one step at a time. There are no fast and easy solutions to complex issues. Starting with being human and living in the world is likely to be as good a place as any to begin the journey towards transformation.