Kierkegaard

Joy And The Absurd — A Meditation On Buridan’s Ass

Joy And The Absurd — A Meditation On Buridan’s Ass

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Advent, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, book review, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity, Christmas, contemplation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, December, existentialism, Ezra Pound, faith, God, Holy Mystery, Human Condition, Jim Cowles, Kierkegaard, Literature, Numinous, Religion, Secularity, Skeptic, Spirituality, T. S. Eliot, Theology, Thinking, Uncategorized
Full disclosure:  as I have said elsewhere, I never got the “hang uv” being a Christian, and consider the multiple decades I spent beating my head against that particular brick wall as time merely pissed away. I still believe that. But that is only half the truth. The other half is that it is equally true that I could never get, have never gotten, the “hang uv” being an atheist. I am no more successful as a “creedal” atheist than I was as a “creedal” Christian. My admiration for, e.g., Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, Julia Sweeney, and Daniel Dennett is undiminished. Nothing I say in what follows should be interpreted as disagreeing with their contention that religious statements should be subject to the same critique as other statements. Religio
The Real Miracle Of Bartimaeus

The Real Miracle Of Bartimaeus

activism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Change, Character of God, citizenship, civics, Compassion, critical judgment, Enlightenment, Ethics, faith, faithfulness, God, Gospel of Mark, Gratitude, Hope, Human Condition, Judaism, Judean Peasant, Kierkegaard, kindness, Kingdom of God, Letting go, Outside your comfort zone, peace and justice, Religion, separation of Church and State, Skeptic, Theology, Uncategorized
Even if you reject the “metaphysics” of Christianity – the Incarnation, the miracles, the bodily Resurrection, etc. -- you still have to deal with Christianity as an ethical system, and by that measure there are Gospel texts that, perhaps because of their very simplicity, challenge the current conservative ethic of “I’ve got mine, Jack, so screw you”.  One such text is the story of Jesus’ encounter with the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, on the road leaving Jericho. But matters are not that straightforward. For it is easy enough, in fact, borderline-trivial, to understand the story as a critique of contemporary conservative Republican attitudes toward any form of material assistance to the indigent. What is usually overlooked is that the story contains a very recessed and implicit critique
A Response To Peter Wehner On Faith And Doubt

A Response To Peter Wehner On Faith And Doubt

Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, causality, Challenge, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, communion, community, conflict, constitution, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, doubt, Ecumenism, efficient cause, Enlightenment, epistemology, Evidence, faith, God, Ideology, Isaiah, Jesus, Kierkegaard, Rationality, Reformation, Religion, Religious War, Science, Scripture, Secularity, solidarity, Theology, Uncategorized
On Christmas Day of 2017, Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, published an op-ed in the New York Times in which he argued on the basis of Jesus’ teaching that, while faith and doubt are complementary, faith is nevertheless superior to doubt as a guide to life, thought, and morality. As a corollary, Wehner argues that faith is consequently also superior to both doubt and reason for such purposes. For the purposes of this reply, I will assume that Wehner intends for his argument to apply to both comparisons synonymously:  faith vs. doubt, faith vs. reason. This equivalence is justified by Wehner’s own argument.  The problem with Wehner’s argument is that it undermines itself if we attempt to apply it in contexts other than the purely individual and idios