Tag: exegesis

The Hazards Of Defending The Indefensible

The Hazards Of Defending The Indefensible

Abrahamic Traditions, Archetypes, Buddhism, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, community, Compassion, conflict, contemplation, covenant, Creation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, entering into suffering, epistemology, Ethics, faith, higher criticism, Human Condition, monotheism, parable, paradox, Problem of Evil, Rationality, Religion, Scripture, The Divine, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized
Over the years of studying and dealing with both the practitioners and the practice of theodicy, I have developed a pretty accurate set of antennae for detecting when even people of undisputed integrity and good will have gone “a bridge too far” in their zeal to “justify the ways of God to man” by defending conduct that, in other contexts, would be assessed as unambiguously criminal. In  such cases, God is allowed to breeze by despite conduct that would earn a human a war-crimes trial at The Hague. No devout monotheist is exempt from this risk, not even the most temperate, rational, and tolerant. Fr. Ron Rolheiser is a quintessentially temperate, rational, and tolerant man par excellence, both professionally and personally, as I can attest from having met him, spoken with him one-to-on
Cherry Picking The New Testament

Cherry Picking The New Testament

Archetypes, Art, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Cherry picking, Christianity, conservatism, Creator, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, epistemology, fables, faith, God, Hebrew Scripture, Ideology, Jesus, Judaism, monotheism, Rationality, reflection, Scripture, Secularity, Skeptic, Theodicy, Theology, Trump, Uncategorized
When I was at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1988, one of the more unsettling things I learned in my classes on postmodernist interpretation theory, both the ones I took and the ones I taught, is what the seemingly prosaic act of reading (almost?) always entails. Unpacking that statement is a many-splendored thing, too complex to address here. Suffice to say that one of the more disillusioning aspects of the act of reading a text, any text, is that we always, almost always despite ourselves, read selectively even when we do not want to. Or think we do not want to. Cherry-picking reading with a usually unconscious confirmation bias is an almost constant aspect of reading. And I am tempted to remove the "almost" in that prior sentence. Usually, on some level (almost?) always unconscious, we ...
Justice Thomas And Interpreting The Constitution

Justice Thomas And Interpreting The Constitution

14th Amendment, activism, autonomy, bigotry, Challenge, Change, Christianity, citizenship, civics, community, Compassion, conflict, conservatism, Consitution, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, Equality, faithfulness, First Amendment, Incorporation, justice, Justice Clarence Thomas, Minorities, Patheos, peace and justice, Rationality, Religious War, Secularity, Supreme Court, Tolerance, Uncategorized
I always read the Patheos web page with interest, usually agreeing, sometimes disagreeing. Once in a while, though, Patheos has a tendency to “view with alarm”, and thereby to give us one more item to worry about – which would not be a problem if the given item were worth worrying about it. Often the alarm being raised pertains to something that really is worth worrying about. But not always. In the “not always” column goes Patheos’ recent – well … not all that recent:  2014 -- “viewing with alarm” of Justice Clarence Thomas’s assertion that States probably do have the prerogative under the Constitution of establishing an “official” State religion. That assertion is (a) just true enough to engender alarm, but (b) not true enough to merit worry. Patheos’s heart is in the right place, bu