Archive | September, 2008

analogia entis

Taken from the Theological Word of the Day (TWOD) (to which you should all subscribe!)

Let’s discuss. Do you all agree with the concept expressed by the analogia entis? Read first, then comment.

(Lat. “analogy of being”)

also, “analogy of imitation” or “analogy of participation”

The belief that there exists an analogy or correspondence between the creation and God that makes theological conversation about God possible. While many would say that finite beings with finite language cannot describe an infinite God, theologians of the medieval era discussed this problem, seeking to resolve it by developing a theory which alloted the communication of words into three separate categories.

1) Some words are univocal (always used with the same sense)

2) Some were equivocal (used with very different senses)

3) Some were analogical (used with related senses).

It is this third sense that the analogia entis finds meaning.

While finite man cannot describe and infinite God perfectly (univocally), he can do so truly being that God has created man in his image and, through this, has provided and analogical way of communicating himself. To deny the analogia entis is thought, by some, to be a self defeating proposition since it would present the situation where an all-powerful God is not powerful enough to communicate himself to his creation.

Cambridge 2008

After an always exhausting and worrisome trip over the ‘Pond,’ I arrived in London with three friends on August 16 (or, as the Brits say, 16 August).

Exhausting? Yes, because I choose not to go to sleep the night before flights to Europe so that I can sleep on the plane. OK, maybe ‘choose’ is too strong of a word. The reality is that I have so much work to do before I leave for the airport that I don’t have time to sleep. But it’s a great plan for curing jetlag. Of course, if there are crying babies in the vicinity, then my scheme fails miserably. Or if one of our team happens to lose his lunch due to a migraine and turbulence, and if he happens to be my son, it’s hard to fall asleep. It’s also exhausting hauling 17 large pieces of luggage, paying the increasingly exorbitant extra luggage costs, and wondering if we’ll ever see our bags again. If we don’t, the expedition is over before it begins.

But worrisome? I admit: I’m a worrier. I wish I weren’t. I wish I trusted God much more, especially since he has a pretty decent track record with me. I wish I didn’t get heartburn as I park my big derriere in a tiny seat and try to take my mind off of all that we have to do. I wish I could just relax, believing that our gear is going to be OK, believing that we won’t have hassles from the passport folks or the customs agents when we land, believing that the four of us can haul everything to the next vehicle to take us somewhere without incident. I don’t relax until we get to our new home and I see that the gear is still in one piece. Even though it’s all insured, it’s a lot of delicate equipment. Each person is allowed to take one bag for personal belongings; the other 13 are for our work of photographing manuscripts. Continue Reading →

Redistibuting Wealth will Fundamentally Change the American Workforce

Don’t be enamored to quickly by “change.” Barak represents those in a long line of liberal socialists. His call for “change” is nothing of the sort. It may be a change from our current system, but what I mean is that it is nothing “new.”

From an economic standpoint, he is calling for an internal redistribution of Americas wealth. If redistribution is the way America wants to go, that is fine…it is the beauty of a democracy. But people must realize what this means. It is not simply a matter of fixing our current crisis, but placing ourselves under an entirely different type of government sanctioned economic situation which causes “opportunity” to function under the umbrella of a new paradigm. Obama wants to decide who is rich and who is poor. If you are too successful, then you will be punished.

This may sound attractive to the poor. Why wouldn’t it? If you cannot afford health-care, if you cannot pay your mortgage, if you cannot find a job, then the government will take from those who can to provide for you. The government ends up being the hero! Right? Well there are a more than a few major problems with this direction. Let me describe a couple

1. The motive of the labor force will be quit limited. People are motivated by success. There is nothing wrong with this, biblically or otherwise. This does not amount to greed. Even in the Scriptures, we are told to seek treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20). But when wealth is redistributed the old idea that “hard work pays” will no longer be true. The entrepreneur mentality that has made America great will be drowned as people recognize that, if successful, they will be giving a major portion of their success to the government. Very few people will succeed in this type of socialism because they will have no motive to do so. We will eventually have to reinvent our popular description of America from “The Land of Opportunity” to “The Land of government sanctioned equality.” Continue Reading →

Thoughts on the Debate?

Here are my basic thoughts about the Presidential debate:

Both were functioning withing the common Rep and Dem framework. Dems want more of a socialist government (which is not wrong in and of itself). Rep want opportunity which prioritizes itself over the lower class.

Mcain sounded like he knew what was going on because of experience, Obama seemed very book smart.

