Monday, March 30, 2009
If you want to take one of our Spring Redeemer Ministry School classes the cost is $240/class, which includes any books that may be used. Please call the church office to enroll. (734-242-5277)
RMS SPRING TRIMESTER - March 31 - June 5, 2009
TUESDAY - THURSDAY CLASSES
9:30 - 11 - Kingdom of God III - Josh Bentley
11:30 - 1 - Worship III - Holly Benner & Gary Wilson
9:30 - 1 - Apologetics - John Piippo
9:30 - 1 - Leadership - Jim Hunter & John Piippo
Kingdom of God III - This class will study the moves of God in history. We can learn much about God and His Kingdom today by looking at how His Kingdom has come to earth in the past. We will focus on how the Kingdom of God has become manifest on earth when people have prayed "God, let your kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven."
Worship III - Have you ever noticed how many different methods of worship are found in the Bible? Singing, clapping, dancing, building, shouting, kneeling, playing instruments, giving, serving… the list goes on! We are the Body of Christ, and God has fashioned each one of us to give Him a facet of praise that is unique from the person next to us. Creativity and Worship will explore how to find the creativity inside of you and to use that to honor God.
Leadership - This class will focus on leadership using Jesus as exemplary of the greatest leader ever. The nature of love and community will be seen as foundational to all authentic, relevant leadership. While we will look at some leadership books, leadership is not so much learned from reading books but from doing and practical application.
Apologetics - The word "apologetics" means "to make a defense of the hope that is within you." (1 Peter 3:15) Students will look at the ways Christianity is under intellectual attack today and learn how to respond to these attacks. Issues we will especially focus on are: Why is there evil in the world if God is all loving and all powerful?; Why do we believe the Bible is from God?; Why can we believe Jesus is the only way to God when there are other world religions? How can we say that Jesus is God incarnate?
Friday, March 27, 2009
At the C.S. Lewis Institute Art Lindsley identifies "C.S. Lewis's Seven Key Ideas." One of them is Lewis's idea that Jesus was "the myth that became fact." In the recent City Journal there's an essay by Benjamin Plotinsky called "How Science Fiction Found Religion." Plotinsky finds the basic Christian story in a lot of science fiction and fantasy movies. Quoting Gabriel McKee: “There are inherent messianic qualities in the . . . concept of the superhero—an individual with exceptional abilities who sacrifices part of his or her life for the greater good.” Plotinsky finds the Christian story in The Matrix, Superman Returns, The Dark Knight, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (obviously), The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Phantom Menace, Star Trek, The Terminator, Dune, I Am Legend, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and others.
(I'm now also reading philosopher Tom Morris's Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the Socratic Way, Watchmen, and Watchmen and Philosophy. I've long been interested in our cultural obsession with superheros and mythic figures as reflective of our deeper, spiritual-existential neediness.)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
We're almost to Easter again. As I’ve been reflecting on this I see that, personally, I’m as moved by the resurrection of Jesus as I have ever been. For me, that’s saying a lot, since those first few Easters for me that came right after I decided to follow Jesus were amazing.
Easter is a whole-being-knowing-experiential encounter. That’s how I feel it and know it to be. Long ago I rejected the idea that “knowing” is some purely intellectual thing. I thank God for the human intellect. I also know that the human intellect cannot wrap its mind around God. Resurrection life cannot be captured in the steel nets of logic and literal language.
From 1977 to 1986 I spent nearly ten years studying language. Part of my language-studies were with Dr. Judith Levi, who was then head of the Linguistics department at Northwestern University. I took her doctoral class on linguistic semantics and was forever hooked. I got immersed in structural and post-structural linguistics, semantic theory, the not-easy-to-define notion of “literal” language, all the various tropes of figurative language, of which my focus and specialty became metaphor theory. Metaphor theory took me into paradigm analysis and metaphorical thinking. How deep could I go? Not deep enough, I am certain! Among the many thoughts I have about such things include this; viz., that experience cannot be finally reduced to sentences and words. There is “nondiscursive experience,” which means: experiences that cannot be discoursed (talked) about.
Which brings me back to the resurrection of Jesus. I believe, in a whole-being fashion, that God raised Jesus from the dead, in history. This cannot, in principle, be contained in sentences and words. Yet one must speak about it. I have some “reasons.” They now include:
- My life was forever changed in 1971 when I came to believe that God raised Jesus for the dead, and that this historical event had meaning for me today.
- I had a “conversion experience.” Nearly every day of my life I remember what happened, to me. It was for me, in many ways, an “I can’t explain the thing but one thing I know – I was blind, now I see.”
- I believe the Jesus-story is true. My ongoing historical studies, using scholars who have spent their lives on Jesus and studying Jesus, now take me deeper and deeper into the living Christ than I have ever been.
