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Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 | 0 comments

Can Promises Be Trusted?

Can Promises Be Trusted?

In the recent past or near future over half the contributors to this blog will have made some of the most important promises of their lives in the form of wedding vows. Wedding vows promise some big things. Not only are you promising to be on your best behavior, but you are committing your whole self to this fallible person across from you, as well as taking their self to be your own. You are making promises about things you cannot foresee or even, likely, fathom. You are also making these promises with the awareness that many before have reneged on these identical vows. To be honest, as I prepare to utter these vows myself, I wonder what the hell I’m getting myself into. Can promises and those making them be trusted? Can I mean what I say when I have no idea what the future holds? J.L. Austin, in his essay “Other Minds,” addresses my questions quite directly. In his discussion of human certitude and claims of knowledge,...

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 | 5 comments

What does it mean to consider the birds?

What does it mean to consider the birds?

Several people have said to me that in my last post I did nothing but raise questions without offering answers. I had written that we need to think about why we trust the Bible, but I didn’t say what my own reasons were for doing so. To demonstrate why I thought the question so important, I used an example of a Bible verse difficult to interpret in keeping with our experience. In this post I’m not going to give reasons for trusting the Bible. Instead I’m going to offer my interpretation of Matthew 6, the problematic passage I picked on. Hopefully it’ll serve as a constructive example of how to hold Scripture and Experience tightly together. This is the Bible passage: Consider the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? … Therefore...

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