Wednesday, January 28, 2009

no point in arguing creationism.

That is a page from my journal. I recently read an article about the tension that exist between the scientific and religious communities, specifically the ideas of evolution vs creationism. Here is something the article said,

"The world is a complex place, and there is much about the universe that we still don't understand. We are centuries away from closing the many gaps in our current scientific understanding of the natural world.... But it is the business of science to close gaps, and it has long been the central intuition of theology to find a better place to look for God.... Promoting "design" in isolation from God's other attributes is a dangerous and ultimately self-defeating way to get God back into science."

I think the last sentence of that excerpt is quite precise.

I was at Cogan's recently and I was thinking that my range of conversational interest is shrinking. I don't know how to have conversations that focus on things which are inconsequential to me, or at least I feel, and I've been told, that even though I may be earnestly trying, I come off as's circumstantial. I'm going to LA tomorrow, and you can bet your ass I'll be visiting the Elliott Smith wall! The other day, we took part in the wall raising of Rhonda's new house. It was a whole lot of fun. When I arrived, I parked near a fire hydrant, and a nice gentleman mentioned that I may be too close to the fire hydrant. It was a courteous gesture just to make sure I was aware of the possible consequence. As it turns out, that nice man was the mayor or Newport even if I did receive a ticket, I would've asked him to pardon it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

an article that relevant let me write for their online magazine

hey, the nice people at relevant's magazine let me post an article about..well, who else, kierkegaard.

check it out here

or, here....

Growing up, I remember a sermon that was about "people that ruled the world from their graves". Essentially, it was a list of philosophers, political or existential, who, through their ideas, undermined the truth of Christ through a humanistic rationalization. The attitude with which the preacher approached these ideas was similar to how many Christians view postmodernism. If cultural relativism was the forgiving of all worldly philosophies, cultural practices and behavior based on the relative nature of environment, then postmodernism is the encouragement of it. It's regarded as a sleeping evil masked with a unifying and "kumbaya" mentality, a Humanistic euphoria of false peace. Relativity was the golden rule turned upside down, a concept which undermined what I was taught to be the truth of Jesus Christ.

Since I grew up as a Christian, how was I to make sense of the absolute truth in a subjective existence? Thank God for Kierkegaard!

Soren Kierkegaard was one of the most influential philosophical and theological thinkers of the 19th century. Kierkegaard, who was a Christian, is also considered the first existentialist. For me, he redefined "postmodernism" as the pursuit of subjective truth rather than the denial of absolute truth. While one can attribute a number of involved, dense and complex philosophical theories and ideas to Kierkegaard, it could be approached in a way that sees Kierkegaard as an honest and obsessed scholar who was exploring a clear, yet difficult idea: complete devotion to Christ, first and foremost, and beyond everything else.

Kyle Roberts (Theology Professor at Bethel Seminary) puts Kierkegaard's philosophy this way: "One must 'become a true self,' before God ... and allow the God-relationship to direct their development and behavior." The goal is not hard to recognize. As Christians, we all desire to know Christ personally. But the difficulty arises when one considers what this could mean in the context of "living like a Christian." What is required of us to follow Christ? This question spreads to every aspect of our existence.

Kierkegaard wrote extensively on the idea of faith, more specifically, his idea of subjective faith which, defined in his own writing, is "an objective uncertainty, held fast through appropriation with the most passionate inwardness, is the truth, the highest truth there is for an existing person." We are all guided by our own experience, and a relationship with Christ would imply a unique call and interpretation of God's will in your life. When Kierkegaard was 22 years old, he wrote of his desire to "find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die." But this is not to be taken as arbitrary relativism. John D. Caputo (Professor of Humanities at Syracuse University) points out that Kierkegaard's use of the word "subjectivity" is not meant to imply justification based on self validation, rather, the "subjective" refers to that one thing that will transform your life. If Christ is the truth that will transform your life, then the question has to be approached honestly: How does one truly follow Christ?

Kierkegaard explores faith in his book, Fear and Trembling. The book uses the story of Abraham to explore the concept of faith and ultimate devotion—the enigmatic call from God to sacrifice his only son is a horribly absurd request. I've always thought about this story in a historical and metaphorical context, but Kierkegaard lifts the story out its historical context and considers what it could be taken to mean today, and more importantly, what it means to you. He explores the defining moment, the moment when your "inward passion" for the "objective uncertainty" comes to test. Where do we find the tenacity and strength of heart to truly follow Christ all the way to the absurd?

Roberts points out: "Kierkegaard is inviting his readers to take the leap from the universal ethical to the religious, where they live 'in fear and trembling' before God." The goal is not to make following Christ arbitrarily difficult, but to constantly search for God's truth.

Roberts continues, "Faith, for Kierkegaard, was a restless thing," and Kierkegaard himself writes, "Fear and trembling signify that we are in the process of becoming; and every single individual, likewise the generation, is and should be aware of being in the process of becoming. And fear and trembling signify that there is a God—something every human being and every established order ought not to forget."

