Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 | 0 comments

Salvation is not the point.  The point is what we do with Salvation.

Salvation is not the point. The point is what we do with Salvation.

At this moment a 450 ton, 385 foot long, monstrosity of mining equipment is parked in southern Idaho. This so-called “mega-load” is headed for the tar sands oil operations of Northern Alberta and thus has another 1300 miles to travel before it is used in the most energy and water demanding mining process in the already-black history of oil drilling. A profoundly well argued critical analysis of the dangers and costs associated with the mega-loads can be found in David James Duncan and Rick Bass’ The Heart of the Monster. Sitting here in Idaho, the local papers document, rather, the crawling 60 mile-per-day progress of the load: mostly to inform us about the impending traffic closures. The Christian community has responded in its typical fashion—with silence: silent about the tar sands, silent about our backyard mega-load corridor, silent about clear-cutting, dam building, and fracking—silent. Christian political discourse in this county has become so warped that you would think God cared more about stopping gay folks from having sex than...

Read More

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 | 0 comments

This is How we Give Thanks: American-Style

This is How we Give Thanks: American-Style

For those of you outside the United States, today is our Thanksgiving. It is our last remaining cultural tip-of-the-hat to that quaint practice of harvest festivals. We eat a lot, drink a lot, most watch American football, and tomorrow we all head out to fight over the latest and greatest Black Friday sales at the local malls. This is how we give thanks: American-Style. Of course there are references, traditions, and gestures towards true thanksgiving. But they are mostly carried on by the old, and received with rolling eyes and communal sighs of discomfort from the rest of us. I for one HATE to say what I am thankful for in front a whole group of family. That is worse than singing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas. Generally I would ignore the whole cultural apparatus of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, etc. and just go fishing. But today I bought myself a duck to roast. So while it is thawing in the fridge, I find myself in my usual corner...

Read More

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 | 5 comments

Biblical Authority and the Primacy of Love

Biblical Authority and the Primacy of Love

Last week Barney succinctly presented his case that biblical authority is grounded in the early Church’s experience of God; these experiences were recorded in the Bible and we, as Christians, must submit to its authority. Unfortunately, I find this presentation of scriptural authority overly intellectualized. It is dependent on what we interpret, what we think, and what we believe. I reckon scriptural authority is based not on what we believe to be the case but on Whom we love. To be honest, Barney never says that we must think our way to the truth, but he does say that we must submit our beliefs and experiences to the revelation of scripture. Where his argument becomes dependent on the intellect is in the process of submission: this submission requires two levels of interpretation: 1) we must interpret the scriptures accurately so that we can submit our ideas to it and 2) we must interpret our experiences so that they are in line with what we believe to be true, given our interpretation of...

Read More

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 | 9 comments

How the NSA Killed God

How the NSA Killed God

A majority of Americans approve of the National Security Administration’s (NSA) surveillance programs aimed at U.S. citizens with 56 percent of Americans “prioritize[ing] probes over privacy,” according to the latest Washington Post/Pew research numbers.[1] The argument in support of such broad and far-reaching government surveillance programs is, of course, based in counterterrorism. If we know enough, the intelligence supporters claim, we can stop future terrorist attacks. For a majority of Americans, it is clear: fear of terrorism is more pressing than freedom from government spies. True, the NSA surveillance programs have not created the dystopic realities of Orwell or Huxley. But they are (as is their broad popular support) symptomatic of a deeper and more sinister cultural reality: the reality of bureaucratization. The trend towards bureaucratization in the west has been in process for centuries and is rooted in a pursuit of efficiency and technique in all aspects of human endeavor. It is not simply the TPS report phenomenon of Office Space fame but, as Gabriel Marcel argues, it...

Read More

Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 | 1 comment

The Idol of Technology and the Fear of Bears

The Idol of Technology and the Fear of Bears

In the last ten years there has been an average of just under 3 fatalities by bear mauling per year in North America. The last death by the paws of a grizzly in Northwest Montana was in 1998. There are around 2 million visitors a year to Glacier National Park. Of the roughly 30 million visitors to Glacier in the last 15 years, how many do you reckon were frightened of bears? Statistics surely don’t tell you everything- or even very much- but these statistics illustrate our propensity to fear despite reality. How much more so would we fear what truly costs us? There is a hotel 12 miles inside the park boundary of Glacier National Park. Situated at the top end of a mountain valley, the Many Glacier Hotel marks the trailhead for several of the best hikes in the park. Consequently, when I worked there as a concierge, we received a great deal of foot traffic from backpackers, day hikers, and others, in addition to regular hotel...

Read More