Monday, February 27, 2006

Kierkegaard Quote

from Soren Kirkegaard*

"First and foremost, no impatience . . . A direct attack only strengthens a person in his illusion, and at the same time embitters him. There is nothing that requires such gentle handling as an illusion, if one wishes to dispel it. If anything prompts the prospective captive to set his will in opposition, all is lost. . . [The indirect method. . . . loving and serving the truth, arranges everything. . . . and then shyly withdraws (for love is always shy), so as not to witness the admission which he makes to himself alone before God - that he has lived hitherto in an illusion."

I have been all these people: attacker, attacked, and the one under an illusion. Wish that years ago I had read this and taken to heart.

*from p. 93 of Mapping Postmodernism by Robert C. Greer, 2003 Intervarsity Press. His footnote is the following: Soren Kierkegaard, The Point of View of My Work as an Author, in The Modern Tradition: Backgrounds of Modern Literature, ed. Richard Ellmann and Charles Feidelson Jr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), p. 751; cited in Taylor, Myth of Certainty, pp. 25-26

Friday, February 24, 2006


Am reading Mapping Postmodernism: a survey of Christian options by Robert C. Greer. Learned something new on the topic of inerrancy. I had thought that the general opinion was that it was only the original manuscripts that were inerrant and that our extant manuscripts and modern translations are admitted to have typos, misprints, and other problems. But Greer informs that there are some who believe that God has not left us in this situation; and that he has provided an error free version for our times as well, the King James Version. This does seem to be a more consistent position. If inerrancy means so much, what good is it that only the first readers of the original autographs had the only inerrant copy? But there are well known problems with the KJV that nearly everyone now acknowledges, in part due to the better textual evidence discovered since its publication. This is just one more reason why inerrancy is problematic.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Generous Orthodoxy

In Generous Orthodoxy on page 59 Bryan McLaren quotes a mentor of his as having said "Scratch the paint of a liberal and you'll find an alienated fundamentalist underneath." Coming from a fellowship, the churches of Christ, that fractured a religious body over having pianos in worship, I know what he is talking about. This is one example among many of particular doctrinal points that could get one into trouble. Such rule keeping and enforcement, I think, has produced a lot of liberals. Some of these are so liberal that they switched to the Baptists. Some went to seminary/grad school where they fanned out to cover the theological spectrum.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Meaning of Light

"Arthur Young has pointed out the simple but profound truth that we do not actually see light. Instead, we see by light and with light."

from The Unfolding Self by Ralph Metzner, p164, Origin Press 1998.

And Ralph cites the following in the endnotes on p. 291

"Light is not an objective thing that can be investigated as can an ordinary object. Even a tiny snow crystal, before it melts, can be photographed or seen by more than one person. But a photon, the ultimate unit of light, can be seen only once: its detection is its annihilation. Light is not seen; it is seeing." (Arthur Young, The Reflexive Universe, p. 10)

The meaning of light is of interest to me because I've made my living, beginning in grad school over thirty years ago, by pushing around and capturing light. The connection between the physical aspects and spiritual are fascinating.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Assumptions, Presuppositions and Sheep

Back in the 70's I read an obituary in Physics Today of a young physicist who had passed before his time. In the eulogy to the man, it was mentioned that he was so careful in making assumptions that if he saw a hillside with sheep grazing, he would only go so far as to say 'the side of each sheep that is in view is white'. As if to say that what is not seen could turn out to be another color. Now, that seems kind of ridiculous. But, in a laboratory, whether scientific or engineering, that kind of skepticism has its place.

We can't live our entire lives being skeptical like that but using this approach occasionally in disciplined way has value.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

not been tagged but I'll play anyway

I just tagged myself.

Four Jobs I’ve Had:

-Nightwatchman at bubblegum factory (superbubble).
-Grad Student
-Visiting Prof. U. of Virginia
-R&D for ORNL

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:

The Last Temptation of Christ - it's the music and sociological detail, not the Irish Jesus.

Four Books I Could Read Over and Over:

The Masks of God - Joseph Campbell (Ok, its a series of books)
The Story of Civilization - Will and Ariel Durant (once again a series)
Meditations on the Tarot - originally by Anonymous but now known to be V. Tonberg
ummm... I have to think some more about this one

Ten Places I've Lived:
Pocahontas, AR; Comanche and Velma Alma, OK; Lansing, MI; Rector, AR; Searcy, AR; Augsburg, FRG;Memphis, TN; Charlottesville, VA; Knoxville, TN

Four TV Shows I Watch:

-Hardball with Chris Matthews
- Countdown with Keith Olbermann
-UT Sports and Baylor Women's basketball where my niece plays

Four Places I've Been On Vacation:
-Jonesboro, AR
-Memphis, TN
- Los Alamos, NM
- Disney World

Four Websites I Visit Daily:

Jim West's Theology Blog

Four of My Favorite Foods:

Tuna Curry
Any kind of Salmon dish
spaghetti with chili, peppers, onions, and lots of cheese
Any salad with Blue Cheese

Four Places I'd Like to Be Right Now:

I'm here at home already
Northern Europe

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