Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 | 1 comment

The Virtue of Simple Spirituality

The Virtue of Simple Spirituality

I moved to Texas a year and a half ago. Not only was it my first move to a “southern” state, but it was also the first time I was not moving for more education. No institution or new degree was waiting for me. To be frank, I do not enjoy the Texas political milieu, religious culture, and the little particulars that make up what Texan-ness is. Though I am near a prestigious university, I am amazed at just how uncritical or down right anti-intellectual Christians can be in this place; I have encountered this everywhere, but never in such abundance. And yet, beyond my own annoyance with zealous Baptists and creation science, beyond my own political affirmations, there is something strikingly beautiful about the Christianity here. I have no better term for it than a spiritual simplicity. There is an openness to spiritual needs, to theological explanations, and a powerful faith chiseled into many of the people I encounter here. God is always part of conversation, and folks are never...

Read More

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 | 0 comments

How does Ash Wednesday Speak to Culture?

How does Ash Wednesday Speak to Culture?

For me, Ash Wednesday is a time of serious reflection. The season draws out my intellectual and personal interests in justification and the atonement, as well as humanity’s general experience of death and mortality. And this is the point of Ash Wednesday. It is a summoning to inspect our souls in relation to the fallen state of the human condition, and a re-recognition of our humble beginnings. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” This remembering is an active revisiting of the union of flesh and dirt, and that we are always already encountering our certainty of death, whether we admit it or not. A finitude laced with inevitable death and decay—this is a different message than what much contemporary western culture offers us, but I think Ash Wednesday responds rather powerfully to two powerful milieus in culture: one of human progress and the other of human consumption. There is today a cultural dogma that asserts a mythos of human progress, the power of the human...

Read More

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 | 0 comments

Our Favorite Reads of 2014

Our Favorite Reads of 2014

With the end of 2014 right around the corner, we thought it might be fun to post some of our favourite reads of the year. One thing you’ll notice from the list: fiction is important! No one can read too much fiction. As a lot of these write ups clearly imply, fiction can have very important theological implications. But still, a few of us found non-fiction the most interesting this year, not necessarily academic abstraction, however. Perhaps this is a simple reminder that we need to be connecting with people who think differently than us; whether that shows up in their preferred bibliography, opinions, or overall worldview, nothing but good can come from engaging with difference. Feel free to post your own favorite reads in the comment section, or share you thoughts about one of the titles below if you have already read them. Caroline: In Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor leads us through the pitch-black grounds of her North Georgia farm and the seedy night club where she worked in...

Read More

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 | 4 comments

On a Knife’s Edge: Belief in the Evidence of God

On a Knife’s Edge: Belief in the Evidence of God

Earlier this week, Barney wrote about proof for the existence of God. Rightly, he asserts that there is no proof for that Being which grounds our very notion of truth. This is important for Christians to know: scientific proof and theology should not be correlated. It is an issue of metaphysics (and history, I’d add). Barney said, “If the Christian God is real, then he is at once further away than the furthest galaxy and nearer to us that we dare to ourselves. If he is real, then everything in creation shouts his existence.” I argue here that arriving to this assertion is a rather complex one, and that it’s not far off from total disbelief in God. It would seem to me that our approach to faith hangs on a knife’s edge, waiting to fall on either side.[1] Some of us are cut in half, and thus oscillate between the two. But the existence of God is found, or not, based on our implicit or explicit answer to a primal question:...

Read More

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 | 4 comments

Beyond Authorial Intention: What Does a Text “Really” Mean?

Beyond Authorial Intention: What Does a Text “Really” Mean?

This post explores how the philosopher Paul Ricoeur influenced the way we think of interpretation. What follows is a purely philosophical journey: I do not draw any theological implications, but it should hopefully become clear that there are important ones to be drawn. Our journey begins in the 19th century with the event called the “rise of historical consciousness.” Previously, when people used to read ancient writings, their attention was on the writing’s content; they assumed that the reader and author of a text were similar enough that communication could happen without too much difficulty. However, with historical consciousness, people started to notice more and more how differently people thought and spoke in other times and cultures. Because of this difference, they realised it was possible to misunderstand what someone meant while imagining you had understood. For example, the Bible tells us to love God. Our modern definition of “love” usually means how you feel, but in Bible times the word “love” was more of a decision about how to act....

Read More