Posts tagged Theology
I'm currently reading through St. John of the Cross' "The Dark Night of the Soul." In this short book, the 16th century mystic expounds upon his "Songs" which deal with the "dark night of the soul," the period of purgation through which all followers of Christ must come in order to be perfected and united completely in love and purpose with the Divine.
The Songs itself is quite short–only a few stanzas. However, St. John devotes several pages to expounding the meaning of the verses. In his introduction to the concept of the "dark night of the soul," St. John describes some of common barriers that hinder believers from true knowledge of God and precipitate the need for the grand purgation. Two of these hindrances are spiritual voluptuousness and spiritual gluttony…or simplified, the danger of experiential worship.
To John, the con-mingling of the spiritual and physical experience of worship is wholly positive: to be united with God is not just an act of mystical ecstasy, but is rather a way of being that intersects the whole of one's life with that of the divine. The danger of experiential worship, however, arises when the experience of worship–and not God–becomes the thing for which More >
Wow. I haven't posted here since the middle of May.
Well, I've been busy…and whatnot.
For the last several months, I've been extremely busy with my company, Singularity Concepts. I've launched several websites and currently have some "bigguns" in progress.
But for some reason, I've gotten the theology bug recently. So here goes.
The other day, I came across a post talking about problems with Arminian theology. As was once my practice, I jumped into the fray, gunning down the arguments of my Calvinist detractors (not to difficult, but good sport nonetheless). At one point, one of the Arminians actually defended the Reformed view of the atonement, and pointed me to a post somewhere which he believed was a "great" defense of PSA theory from a non-Reformed perspective.
Needless to say, the argument highlighted was terrifically weak and philosophically thin, but one point did pique my interest. One of the fundamental arguments made by the author for his view of atonement is that sin damages God's glory, and that this glory must be restored.
Obviously, this is nothing new. Beginning primarily with Anselm, theologians have thought this way about atonement. Simply, they suggest that in the fall and continuing sinfulness, humanity degrades the glory of More >
Despite rumors to the contrary , my "theological blog" is not dead, at least not quite. In fact, I've got a post regarding the doctrine of atonement in I Peter that will be coming quite soon (I hope!), so watch for that.
The reason for my recent absence is that I've been ridiculously busy the last several weeks (likely excuse, right?), so this kind of thinking has had to take a back-seat to more pragmatic concerns…like watching Battlestar Galactica [reimagined]…
So Mofast Manna tagged me to participate in a meme wherein I am supposed to tell my life story in six words of undefined length.
The singularity of being and nothingnessShare this:
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Regular readers of this blog will note that I have devoted a number of posts to providing an apologetic for the compatibility of the theory of evolution, big bang cosmology and Christian theology.
In pursuing these ideas, my intention has not been to suggest that these naturalistic theories of origins are infallible. Rather, I am simply attempting to be intellectually honest with the data that is available, recognizing that these categories are currently the best we have for describing the universe in which we live and how it developed in cosmological history. In fact, in private conversations I have repeatedly asserted by certainty that in years to come, these theories will be modified or even supplanted by others that better describe the evidence.
But the beautiful thing, I think, is that Christian theology is not harmed by these ways of understanding the development of the universe. My purpose in these posts, after all, is not to necessarily support naturalistic theories of origins, but rather to show how Christian faith and belief is not affected by the winds of scientific change. As Christian faith is necessarily transcendent of all philosophical fads and trends, so it should be apparent that current scienitifc theories should More >
Over the last several weeks, loyal readers of this blog (if any remain…) will note that the focus of the majority of my posts have centered around web application coding techniques. While part of the reason for this is that I have been improving exponentially in my coding abilities over the last several months (not hard when one is going from zero to somethng…), the major impetus for these posts is simply that I post about what I am thinking as well as that to which I am devoting my time. Frankly, while I love theology deeply, I have not been devoting much time to it lately, partly out of necessity, partly out of lethargy.