I've often felt suffocated when I consider my responsibility as a Christian, and in the arena of theological theories it's as though Christ himself has been analyzed into a theory rather than a reality, something Kierkegaard himself was fighting against. Kierkegaard did not want to analyze Christ into an abstraction, and for me, he succeeded in making Christ more subjectively exigent. The intent of this idea reveals a pure and lucid goal: the honest and desperate pursuit of Christ.

Only by the mysterious nature of God's grace can we make the first step forward. Devotion to Christ is a conflict that requires a sincere and ingenuous faith. Kierkegaard explored this concept to the extreme, and his writings challenge the reader to evict any insulation that disrupts their personal relationship with Christ. You don't have to be an expert to see the value and practicality of what Kierkegaard encouraged, it is the constant re-evaluation and application of one's faith. Do not deny objective truth, but keep pursuing the truth that is infinitely true for you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

devil's advocate

verses from those two angels on my shoulder continue to create these earthly displays that reaffirm the lessons of a begrudged and lonely teacher whose wisdom is displayed repeatedly to countless generations through sad songs, tragic literature and bad poetry. they find surprisingly catchy melodies and paint vivid pictures to remind me that life is not mine to be lived, but instead, it is merely a reminder of what i desire and a reminder of what exists in the sobriety of the "real world". a sobriety, which ironically, creates drunkards after they realize that mission statements and ambitions become hypothetical. truth is revealed only in hindsight. truth is revealed only after the opportunity arises to seize it. when that opportunity arises, all of a sudden, we remember those safety nets which keep us chained in the foyer of the mansion which i've been told about over and over again, but the mansion is only experienced by the people i read about, the true artists and the true christians, the true geniuses who are alway exceptions to the rule and the traditional rote. those prophets don't really exist, they only exist in audio form really. they will all be let downs i'm sure .if i meet them, that passion i hear in song will only amount to imagination with which the silly ones are blessed. I'm going to end up joining the GOP because they aren't idealists, they are the evolutionists. screw the welfare of those who can't create their own way, make room for me and my accomplishments. the inward aspirations count only in poetry, and poets usually end up going crazy, or being liars, or addicts. i've read today that those passionate poets explain nothing, if that's true..hmm. dreams are a let down.
it's a good time, but my love is assuaged.

no one is righteous no one is righteous no one is righteous no one is righteous

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Finally :-)

Happy Inauguration Day!

Monday, January 12, 2009


"Pagan blood returns! The Spirit is near; why doesn't Christ help me by granting my soul nobility and liberty? Alas! The Gospel has gone by! The Gospel! The Gospel. Greedily I await God. I am of an inferior race for all eternity"

I bought a book of Rimbaud's poetry this weekend. For some reason, I have an endearing fascination with tortured souls. Maybe the word "tortured" is a bit too dramatic. Perhaps the word, "longing" is more apt. Rimbaud stopped writing poetry at the age of nineteen. That makes me feel unaccomplished.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

nouvelle vague

Friday, January 02, 2009

did morality exist before the ten commandments?

I want to know what you think about the concept of morality. I've listened to some NPR podcasts recently, read about it some in this book I'm reading, and also, I found something in my journal about it. So now I'm wondering, is morality a concept that stands alone. Is it a self supporting independent "thing" that exists without the application of it's value in humanity, does it exist strictly with God? Or is "morality" a term we give to our own decisions and actions? It is it something that we manipulate, is it circumstantial? I had a conversation with Rob recently, about it. I think, in social context, morality is questionable. It's social organization, is it merely a social construct, a tool? Morality is a broad term. My friend thinks that morality is not dependent on the human definition, the social definition, but exists with God. Therefor, even "base" morality would be a product of God's will and creation. Is there a difference between God's morality and a human morality? Sure, the reason for practicing such morality would be different, but the daily application could be very similar. I think that people are strange. There are those who are very utilitarian, and morality for them is nothing but a tool, or a means to an end. There are those who can only have faith in a deity who's morality is perfection, and can't be tarnished or ruined...those hopeful religious types. There are those who have that pragmatic approach to morality, a "general morality"..and eye for an eye type of thing. All of these ideas lead to my idea that "morality" is merely a construct of our own. It's something we make perhaps. I wonder how the ten commandments changed the idea of morality? Before God's law, was there only moral anarchy? Was morality understood before the ten commandments, and did the ten commandments merely give these mysterious social parameters a name, a focus and a source. (perhaps my biblical history is off) I hope this post doesn't come off with an air of certainty. I've just been thinking about it a lot. I keep finding myself further away from believing that morality is a supreme concept, and unmoving ideal. If the application of morality is able to shift along with each new circumstance, can it be said that there is an unmoving and solid concept of morality at all? I'm not going to proofread this at all, I'm just going to post it. Everyone, correct me....lets' talk.

Mae Widget