A Season for Everything

The writer has told us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”

There is “a time to be born and a time to die…”

This blog was born out of a single conversation that started many years ago (remember Burk?) between a Christian and an atheist.  And while it widened a bit, it never seemed to get much beyond two people, inhabiting different narratives, trying to have a conversation.  Often, we talked past each other, but maybe a few times we understood the other, even if we still disagreed.  I hope so anyway.  Two people talking and trying to understand the other is always a good thing.  For that aspect alone, this blog and this journey have been well worth it. And while I hope that conversation has made both myself and Burk better people, more informed about the other, and more humble people, I think that conversation, in the form of this blog, needs to come to an end.

I know there are many Christians out there who sense there is something deficient, something hollow, in fundamentalism/evangelicalism, and I want them to know there is a way out–there is another path.  I know there is because I was once one of them.

Relatedly, the rise of Trump and his followers, especially those who claim to be Christians, presents a far greater danger than any atheist ever could to the Gospel and the Judeo-Christian narrative.  It has certainly awakened me from my dogmatic slumbers.  The fact 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump is…astounding…to say the least.  Both these issues are intertwined then.  It is here where my energies and time are now best focused.

To that end, I have started a new blog called Divergence.

I have also been submitting essays/posts to Patheos, which is, according to Wikipedia anyway, “…the largest English language religion and spirituality site in the world.”  Here is one of my submissions that, so far, has been shared on social media over 160,000 times, and has over 250,000 views.  I have had several others published as well.

This doesn’t mean my friendship or dialogue with Burk is ending.  I will always consider him a friend.  And, as I check in on his blog every now and again, I will chime in when I feel it pertinent.  Likewise, while Burk or other atheists/agnostics/secularists are not the intended audience, obviously anyone is welcome to peruse or follow my new blog.

I will always consider Bernard, JP, and RonH to be friends as well.  To each, thank you very much.  I have enjoyed richly and immensely the conversations over the years and feel (and hope) I am a better person for it.

Thank you everyone, all the best, and cheers.

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Summer Time

It is that time of year.  Time for vacations, enjoying the weather, re-calibrating, and powering down.  You will not hear from me for a while as I relax and enjoy time away from computer screens.  Light reading, ocean breezes, good food, and margaritas beckon. Peace.

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Weekly Roundup

Are humans significant–do we matter given the size and scope of the universe?  It is interesting to me that we even ask the question. Why would it even come up?  Why is the question itself present?

The ubiquity of religious, poetic, and metaphorical language is also interesting and something even the materialist fails to escape.  Is the atheist really a pantheist?

Fundamentalism is a possibility for any meta-narrative/world-view and something the wise in every narrative, left or right, guard against.

Really? What we are supposed to glean from a childish twitter tantrum is that no one is perfect, we all fall short?

David B. Hart is arguably America’s most intellectually capable theologian and this is worth listening to just for his comments regarding the current occupant of the White House.

Indeed, there is a distance between language and truth, just as there is between language and God.

The Christian academic community was saddened to hear of the passing of sociologist Peter Berger this week. I’ve enjoyed many of his books and he had a significant impact on the thinking and lives of many.  God speed.

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Weekly Roundup

Is any conflict between classical physics and the quantum just in our own minds?

Narrative is not only intrinsic to learning and understanding it is also very…practical

He rightly points out the damage the fundamentalist focus on the “end times” has done and continues to do regarding our perception of the future; the Orthodox faith in fact sees the “beginning” coming at every moment, eternally in fact.  That is why hope is intrinsic to Christianity.

Good for her

Should the Bible be read like any other book?

God, string theory, and the power of relationship for knowing

Lies and the lying liars who tell them…

Again, we have to laugh…(I could actually see him doing something like this!)…

 

 

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Weekly Roundup

So true: “We usher in the AI future on the wings of angels, because the heavy lifting of the imagination isn’t possible without their pinion feathers – whether we think of them as artificial or divine.”

A theoretical chemist on faith and science

It is easy to point the finger at the super-rich and the 1%, but what about the 20%?

A somewhat controversial figure, but one who makes some interesting observations regarding science delusions and science dogmas…

Can we create a universe in a lab?

Is the universe conscious?

This about sums up the public testimony of our current Attorney General

 

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Weekly Roundup

Einstein, Hitler and the bomb

Science and its somewhat fast and loose relationship with its own historical narrative…

The problem (among many) with the Benedict Option…

We often hope there is some odd, irrational, and out-of-bounds cause behind the horrors men commit

An interesting discussion of fusion, faith, and science

One could not make this up; it reads like the script to a movie and yet, we are living it

This about sums up the week in politics and the Comey testimony…

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Weekly Roundup

Could we learn some things from the Frankfurt School?  Probably.

Only two degrees. What do we do now?

Grieving for a despot and the perils of so-called nation building.

What are we to make of the Coptic Christians and their faith? The final witness.

On the limits of information and the importance of narrative and meaning.

The man is a wrecking ball, a hurricane of short-sighted buffoonery.

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Friday Roundup

One person’s story

Another person’s story and worth the listen: Is belief in God irrational? No.

Jupiter is indeed strange and with cyclones 900 miles wide, we might add extremely hostile…

When it comes to fake news, truth, we must hope, eventually wins

What many don’t know: One of Darwin’s greatest supporters was a devout Christian

This looks like a good book and one that addresses issues at the very core of the western liberal project, and issues that, sooner or later, secular western liberals will have to face up to and address…

Again, perhaps humor is the only way to get through this

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Friday Roundup

On duck sex, patriarchy, female autonomy, and the idea that perhaps “…sexual selection can act independently of natural selection…”

On the importance of Plato and philosophy in general as an antidote to the idea we are “…the apex of intelligence, and cannot believe that the quaint clothes and cumbrous phrases of former times can have invested people and thoughts that are still worthy of our attention…”

The current state of most lay discussions regarding deconstruction and even postmodernity

Does science equal atheism?  No.

Is science broken? Psychology and its methods? Scientific methods/sampling/controls/methodology? Is ESP real?

Indeed, Marx, “…deals a powerful blow to secular political economy. But it’s a surprise only to those who begin from an assumption of secularity, who expect they will discover a mysticism-free zone deep down…”  Nope, it is faith or religion (devotion/belief/mystery) all the way down.

Just when you think it can’t get worse

Again, if we weren’t laughing, we would be crying

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Friday Roundup

The intractable problem of modernity, or Western liberalism, is that it replaced God with different mediators, namely the state and the market (Thank you Hobbes and Smith).  Where has this led?  Look around.  It is no longer clear either can address our deepest problems in their current manifestation and relationship to…people…

I can think of no better way to describe the Republican “healthcare plan” …

Perhaps miracles are not meant to explain nature, but are signs of a much more important aspect—the aspect of relationship…

Whence beauty? Why? Because it “happens.” No utility, no pragmatics, no adaptivity, no pure scientific explanation.  No reduction.  Just…beauty…

“…Milbank argues that liberalism is founded on ‘the ontological primacy of evil and violence: at the beginning is a threatened individual, piece of property, or racial terrain.’”

And when a Trump arises, he is ready to take that primacy and let it rise to the surface, fan it, encourage it, and make it seem reasonable.  But make no mistake, the embers were already present underneath and in the founding story…

Atheism, the seedbed, the great incubator of…a flourishing Christianity…

It would all be so funny, if it wasn’t so sad at the same time…the man is a complete embarrassment…

Oh, and this happened…yep, really

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