Category Archives: Philosophy

The Prophetic Imagination

Was updating my Bibliophilia page, and thought that it should probably just spill over into a main-page post.

Not entirely coincidentally, Matt and I are both reading Bruggeman’s The Prophetic Imagination right now. (I finished Yancey… for a little while.)

I still owe a couple posts to the “scripture interpretation” joint-blogging project. But after that, I look forward to bouncing a lot of ideas around with Matt about this book. In just the preface alone, I can already see some stuff that I don’t already entirely agree with, even though I think the book overall will be a very profound and stretching read. I really don’t like only reading things that I have a hard time disagreeing with, or reading things where I only disagree with nit-picky non-central details.

Walter Bruggeman does strike me as a very well-intentioned, moderate, and honest scholar. Contrary to the polarizing nature of some of our contemporary writers and thinkers, Bruggeman refuses to point ideological fingers in only one direction. When there’s criticism to dish out, he legitimately applies it to errors that lie in both ends of the lib-con spectrum. (A popular criticism of someone matching this description might be a “fence-sitter;” Bruggeman’s constant proposal to hold things in tension and let extremes supplement each other is far from fence-sitting.)

Anyway, just a couple main ideas that stand out from the preface:

The prophetic voice no longer has significant social or moral clout, so it must therefore be very sharp. “Cunning… nuanced… perhaps ironic.”

The pairing of “prophetic” with “imagination” leads us in a creative, artistic direction that will not be eagerly adopted (nor allow itself to be domesticated) by the hegemonic majority’s dominant paradigm of interpretation.

One thing that Shedden and I were talking about today is the headiness of P.I., and I kinda said that the book seems to have profound pastoral value. But if the greater portion of pomo Christ-followers are going to begin to live out the p.i., it will be their pastors who explained and lead and urged them into it. I don’t think that Joe Christian will put in the effort to read this book. (But that’s ok!)

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William Blake

william-blake-portrait.jpg

“Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.”

“Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.”

-William Blake

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, ca. 1790

Continue reading

Hell

Recently, there’s been a small surge of [re-]thinking about Hell –and more largely, Universalism– in the circle of blogs I read. I think it started with Generous Orthodoxy Think Tank, but that’s irrelevant. It’s led to some great conversation from one blog to another. One of the recent text bytes to come in to play is from venerable old Kierkegaard.

I’m serious. I love that guy. Continue reading

A headbutt to humanity

First, major congrats to Italy on World Cup victory. Forza Italia! Compeone del Mondo 2006!

italia.jpg

Also, can I just say those guys rock for winning, but also looking good doing it? I mean this in the most heterosexual way possible: they’re just a bunch of handsome studs. In fact, on a broader plane, Italian men and women are some of the most beautiful humans on the planet. The World Cup team, my wife, you get the picture…

But I digress.

The game was marred by possibly the most heinous display of un-sportsmanship I’ve seen in a long time. Apparently an Italian, Materazzi, was playing mindgames with a Frenchie, Zidane, and possibly said some nasty things. So what happened? Zidane delivered a headbutt square to Materazzi’s chest. Unfortunately for France, their top scorer’s actions garnered a red card and his immediate ejection from the game. What fitting irony for them to lose in a penalty kick situation, where having a powerful scorer could have changed the final outcome! If Materazzi did indeed utter an insult, I would wholeheartedly say that he was in the wrong as well.But still! Is not the mark of a gentleman his graceful response in the face of adversity?!? I think there is nothing that can justify Zidane’s actions.

No matter what Materazzi did, Zidane’s humanity binds him to act on reason, not instinct. Man is a step higher than animal by the sole fact that he is not bound by rashness and instinct. Dogs smell each other’s rear-ends based on instinct. Shouldn’t Zidaneact better than that?

Oh, and then there’s good ol’ Jacques Chirac! His post-debacle comments: “Dear Zinedine…I want to express to you…the admiration … of the whole nation – it’s respect too”. Chirac does not surprise me one bit. I pity him.

Why prove? Prove what? How?

"If God and humankind resemble each other so closely so as to essentially belong to the same category of being, the conclusion "threfore Christ was God" makes perfect sense. But this is nothing but humbug. If that is all there is to being God, then God does not exist at all! … Continue reading

The Pursuit

"The act of looking, the pursuit itself, makes possible the encounter. For this reason, Christianity has always insisted that trust and obedience come first, and knowledge follows."

-Philip Yancey

Reaching for the Invisible God Continue reading

shalom

It’s a great concept. I’ve spent some time thinking about this word, and it’s really something worth pursuing. In high school, we tossed it around as a substitute for whatsup or hey, just to be different. But really, I think it deserves way more credit than a Hebrew howdy. Continue reading