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Preview: Living Spirituality

Living Spirituality

A blog engaged in exploring Living Christian Spirituality

Updated: 2018-03-18T12:22:10.756+01:00


Thursday Thoughts - March 15


I’d wager that the information coming from the natural world informer shows us that Apple is not the only one configuring planned obsolescence. Yep, it appears evident from our evolutionary history that we’re ‘made’ to die, however, that may not be the end of the emerging and as of yet, unfinished story. [...]

Living Spiritual Rhythms - March 14


Emerging from a long dark winter is like falling into spring light, which brings with it a myriad of fresh possibilities for an illuminating awakening. Newness all around us materializes in a suite of creative surges that heighten our awareness and address our context. Out of life comes death and out of death comes life. Death is fleeting. Life reigns. [...]

Reflection for the Week - March 12


When assumed interpretations of God and the biblical text come under credible scrutiny from the natural world informer (no literal 6 day creation; Eve & Adam; fall), we should turn to alternatives. This may be painful for some, since God will no longer be able to be pictured or imagined as once was the case, but it is nevertheless an important move from the old status quo to new and significant possibilities for belief that make more sense in a universe that is still unfolding. [...]

Paul Ricoeur & Living Hermeneutics


In light of the Recent Release - Paul Ricoeur & Living Hermeneutics post yesterday, I thought I'd offer this brilliant sketch of the book by a former colleague:

Thursday Thoughts - March 8


I’d wager that attempts to refer to the whole biblical text as inerrant or even authoritative risk saying too much. Perhaps we have now reached a point in time when it is more plausible to discuss various parts of the Bible and then place them on a sliding scale of value within, behind, and in front of the text, than it is to make bold overarching statements about its entirety. [...]

Living Spiritual Rhythms - March 7


Finding shelter from the vacuous and inconsequential is getting harder and harder to do. The rhythm of the ‘trite’ leaves us exposed to a devaluing of heart, mind, and imagination. Rapid-fire rhetoric connected to an entertainment based church and culture infiltrates our capacity to think clearly and truthfully. In contrast to this prevailing and woeful meltdown, there is the possibility of a critical adventure. While it’s true that criticism is never an end in and of itself, it is an essential component to chasten naïveté and to promote the virtuous life. Engage, evaluate, embrace―the Infinite One, other, and world. Enter the spooky haven of relationality (the essence of being relational); the space to dwell in oneself as another.

Recent Release on Hermeneutics.


Paul Ricoeur was one of the most prolific thinkers of the twentieth century.
There have been many books written on Ricoeur’s philosophy, but very little is available on his theological trajectory and its connection to biblical interpretation. My book Living Hermeneutics aims to fill that lacuna. It brings to life the diverse ways in which Ricoeur’s work can contribute to and open up viable possibilities for critiquing both modernist and postmodernist orientations, while offering new theological and hermeneutical directions for understanding the text, the reader, and the world. This book is aimed at a broad student audience, as well as the interested general reader who would like to know more about Ricoeur.

Reflection for the Week - March 5


Promising needs a referent beyond the promisor and promissee. It has to be anchored in someone or something that substantiates that “the promise” is worth keeping because it is “good” to do so. Promise, therefore, never escapes ethics. The “act” of promise cannot be reduced to itself.

Book Discounts.


My publisher and I have heavily discounted worldwide several of my paperback books (ebooks already cheaper) to make them more affordable for any who might be interested. 

Thursday Thoughts - March 1


Love, self-understanding/self-deception, and the capacity for “awe” are realities that add a surplus of meaning to the notion of naturalism. Naturalism, though comprising many truths, cannot go it alone. Not even DNA can do that. Yet, this is not to say that what transcends it offers total closure, since it only promises the hope of a “more sufficient” explanatory story that is, however, far from finished.  [...]

Living Spiritual Rhythms - February 28


Barriers to belief in God may plague us throughout our lives. Forgone solutions and conclusions will only increase our difficulties, instead of resolving them. After all, our access to the possible world of Eden is beyond reach and we are hampered by a real world inability to get outside of ourselves in order to have an ultimate vantage point that will put all the pieces in place. Since this is true, we are likely to experience times of struggle and questioning, which occur on different levels, but choosing an alternative of automatic pilot spirituality or a rationalistic apologetic where everything makes sense is a foil. There is no such thing. Thus, as we ramble through our days, sometimes villains or sometimes disciples, we don’t want to give in to the pressures of unbelief, as powerful as they may appear to be, for the roadblocks on the path can turn into signposts that point in the direction that belief in God is warranted and sensible in the midst of this wild, wonderful, and complex world.       [...]

Reflection for the Week - February 26


Dialogue animates and breathes life into ideas, which tend to stagnate into oblivion when reduced to monologue. If we take a dialogical trajectory in our thinking, we will begin to develop formulations that yield a greater credibility. This is so because we are working with a broader sphere of possibilities that combine to offer a surplus of meaning. And reality is like that – breathtaking and overflowing with meaning – which is not entirely captureable, nor however, is it anything we make it out to be.[...]

Friday Musings - February 23


If spirituality can mean anything, it means nothing. Of course there are plenty of sources of spiritual non-sense around, but so much today that is passed off as spiritual is coming out of Christian impoverishment. Woe! Authoritarian hypocrisy wielded by those in power steps on the stage and seeks to control people through performance, superficiality, and manipulation. Many are having none of it, others are fed up. Can’t say I blame ‘em. Redrawing the boundaries for the meaning of ‘spiritual’ is a crucial task for our understanding of living spirituality.[...]

An Important Work!


