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Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

Tribe Saturday Night Inquiry 06072008

Saturday Night Inquiry

Postmodern aficionados often claim that objectivity doesn’t exist. I just read the following statement on a thoroughly Postmodern/Christian blog: “…I believe in accountability, not objectivity.” The Saturday Night Inquiry question is this, and it is a three-part question: “Doesn’t it actually take a certain amount of objectivity to claim that there is no such thing as objectivity? Furthermore, how does one actually “do” accountability without objectivity and/or a set of objective standards?” And finally, I ask, “To whom exactly does one offer this sort of accountability if there is no objective reasoning involved in a choice of persons?”

Testing the Appropriation of Postmodern Epistemological Developments

Andrew publishes an awesome post/word regarding the emergent engagement of postmodernity (read it!):

I believe that Christians need to concentrate on being Christian and that far too often the emergent conversation works so hard to make “postmodern-conversant” people that it forgets that the goal of the church is to make Christian people who follow God’s spirit through the whims and follies of every changing scene, whether it be modernity, postmodernity, or whatever else comes our way. May the church today - in all its forms - have the faith to live through this blip on the cultural radar. May we simply do what the church has always been called to do - worship God, make disciples, care for the oppressed, and move beyond selfishness toward unity with God.

My Mini-City Named Parable

I established a mini-city during my hiatus. I named it Parable. It evolves virtually over time. You can help me increase the population of Parable by visiting it!

The Prisoners’ Dilemma

A biological and sociological game is afoot! Take on a fiendish cyberspace wizard in The Prisoners’ Dilemma!

Prisoners’ Dilemma is a game which has been and continues to be studied by people in a variety of disciplines, ranging from biology through sociology and public policy. Among its interesting characteristics are that it is a “non-zero-sum” game: the best strategy for a given player is often one that increases the payoff to one’s partner as well. It has also been shown that there is no single “best” strategy: how to maximize one’s own payoff depends on the strategy adopted by one’s partner.

Finding a Civil Gathering Place in Aspects of Universal Human Nature

Any debate regarding the nature and worth of human beings that is based entirely upon immediate social structures and/or states, presupposed ethnic and/or socio-cultural prejudices, and historical/cultural relative aspects of cultural belief should be avoided by any whom wish to ethically address the deep questions raised by an incurably social humanity. Political platformers, social activists, literary geniuses, religious visionaries, philosophers, artists and theologians have argued, agreed, pushed, pulled, and, on more than a few occasions, loosed flashes of brilliance in addresses, books, debates, and rallies regarding the topic of civility and humanity. It seems, however, that a resolution regarding a universally complementary society remains unattainable. Read More »

A De-centralized and Emerging Ecclesiology

There is an extremely important theological conversation emerging in the socially networked phenomenon aka the blogosphere. A word or two should be spent, however, on the phenomenon of the discussion itself, before taking a headlong dive into the specific subject matter being addressed. Why? The nature of the discussion is absolutely remarkable! It would be a most unfortunate loss if the participants in this discussion and their readers failed to recognize how theology is being engaged in this postmodern time in which we are living. The nature of this particular discussion, or how it is being directly engaged, is, therefore, as important as the specific subject matter itself. These are truly remarkable and de-centralized times.

Drew Ditzel, a student at Columbia Theological Seminary, is enrolled in a class called “Emerging Church Models.” Specifically, the question Drew is contemplating has to do with the role of professional leadership in Emerging Church Models. He picked several Christian bloggers and requested a post dedicated to this question and any peripheral issues. The result: several well written posts - deeply cognitive and emotive - concerning emerging ecclesiology, missional practice, philosophy of ministry, leadership, friendship, orthopraxy, etc. The most remarkable aspect of this event is, however, the way theology itself is being engaged. As important as our local communities are to us, we are, whether we realize it or not, simultaneously engaging and developing the theology expressed within these local communities globally. Think about that for a minute or two. Read More »

Things Fall Apart: Sin, Redemption, and Free Will

Humanity was created perfect and in the very image of God, according to the Biblical story. Humanity, however, chose to separate itself from God by succumbing to the temptation to become its own God. Our embrace of this temptation led to a cataclysmic break in our original relationship with God. We are constantly tempted by Satan to crumple and discard our trust and dependence upon God and instead rely upon our own self-effort and humanistic delusions of a divine-like grandeur. Satan persistently lures us into believing we are capable of becoming our own God. Jesus was not exempt from Satan’s chess game. Jesus was sorely tempted in the wilderness just as Adam was tempted in the Garden. The temptation was eerily similar in both cases. Satan’s goal, in both cases, was to convince his targets that they could in fact be their own God. Adam succumbed to this temptation and the world was changed; Jesus held tight to God and defeated Satan and the temptation. The world was changed again. Humanity, in Adam, failed; Jesus set things right. Humanity, in Christ Jesus, has salvation; just as in Adam we have Sin. Read More »

Hauerwas on the End of Religious Pluralism

Stanley Hauerwas video and audio lecture: The End of Religious Pluralism.

A Quick Note Re: the Derrida/Caputo Nutshell

I took a bit of time this morning to sit on the back porch (actually, it’s a step) and read through a bit of Derrida/Caputo (Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A conversation with Jacques Derrida). I’m not finished with the book, but I will be through this evening. This morning, I was amazed, thrilled, and inspired by the following excerpt: Read More »

Abstracting Postmodernism, Pluralism, and Ethics

I’m chasing an interesting and abstract thought re: the philosophical relationship between postmodernism, liberal religious pluralism, and ethics. I’ll begin with a fantastic quote by Stanley Hauerwas. The following excerpt is from The Peaceable Kingdom:

“All ethical reflection occurs relative to a particular time and place. Not only do ethical problems change from one time to the next, but the very nature and structure of ethics is determined by the particularities of a community’s history and convictions. From this perspective the notion of ‘ethics’ is misleading, since it seems to suggest that ‘ethics’ is an identifiable discipline that is constant across history. In fact, much of the burden of this book will be to suggest that ethics always requires an adjective of qualifier - such as, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Existentialist, Pragmatic, Utilitarian, Humanist, Medieval, Modern - in order to denote the social and historical character of ethics as a discipline. This is not to suggest that ethics does not address an identifiable set of relatively constant questions - the nature of good or right, freedom and the nature of human behavior, the place and status of rules and virtues - but any response to these questions necessarily draws on the particular convictions of historic communities to whom such questions may have significantly different meanings.” Read More »