In the end, as I said to my brother-in-law, I could have said everything that Obama said because it was standard liberal politics. Mcain was a different story…he really knew from experience. Really, whatever you are, Dem or Rep, it is the ideals of the party that will be your first step. If you are truly undecided, Obama did not seem equipped to take the most powerful position in the world (from a human perspective).

Frankly, I would not be too scared if Obama becomes pres simply because he will be a non-voice that people pat on the head and say “thanks for you input” but the balance of powers will eventually leave you without a relevant voice. He is not a qualified leader. Mcain seems to be able to have influence and respect.

Here is a good way to put it:

I would like to take a college class from Obama.

I would like to be discipled by Mcain.

Thoughts on the debate?

The Second Coming of Emergers

With all the renewed conversation about the emerging church that is blanketing the web once again, I thought that I would enter the “conversation” in a somewhat atypical way.

Some are proclaiming the death of the emerging church saying, “The emerging church is dead—at least in nomenclature, if not in spirit.” Others such as Scot McKnight, Andrew Jones, and Dan Kimball are calling this a nominal death, believing the name itself is no longer descriptive of the original intent of the group, but that the principles expressed will move on. Scot’s post had the spirit of a “call to arms” of the emerging ethos. Others, such as Brian McLaren and Tony Jones may to be holding on to its designation with some hesitant resolve (if you you will allow me to combine those two words).

For those of you ready to sing a courtesy dirge, for those who are preparing their “I-told-you-so” sermon for this Sunday, for those who are breaking out the campaign, hold on. Put the cork back in. I don’t think this type of celebration is yet in order. In fact, I think that this is simply setting up for the second coming of emerging.

To me, this is a good thing that has been in the works for the last few years. It is a natural result of any attempts to reform. The movement is correcting itself. As a result, we see emergers distancing themselves from one another. It is interesting to see the way they are distancing themselves. There are no rope burns on either side. Really, it is just a matter of starting a walk together, holding  the hands of many shared concerns. But while this walk initially allowed some close associations, the ever so slight angle of the direction has proven that they were never really headed the same way to begin with. Its a matter of geometry.

How about a chart to describe this! (Start from the bottom).

(Click to Enlarge) Continue Reading →

Green Evangelicals

Warning: an imbalanced and emotionally non-irenic post ahead. Don’t read as it may only cause disappointment among many of my more progressive friends.

The latest Barna survey was published last night. Its intent was to evaluate the Evangelical position concerning the environment. In sum, it argues that Evangelicals are “going green.” You can find it here.

One paragraph in particular caught my attention:

“Most Christians are not satisfied to be mere observers of the green movement. Three-quarters of self-identified Christians (78%) agree they would like to see their fellow Christians take a more active role in caring for God’s creation in a way that is both informed and biblical. Among evangelicals, 90% would like Christians to take a more active role in caring for creation, with 67% agreeing strongly. This sentiment is firmly endorsed by a majority of active churchgoers who are Catholic (52%), mainline Protestant (62%), and non-mainline Protestant (67%).”

I would agree with the basic thrust of this as I too am concerned about the environment. However, I am not going “Green” or even “going Green” in any way. Continue Reading →

Why George Left the Faith

Continuing our studies on why people leave the faith, I offer you George. Please read this and let’s discuss what is going on. I will add some questions at the conclusion.

___________________

“My story is as messy as life itself. I’m in the early processes of going public with my deconversion, but it also feels liberating to finally admit the truth out loud, and in the open.

I became a Christian in high school through a youth ministry called Young Life. I went to a week long camp where the gospel was packaged and delivered with great polish and skillful delivery, which was designed for maximum emotional impact. Many girls in the audience at night were in tears as they listened to the account of Jesus. We were all encouraged the final night to go off by ourselves in the dark and commit our lives to Christ. I remember that time vaguely thinking to myself that god really wasn’t there, but I think I prayed to him anyway, just in case. It wasn’t a fervent prayer however, because I wasn’t entirely sure I WANTED him to exist. Still, my friends were doing it, and they seemed cool and nice, so I’d do it to.

I came back from camp somehow oddly pumped up for Christ. I threw myself into bible studies, and developed my Christian friendships a great deal. I still have those Christian friendships, and love my buddies – although now that is a problem (more on that in a moment). I still had nagging doubts in the back of my mind, but kept pushing them aside and just tried harder to be a good Christian. The next few years in college I would vacillate quite a bit. One year I was a volunteer actually helping Young Life. The next year I joined a fraternity and was elected VP, partying heavily and enjoying relationships with sorority women. Continue Reading →