Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Second Coming of Christ: Our Role and Technology

This fascinates me.  Something to contemplate.

from Christ in Evolution by Ilia Delio

- Highlight Loc. 3000-3006 (Kindle)

In this respect, the consummation of the universe, the parousia or second coming of Christ, will ultimately be determined by the choices of the human community. Panikkar* writes that the parousia of Christ is not separate from the Eucharistic and risen Christ;it is not another incarnation or a second Christ appearing somewhere. We have been warned by Jesus in the Gospels not to believe in any appearance of the coming Messiah here or there. Rather, we are coworkers with God and stewards of creation. The second coming of Christ is the emergence of Christ in us, the human community, when we become reflective not only individually but collectively and live in the spirit of crucified love. Jesus came once;now the new Adam, the new earth, must be fully formed in us if this universe is to find its completion in God.

- Highlight Loc. 3124-32

Philip Hefner indicated that if we are to speak of religion, it must be a religion that can encompass cyborgs and technosapiens. It cannot be merely a religious way of dealing with technology, as if it were external to who we are; rather, technology has become part and parcel of who we are.** When we participate in this drive for new possibilities through technology, we participate also in God. This is the dimension of holiness in technology. The difference between a nontheological and a theological interpretation of technology, Hefner claims, is that the one says the transcending drive is epiphenomenal, a surface phenomenon, while theology says it is rooted in the very nature of things. The epiphenomenalist says that transcendence is evolution’s way of promoting fitness. The theologian asserts that evolution has itself been designed to enable a selftranscending system of reality. In Hefner’s view, the union of technology and humanity—the emergence of techno sapiens—is integral to the transcendent evolutionary trend.

*Raimon Panikkar was the son of a Spanish Roman Catholic mom and a Hindu father.  He was uniquely situated by birth and by his studies to pursue inter-religious dialogue.

**Technology and Human Becoming by Philip Hefner

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Relevancy22: Emergent Christianity - Emergent Christian Topics, Issues and Biblical Studies: How Full Is Your Life? Is It Filled with the Important Stuff?

This is from:

Relevancy22: Emergent Christianity - Emergent Christian Topics, Issues and Biblical Studies: How Full Is Your Life? Is It Filled with the Important Stuff?

How Full Is Your Life? Is It Filled with the Important Stuff?

Lessons of Life
from a mayonaise jar, some golf balls,
and a couple of cans of Beer...
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 beers....
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed....
'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else---the small stuff.
'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents.
Visit with grandparents.
Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18 rounds of golf.
There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.
Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.
Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'
The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with a friend.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Joseph Campbell and Paul Broun

From Joseph Campbell's Myths to Live By and the chapter written in 1961 titled "The Impact of Science on Myth", referring to Sigmund Freud he writes:

His psychology, however, being of an essentially rational kind, insufficiently attentive to the more deeply based, irrational impulsions of our nature, he assumed that when a custom or belief was shown to be unreasonable, it would presently disappear. And how wrong he was can be shown simply by pointing to any professor of philosophy at play in a bowling alley: watch him twist and turn after the ball has left his hand, to bring it over to the standing pins.
And thus Freud, like Frazer, judged the worlds of myth, magic, and religion negatively, as errors to be refuted, surpassed, and supplanted finally by science.


An altogether different approach is represented by Carl G. Jung, in whose view the imageries of mythology and religion serve positive, life-furthering ends. According to his way of thinking, all the organs of our bodies—not only those of sex and aggression—have their purposes and motives, some being subject to conscious control, others, however, not. Our outward-oriented consciousness, addressed to the demands of the day, may lose touch with these inward forces; and the myths, states Jung, when correctly read, are the means to bring us back in touch. They are telling us in picture language of powers of the psyche to be recognized and integrated in our lives, powers that have been common to the human spirit forever, and which represent that wisdom of the species by which man has weathered the millenniums. Thus they have not been, and can never be, displaced by the findings of science, which relate rather to the outside world than to the depths that we enter in sleep. Through a dialogue conducted with these inward forces through our dreams and through a study of myths, we can learn to know and come to terms with the greater horizon of our own deeper and wiser, inward self. And analogously, the society that cherishes and keeps its myths alive will be nourished from the soundest, richest strata of the human spirit.

Yes, "imageries of mythology and religion serve positive, life-furthering ends".  That is why when the literal nature of these important imageries are questioned, some people feel threatened.  Prime contemporary examples are such as Paul Broun who recently claimed that 'evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell.'  Then there is Todd Akin who says evolution is not a matter of science.  And these two people sit on the House Science and Technology Committee.  Amazing.  You see it often, in our postmodern times.  In the nineties we were told by the postmodernists, who were usually considered to be leftists, that there is no truth only interpretation.  In the US,there is a subset of people who consider thermselves to be conservative who apparently agree with this and who think that if they believe hard enough, things they fear like evolution and climate change, will go away. 

We still need to learn to the right way to keep our myths alive while at the same time not lying to ourselves.

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