Thursday, March 30, 2006


Have been reading Everyman Revived: The Common Sense of Michael Polanyi by Drusilla Scott. Am finding out about the idea of emergence as it is applied to the development of life and evolution. Perhaps, I'll have to check, Ken Wilber was influenced by Polanyi's work and others cited, like Arthur Koestler. The latter is an author I've been meaning to read for years but have never gotten around to it.

On page 105, Drusilla quotes from Koestler's book The God That Failed in regard to K's communist upbringing

"My party education had equipped my mind with such elaborate shock absorbing buffers and elastic defences that everything seen and heard became automatically transformed to fit a pre-conceived pattern."

That describes a lot of us doesn't it?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Current Readings

1. The Amazing Law of Influence by King Duncan - a positive upbeat book about people influencing other people. My friend and boss invited me to hear this man at a local Methodist church recently and I like what I heard.

2. Mapping Postmodernism by Robert C. Greer - A survey of christian approaches to postmodernism by a former missionary. Pretty deep. Still soaking it in.

3. Restoring the First-century Church in the Twenty-first Century - Essays on the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, In Honor of Don Haymes, ed. by Warren Lewis and Hans Rollman. Lots of good stories here.

4. Evangelicalism and the Stone-Campbell Movement - ed. by William R. Baker Essays on whether or not SC churches are evangelical or not etc. I have never identified with evangelicals.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Stephan's Quintet - Galaxies in Collison

Explanation from Hubble Site. And Science Daily.

Jesus Parables

Back when I was a student at the University of Virginia, I heard a weekend lecture from a prof in the Religious Studies Department by the name of Dan Via. He discussed Jesus' parables from a literary perspective using the categories of Comedy and Tragedy. Subsequently I read his book The Parables and then one of his sources, Interpreting the Parables by A. M. Hunter. What I learned in the latter book has stayed with me all these years. I will follow with a post on it eventually.

This week I did some reading in Via's book for the first time in over twenty years. Now, I am just beginnng to understand some of it that I hadn't earlier. It approaches Jesus from an existential direction and it seems quite contemporary in some ways as it fits with my recent reading regarding postmodernism and foundationalism.

The very fact that Jesus compared the kingdom of God to ordinary, everyday people and activities suggests some kind of analogy between God and man. p. 104

he says regarding the parables,

Because of their aesthetic nature they are in certain ways more effective than propositional statements could be, and because of their realistic and dramatic subject matter they give a particular content to our understanding of our relationship with God and tie it to human experience. p. 65

And this statement has stayed with me all of these years,

It may be agreed that the biblical text transcends the author's self-understanding...the author of artistic works says more than he knows he is saying... p 39

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


"The way to save the world is not through more rules to live by, but through right relationships to live for.
Relationship is the soul of the universe. "(p 1)

Out of the Question ...Into the Mystery by Leonard Sweet

We need to move from Protestantism's propositional, fact-based, science-objective orientation to relationality. Life and reality: its all about relationship.

I say this even though I'm a research and development engineer, a nerd who's loved and lived science and technology all of his life.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Christian and Meditation

Meditation and christianity have long been partners, although it has not been at all prominent in Protestant tradition. I would like to learn more about it. Millions of people, of all religions, find value in the contemplative life.

Here's link to an interesting site devoted to a modern, er postmodern christianity and meditation and mysticism.

Ekstasis June 3 2005

Ekstasis Main

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Campbellite selects a quote from a Campbell

"It is a law of our subject, proven time and time again, that where the orthodoxies of the world go apart, the mystic way unites. The orthodoxies are concerned primarily with the maintenance of a certain social order, within the pale of which the individual is to function; in the interest of which a certain "system of sentiments" must be instilled into every member; and in the defense of which all deviants are to be, one way or another, either reformed, deformed, or liquidated. The mystic way, on the other hand, plunges within, to those nerve centers that are in all members of the human race alike, and are at once the well springs and ultimate receptacles of life and all experiences of life."*

*from Joseph Campbell in The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology pp.448-9, Penguin Books, 1987 edition.

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