- I’ll add that the story-as-story is viscerally compelling to me… today. It’s a story of love, choice, suffering, redemption, hope, and life. It’s true that other stories have had and yet have these elements. Even movies that have these basic themes are often called “Christlike” movies, or movies with “Christ-figures,” such as “Braveheart,” “The Matrix,” “Gran Torino,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Gladiator,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” and “The Lord of the Rings.” C.S. Lewis, himself a scholar of myth, said the four Gospels, as a literary genre, do not read like myth, but like history. Yet Lewis viewed the coming of Christ to live and die and rise for our rescue as the historical instantiation of “myth become fact.”
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Here is a very funny article giving an evolutionary explanation for the primal behavior of sports fans. (Parenthetically note that we now have the emergence of evolutionary explanations for everything. Soon we will have an evolutionary explanation for why we give evolutionary explanations. This of course sets off an infinite regress of explanations. Aristotle and Aquinas would weep ov er this - where are they now when we need some end in sight!)
Here's the opening paragraphs (read and enjoy):
"Marx was wrong: The opiate of the masses isn't religion, but spectator sports. What else explains the astounding fact that millions of seemingly intelligent human beings feel that the athletic exertions of total strangers are somehow consequential for themselves? The real question we should be asking during the madness surrounding this month's collegiate basketball championship season is not who will win, but why anyone cares.
Not that I would try to stop anyone from root, root, rooting to his or her heart's content. It's just that such things are normally done by pigs, in the mud, or by seedlings, lacking a firm grip on reality — fine for them, but I am not at all sure this is something that human beings should do. In desperation, if threatened with starvation, I suppose that I would root — for dinner. But for the home team? Never.
More than a decade ago, a baseball strike canceled the season and the World Series. The first time ever, we were told in hushed tones. A national trauma. Baseball had survived world wars, cold wars, hot dogs — even night games, the designated hitter, and Astroturf — only to succumb to a labor dispute between spoiled millionaire players and even-more-spoiled billionaire owners. How could it be summer without baseball, the pundits pouted? Most portentous, how could we be us without our spectator fix?But wait. Here is heresy indeed: Was it really such a disaster? Or is it a disaster that our current paragons have been revealed to be hormonally enhanced and ethically challenged? Or if a college team is denied a bowl slot?"
Having listened to the Carrier-Craig debate on "Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?" I'm still thinking of how ill-equipped Carrier was for this.
I'm also wondering about something, and offer Carrier a suggestion. He says he doesn't believe Jesus ever existed. It comes to me that if this were established then the issue of Jesus rising from the dead would be a moot point. Thus all the dialogue surrounding this including a lot of the stuff Carrier was bringing in that didn't help his cause would now be unnecessary.
The simple argument:
1. Jesus of Nazareth never existed.
2. In order to die one must exist.
3. Therefore, Jesus of Nazareth never rose from the dead (For the same reason that Frodo never destroyed the ring.)
If P1 is established the debate is over.
Maybe I'm missing something here. I'd never read anything by Carrier before this debate. I went to his website. On Sunday, March 8, he lectured in Ventura, California, on the topic "Why I Think Jesus Didn't Exist?" That was just ten days prior to the debate with Craig. Surely Carrier had not forgotten that he believed Jesus didn't exist. Why not use that as P1 in the argument above, instead of going on and on like he did in his attempt to show "Barabbas" never really existed? (As if establishing the non-existence of Barabbas would function as a premise leading to the conclusion that Jesus never rose from the dead?)
(Photo of what a New Humanist looks like)
I disagree with philosopher Roger Scruton on a lot of things. He's an atheist, a "humanist," and thinks religious people are that way because they need a "moral prop." Of course, if there is no God, then that's one possible reason people "trust in God."
But I do agree with some of the things Scruton writes in his essay "The New Humanism." He says that, years ago, he shed the "old humanism" of his parents. But now, in light of the "New Humanism" of Dawkins-atheists, he finds himself longing for the old ways. Scruton's parents "had been raised as Christians, but had lived through the Second World War and lost faith in the God who permitted it. They regarded humanism as a residual option, once faith had dissolved. It was not something to make a song and dance about, still less something to impose on others, but simply the best they could manage in the absence of God."
Old Humanism is a noble concept for Scruton, finding its roots in the Enlightenment. Old Humanism was actually for something, whereas New Humanism is only against something. Old Humanism "was devoted to exalting the human person above the human animal, and moral discipline above random appetite. It saw art, music, and literature not simply as pleasures, but as sources of spiritual strength. And it took the same view of religion. Humanists of the old school were not believers. The ability to question, to doubt, to live in perpetual uncertainty, they thought, is one of the noble endowments of the human intellect. But they respected religion and studied it for the moral and spiritual truths that could outlive the God who once promoted them."
Scruton is struck by New Humanism's "lack of positive belief, but also by its need to compensate for this lack by antagonism toward an imagined enemy. I say "imagined," since it is obvious that religion is a declining force in Britain." Ha! Now that is funny. New Humanists might read Don Quixote at this point.
