Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 | 5 comments

What is Belief?

What is Belief?

“To hold something with the intellect is not to believe it. A person’s true belief is that by which they live.” – George MacDonald “Abram believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6). In the Biblical languages, the word for belief equally means trust, faith, and faithfulness. There is no difference in the Bible between these four concepts expressed by the same word. Abram’s faith is noticeable in this verse because it represents a decision to live his life as if what God had said was true – in other words, to trust God and to remain faithful to what God had told him. For Abram as for the rest of the Biblical worldview, “to believe something” meant much more than simply “to think it correct.” The next few chapters of Genesis show what it meant for Abram to have oriented his life this way. In Western society we tend to have a model of how human beings work that starts with our rational intellect...

Read More

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 | 5 comments

Technology’s Lie and the Promise of Love

Technology’s Lie and the Promise of Love

Last week Ryan Ricker responded (Evangelical Environmentalists and Ethical Oil) to my creation care (Salvation is not the Point: The Point is what we do with Salvation) post with an argument of technological optimism in support of responsible development. Tracing the development of Protestantism, science, and capitalism through the enlightenment’s pursuit of certainty, Ryan asks “So what is the goal to value: pristine earth or human flourishing?” He concludes that the questions of ethical development are questions of risk and potential harms. However, to limit the ethical discussion of development to empirical arguments over projected risks or harms is to participate in the faith that technology will “lead humanity to justice and equality” by assuming that all we have to do is limit harm.[1] Like so many moderns before him, Ryan combines his confidence in the rewards of risk with a confidence in the ability of humans to know, learn, develop, and act in progression towards the good with the help of our technology. Hence he can say of ethical...

Read More

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 | 2 comments

Wine, Place, and Pilgrimage

Wine, Place, and Pilgrimage

I spent the last three weeks of September in Northern Spain, walking sections of the Camino de Santiago and drinking Spanish wine. Spain, like France, has instituted a form of appellation controlée. This means that in order to put Rioja on a bottle, for example, the wine must come from the Rioja region. The philosophy behind the appellation controlée is the concept of terroir: the idea that places give unique characteristics to wine. Roger Scruton, in his book “I Drink therefore I am” explains: From the moment of my fall, I was a terroiriste, for whom the principal ingredient in any bottle is the soil.  By ‘soil’ I do not mean only the physical mix of limestone, topsoil, and humus.  I mean the soil as Jean Giono, Giovanni Verga, or D.H. Lawrence would describe it: nurse of passions, stage of dramas, and habitat of local gods… There in the glass was the soil of a place, and in that soil was a soul.” (12,13) Soil, as I have come...

Read More

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 | 0 comments

Biblical Authority and the Primacy of Gift

Biblical Authority and the Primacy of Gift

What I believe has been missing in the discussion on the authority of scripture is the notion of gift. Because scripture is living and breathing, because scripture is the revelation of God’s self to us, its very role in the lives of Christians is complicated. The three previous posts have pointed to this. What is needed is a discussion on the way scripture deconstructs us by presenting itself as gift. Because of scripture’s radical alterity, because it reveals the otherness of God, when we read scripture it confronts us with numerous questions about our being and how we relate to God and others. The primary question that scripture asks: “who do you say I Am?” resonates from creation to the eschaton, from Genesis to the Revelation of John. Scripture is first and foremost the gift of the revelation of God to us. Yet this revelation is seeped with the radical alterity of God’s self. The otherness of God opens up a gap between us and God, and it is...

Read More