 This is an innovative and enriching book. While not all will agree with Delio, Christ in Evolution offers a creative proposal of how to begin to integrate evolution and theology. How does evolution impact the theological enterprise? In other words, if evolution is true, which in her view is the case, how does this affect theology? According to Delio, Christianity can no longer ignore or set aside these types of questions. In fact, she argues, addressing them is central to an active and robust faith.


Thursday Thoughts - February 22


Ethics as expressed in the economy of exchange can never be an end in and of itself. Love, grace, and mercy go beyond an ethical right and wrong, without effacing it. Thus, following in the footsteps of Christ will be relationally challenging and risky. We may not receive as much as we give, since the journey on this path is traced in and marked out by the economy of gift, which opens up new ways of being, seeing, and living. [...]

Living Spiritual Rhythms - February 21


We live and die in the midst of brokenness and beauty. They both engage us deeply with an insightful truth: life is like this. Our world and our lives, as it were, are cut in two. This tension permeates creation and us as part of it. Looking outside and then inside reminds us that this is the way it is. Sometimes there’s lament and sometimes there’s praise, yet both are woven together. One never effaces the other. Faced with this reality, we long for transformation and the gift of resolution, where brokenness is absolved and beauty alone remains.   [...]

Reflection for the Week - February 19


Rethinking how little we really know should bring us to the recognition that we ought to be cautious about what we defend, and open about what we still need to explore.

Adam & Eve? Talking Serpents & Magic Trees?


Many argue that there is either contradiction or complementarity in Genesis 1-2:3 and 2:4&3. Our take in From Evolution to Eden.Making Sense of Early Genesis is that neither of these arguments applies. In our view, it’s likely that these are separate founding stories of beginnings that point to God and give a raison d’être for national Israel. The editor, who at some point put them together, didn’t see fit to rearrange or smooth out the “narratives.” We suggest that the two very different stories are purposefully left in tension and both remain avant-garde in their own ways right up to today.[...]

Thursday Thoughts - February 15


Misrecognizing that there will always be a relation and distinction between self and other leads to inappropriate ways of connecting that both demand too much, and expect too little. Self and other deserve to be ‘mutually recognized’ as having worth and value, which is to result in developing a finely tuned dialogical interaction between them. But when self or other is the sole referent for life or no referent at all – each becomes artificially constituted in a double misrecognition – neither should be perceived in such roles. Since it is always tempting to ignore the complex tension of relation and distinction it will be ‘hard work’ to avoid false characterizations of who we are and thus to reject the liabilities of forcing self to be other or other to be self.  Yet, work it out we must, though as we do so let it be in a careful and compassionate manner, delicately balanced on the tight rope of trust and suspicion. [...]

Living Spiritual Rhythms - February 14


To not have faith in God is to have faith in someone or something else. There is no neutral place available for us to be without faith. If this is the case, which appears likely, then if we don’t have faith in God, the question becomes who or what we do have faith in, and does this who or what merit our trust. It is essential not to stack the deck in favor of one world view or the other and to be willing to entertain the same kinds of questions and implications for whatever our faith position may be. Faith, it appears to me, is a feature of being human and a choice - something like a relational justified true belief. Whatever and whoever this belief is in would require a holistic (not reductionist or compartmentalized) interactive connectivity, which is capable of coherently flowing through and making sufficient sense of a web of important matters, including self, other, and world. [...]

Important New Book! - February 14


This is a fascinating book dealing with the Apostle Paul’s anthropology, a topic that deserves much more attention than it has been given recently. Eastman’s work, at least partially, makes up for that lacuna. In light of ancient philosophy and advances in evolution and neuroscience today, Eastman explores one of the key issues of our times: Paul’s view of personhood. I’d wager that for reframing Paul’s anthropology Eastman could have benefited from interacting with the works of Paul Ricoeur, notably Oneself as Another, Kevin Vanhoozer, especially Remythologizing Theology, Darrel Falk, specifically Coming to Peace with Science, and particularly The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns. Nonetheless, her book opens up interesting possibilities. 

Reflection for the Week - February 12


Desire seems like a pre-given part of who I am. Its expression can be constructive or destructive, but this does not explain its existence. I am not in control of desire, but merely its outcome, as it’s already there before I am conscious of it. If this is the case, it’s one more nail in the coffin of the prominent, but wayward proposal of a self-authenticating self, which attempts to be the founder of itself and the final foundation of meaning and knowledge. A more accurate hermeneutics of self is one that takes into account the truth that I am a mediator of that which precedes me; that which is given, and that my accountability is connected to what I do with this, not that I make it be in the first place. This portrayal of selfhood should make room for the transcendent and in doing so therefore, ultimately open up a very real signpost to the Infinite One.[...]

Thursday Thoughts - February 8


If we try to do love without knowledge and ethics, we will undoubtedly end up further away from love.[...]

New Book Announcement !


Reading the Gospel of Mark is a fascinating adventure, with the destiny of humanity hanging in the balance. Where’s it all going? In this narrative commentary, Gregory J. Laughery wagers that to read and hear this story is to enter a possible world; a world of subversive reversals of perspective, intrigue, mystery, and strange riddles, with Jesus as its central protagonist. Far from a simple tale, filled with easy answers or a basic list of rules to follow, Mark’s story is explosive; combining exquisite literary creativity and formidable theological force. Readers are challenged to participate in the recounting and to lose their lives so that they, in turn, may find them. Thus, this compelling story is a drama to be performed―lived—acted out. Since the world of self-serving power, fame, and control is decaying, only the embrace of a possible world and all it offers, according to Mark, will lead to life after death.[...]