Maybe an updated version?
I have been rethinking the podcast (which has not been going super hot or at all). So I am rebranding it to Cult of one.
Also, I watched this video that gives a good introduction (I think) into what a modern idea of cults is:
I stumbled upon Kierkegaard on the Nature of Truth while looking for photos of the SK statue. The post is good (so read it) but I really like the photo:
I like that he is siting sideways on the chair while writing.
I have been thinking about Jacob wrestling with God. I have been struck by two things:
- Jacob is alone (24). He leaves behind family, position, and possession. He is alone with God, alone before God.
- Jacob is changed by the wrestle. The stranger touches him and changes him – physically (with his “thigh”) and spiritually (by giving him a new name). Jacob does not stand far off and reflect – he engages and physically struggles with God – sweat and pain! “The Strange” is not an object but a person.
I think the story is a great example of what it means to be a Christian in a modern context. SO …
I need to be alone before God, wrestle with God, and that will change me.
Pragmatism and positivism are therefore interested in the question how. Traditional metaphysics, whether scholastic (realist) or idealist, is interested in the question what (the essence). Existentialism wants to know who. It is interested in the authentic use of freedom by the concrete personal subject.The Other Side Of Despair, by Thomas Merton
I would like to “wrestle” a little more with this article but just wanted to get things started.
I follow Keith Giles on Twitter (btw: follow me!!) and he shared this article that he wrote: I Am A Self-Righteous Pharisee. I identify with so many elements of his initial story. I was called a pharisee along with a barrage of expletives.
The “logic” is simple enough:
- you are a pharisee because you disagree with me or my agenda,
- Jesus hates pharisees,
- therefore I can hate you, or worse, “it is my religious duty to hate you”, and I can behave in an unChristian manner towards you.
I was struck by this paragraph that nicely summaries it:
Knowing the truth isn’t the same as doing it. Being a Christian isn’t only about what you believe, it’s actually more about what you do with the things you say you believe.
The followers of Jesus are called to love without holding back. This love is so radical that even enemies, those that hate us, are objects of love. Loving faith in Jesus is actualised in compassion and empathy. And, yes, I do that so poorly!!!!
I need to reflect more on it all.
For people are willing enough to practice compassion and self-denial, willing enough to seek after wisdom etc., but they want to determine the criterion themselves, that it shall be to a certain degree. They do not wish to do away with all these glorious virtues; on the contrary, they want – at a cheap price – to have as comfortably as possible the appearance of and the reputation for practicing them. Therefore as soon as the true divine compassion appears in the world it is unconditionally the sacrifice. It comes out of compassion for people, and it is people who trample it down.Practice in Christianity, 60 (Hong)
Compassion on my terms? Is that compassion or self-validation? Compassion is love in action – love for neighbour actualised.
I am dreading the Easter sermon farmed in legal terms – Jesus took the punishment for my sin. An angry God that needs to be satisfied – a holy distant God that is offended at my sin and fallenness so He sacrifices His own Son. Not the Loving Father who cries with me and feels my pain – who has compassion on my weakness and wants a relationship with me in His Son. A relationship that is truely human!
I would like to explore preaching in a modern context from a Kierkegaardian point of view, if I had the time. Most of the preaching I have heard is average at best, simple battle of authorities, or spoon feeding. The academic lecture explaining doctrine is my least favourite form of preaching! I once heard a preacher, in a parish setting, parse a greek verb during his sermon. And there is no need to explore every point of the text. I think Show, don’t tell is a good summary of the type of sermon I would like to hear.
Anyway, here is a Kierkegaard quote:
I stumbled across this link on Twitter and was struck by these paragraphs:
The lesson Merton derives from the liturgy at Corpus Christi is that “it is not the style that matters but the spirit,” and he illustrates the difference between the old spirit and the new with a series of dichotomies: “Is Christian worship to be communion in correctness or communion in love? Oneness in Law or oneness in Christ? Sharing in valid sacraments or in the Spirit of life that is in the Risen Savior?” While the laws of the church are important, we must “learn to participate in a free, open, joyous communion of love and praise.”
Merton’s exhortation to love, and even more importantly, his example of liturgical openness to others rooted in an ecclesiology of communion, remains important today as we continue to squabble about the liturgy and about a myriad of other issues: “Let us frankly realize that our task is precisely this: to demonstrate our elementary charity and unselfishness – indeed our Christian maturity – by setting aside our own preferences (whether progressive or conservative) in order to arrive at some working formula by which we can all continue to worship as one in Christ.”Communion of Love: Thomas Merton and Liturgical Reform by Gregory K. Hillis
A magnificent article to be printed and pondered.