The last week, however, I have been on vacation and, more importantly, sick. During this time I have had a lot of restless hours to quiet my thinking and devote mental energy to things other than web application code (even though that has still managed to creep in). In these hours of contemplation, I have come across what I believe could be a major diffusor of objections to big bang cosmology (BBC) and evolutionary biology (EB) in re: the relationship of God's activity to the More >
And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."
In an age in which global warming, climate change and concerns about the viability of our planet's environment are seemingly on the forefront of everyone's mind, it is often difficult to find peace and clarity. Everyone wants to blame someone else for the planet's troubles, and the ones who are blamed want to disavow that a problem exists…and all the while a nascent despair settles in as we seriously doubt the kind of future that our children and grandchildren will inherit from us.
In the midst of these concerns, I take comfort in the words of the eschatological Christ, the cosmic redeemer who proclaims from timelessness that all things are being made new. The tense of this phrase, "I am making" is significant, for this does not speak of something that has already happened, nor of some nebulous future event that might be easily metaphoricized in the face of the harsh realities of the present. No, Christ speaks of the continuous act of creation which is even now occurring, a process of rebirth which is not merely a "correction" of the original creation, but is actually More >
Over the last week, I have rolled through several chapters of Peacocke's book, "Theology for a Scientific Age," and I will not spend time going over the finer details of each discussion. I simply wish to note one of the issues that stood out most to me.
In a sort of continuous investigation, Peacocke looks at the nature of causality and its relation to the universe in which we live. Until the last century, it was generally assumed that causality was a one-way street, a sort of "top-down" movement with determinable and predicatable outcomes. What recent inquiry has revealed, especially in relation to quantum physics, however, is that causality is infinitely more complex than the old assumptions would leave one to believe. Because of the interconnectedness of the universe, the precise nexus of the "cause" of an "effect" becomes increasingly blurred as the lines between a "something" as cause and the same "something" as effect converge more closely upon one another.
So what does this mean? Far and away from the classic models of the universe which assumed that absolutely predicatability of naturalistic processes could be gained by a sufficient amount of data, this understanding of the interrelatedness of causality reveals More >
In the first chapter, "What is There," Peacocke examines the shift in metaphorical language about the nature of reality that has been necessitated by advances in understanding of the physical universe, most particularly the insights gleaned from quantum mechanics. While humans tend to think of space and time as isolated, irreducible "things" (e.g., this "lamp" and "my childhood"), the quantum world reveals not only an incessant fluxuation in the nature of space/time, but even more importantly a reducibility of all "things" as metaphors to their irreducible constituent elements. Rather than viewing ourselves and our actions as something that exists "in" space/time or "over-and-against" space/time, the quantum world reveals that who and what we are–in terms of reducibility–are themselves partakers of the fabric of space/time as opposed to alient substances existing therein.
One obvious conclusion of these observations is that it remains no longer possible to speak of reality (people, events, weather, solar systems, etc.) as a series of potentially related, yet closed "systems." No matter how small or seemingly significant something may be, its existence comes to bear on the whole of all else that exists–the butterfly in Cuba disturbing the air effects change in the weather patters in Los More >
Over the next few weeks (hopefully not too many of them!), I will be making my way through Arthur Peacocke's Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming — Natural, Diving and Human. During this time, I hope to leave some brief thoughts on Peacocke's conclusions, commenting about the significance which his writings have for many of the discussions that are currently engaging the hearts and minds of the Church.
I have long been fascinated by the relationship between theology and science, and over the course of my past research into these issues, Peacocke's writings have factored heavily in the development of my tentative conclusions. While many of Peacocke's writings focus on exploring the meaningfulness of theology and science on specific levels (e.g., evolutionary theory), this work seeks to establish a more fundamental link between the two. In a nutshell, Peacocke argues that as both the sciences and theology engage many of the same properties of the human search for significance, knowledge and meaning, so too are they inextricably related to one another. To the chagrin of many antagonists, Peacocke argues that the notion that each pursuit operates within easily bifurcated realms of discussion is the height of naivety and More >