Monday, September 21
Shadow

Epiphany

Encountering The Holy In Hawaii

Encountering The Holy In Hawaii

Albert Camus, Archetypes, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Biology, Change, community, Compassion, Creation, Creativity, Einstein, Environment, Epiphany, Evolution, Fear, Hawaii, Letting go, Madame Pele, meditation, mindfulness, Mythology, Nature, Rationality, Science, The Divine, Theology, transformation, Uncategorized, volcanos, Wilderness
I had been reading about Rudolf Otto’s concept of the numinous and studying his classic The Idea of the Holy for a few decades, and it all made perfect conceptual sense. But on our recent trip to Hawaii in April of this year (2018), Diane and I actually experienced the Holy, the numinous, on a very raw and visceral level. In The Idea of the Holy, Otto, who coined the term “numinous”, describes it with the Latin phrase mysterium tremendum et fascinans. Literally translated, that phrase means “the tremble-inducing [tremendum, the same Latin root as “tremor”] and attractive [fascinans, the same Latin root as "fascinating"] mystery [mysterium]”.  Despite the title of his book, Otto makes it clear that the Holy is not only, or even primarily, something about which one entertains ideas. Rath...
The Fellowship Of Disillusionment — Philip Yancey’s “Disappointment With God”

The Fellowship Of Disillusionment — Philip Yancey’s “Disappointment With God”

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Astronomy, awareness, Broken Heart, Character of God, Cherry picking, Christianity, Church, community, Compassion, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, doubt, entering into suffering, Epiphany, epistemology, existentialism, faith, God, Human Condition, Letting go, meditation, meditation with music, mindfulness, monotheism, Ockham's Razor, Randomness, Rationality, Religion, Science, Secularity, Spirituality, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized
I never write book reviews ... until now. Now I am making an exception for three reasons:  (1) Philip Yancey's book Disappointment with God is an unflinching appraisal of how long-term disappointment precipitates crises of faith in the life of religiously devout people, (2) the theodical implications of that process, and (3) the theological consequences of (1) and (2). If you have been reading these columns for the last few years, you know that this has been a strong preoccupation of mine. But even though I wrote an Amazon review of Disappointment with God, I was not writing these "Skeptic's" columns at the time. So the following is in the nature of the latter playing catch-up with the former. ****************************** The Christian community almost always deals with disappointm...
Toward Becoming “Un-Lapsed”

Toward Becoming “Un-Lapsed”

Abrahamic Traditions, autonomy, awareness, Buddhism, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, critical judgment, culture, efficient cause, Epiphany, Evangelicalism, Fascism, Fundamentalism, God, Grace, Holy Mystery, Ideology, instrumental cause, mindfulness, monotheism, Mystery, Myth, Numinous, Religion, Religious War, Scripture, The Divine, Theology, Uncategorized
For the past … I dunno … dozen-plus years, I have been what polite people would call a “lapsed Catholic”. I say this even though I met the Catholic Church at a time of spiritual shipwreck / accedie – what some call the “noonday demon” -- and that the Church gave me a vision of humans in community with the Divine that I never found, either as a fundamentalist, or as a non-fundamentalist but still conservative-evangelical, Christian. It may be that the Catholic Church saved my life. To this day, the issues I have are not only or even primarily with the Catholic Church – I mean, who among us with a non-flat-line EEG does not have issues with the Church? – but primarily with that Church’s God. (Or as I usually express it these days, “Gawd”.) But that latter is another rant for another time...