Dawkins-atheism "is for nothing, or at any rate for nothing in particular. Ever since the Enlightenment there has been a tendency to adopt this negative approach to the human condition, rather than to live out the exacting demands of the Enlightenment morality, which tells us to take responsibility for ourselves and to cease our snivelling."
Snivelling? Yes, I think so. Scruton's words capture the thought I've long had that, were I to become an atheist, or an "ex-Christian," I can't imagine myself wasting time arguing against Christianity or any other religious thing. Spend my life arguing against something that is not? I hope not. I'm certain I would not do this. I would then have far better things to do than spend my life studying something I don't believe in so as to argue against it. Sounds to me like existentialist theatre of the absurd. (Maybe some weird Heideggarian intepretation might work here; viz., about the experience of das Nichts as a precondition for the experience of Sein? Mostly, it also makes me want to psychoanalyze such people.)
What better things might I spend my life on? Perhaps what Scruton longs for; viz., constructing "a positive movement, devoted to seeking things worthy of emulation and sacrifice, even if there is no God to promote them."
Friday, March 20, 2009
I just listened to the debate between William Lane Craig and Richard Carrier on "Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?" My opinion is that, on this topic, Carrier is way out of his league. I think he should not have agreed to debate Bill on this subject. He simply does not have epistemic access to the information Craig has. (You can listen to the debate here.)
Way back in 1971 Bill was my campus ministry leader at Northern Illinois University, and I was a philosophy major. At that time Bill was digging deeply into many issues, to include the existence of God, the nature of the Christian scriptures, and historical Jesus studies. When I went on for my Ph.D Bill completed two Ph.Ds - one with the great German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg. Having used Pannenberg's metaphor theory [as applied to the historical resurrection of Jesus] in my doctoral dissertation at Northwestern U I thought of the amazing opportunity Bill was given to have Pannenberg himself as his mentor!
Multiply those early Christological studies in the 1970s many times over and one sees what great scholarship in a focused area looks like. Bill has spent a near-lifetime on this subject, studying with and debating the major figures in the area. Carrier has not. As I listened to this debate I found myself thinking of Bill as totally within his element and Carrier like a fish out of water.
Bill gives a strong inductive argument for the resurrection of Jesus. "Inductive" means "probableistic." I find it (still) persuasive. And, it's the same argument Bill gives every time he debates this topic (with refinements added, improvements made). To me Carrier appeared unprepared for this, which he should not have been given that Bill's presentation is out there in public. When Bill argues for the resurrection he uses the biblical documents historically. In his first rebuttal to Carrier Bill says, "I know Richard tonight wanted to debate the general reliability of the gospels. I'm really sorry he's decided to pursue that tack despite our agreement that that wouldn't be the topic tonight." Precisely. And, this is common knowledge to anyone who's listened to Bill's Jesus-resurrection argument. It does not depend on any theological doctrine of "inerrancy." As do no strictly historical arguments for anything. I found myself wondering if Carrier actually grasped this point, or understood that one can actually lay aside theological beliefs and make a purely historical argument. (For the most part, that is. Both Carrier and Craig make historical claims and thus face the problems of historical understanding through the filter of their own prejudices.)
Wed., March 25 - MCCC Main Campus, Room A173b
Mon., March 30 - MCCC Main Campus, Room A173a
The A building is the one containing the book store and cafeteria.
Oral Exam Questions
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Why Peter Singer Makes the New Atheists Nervous." I agree that Singer has the logic of atheism correct. D'Souza, who recently debated Singer at Princeton, contrasts Singer with the "new evangelistic atheists" (you-know-who: D, D, H, &H). "The New Atheists say we can get rid of God but preserve morality. They insist that no one needs God in order to be good; atheists can act no less virtuously than Christians. (And indeed, some atheists do put Christians to shame.) Even while repudiating the Christian God, Dawkins has publicly called himself a "cultural Christian.""
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Students begin offering tentative answers — but not before they've taken a moment to think. As smart as these kids are, after half a semester in George's Civil Liberties class, they've learned not to blurt out a thoughtless opinion: George will force them to defend it, which could prove embarrassing.
One bespectacled youth speaks up: "I don't think I was an embryo," he announces. His classmates chuckle, but George responds seriously. "You weren't an embryo. Were you a fetus? Were you an adolescent?"
“I am not a physical organism,” the young man insists; he is his ideas, beliefs, and desires.
George pounces on the person/body dualism implicit in this remark and forces the class to confront the implications of affirming it: "If 'I' was not an embryo or fetus, neither was 'I' once an infant," he says. "To have destroyed the fetus or infant that later became 'me' would not have been to destroy me. So at what point then do we say 'I' began to exist? At what point do we draw the line on killing?"
George then drops a cerebral smart bomb: "If dualism is true, the answer won't be 'birth,'" he notes. Will it be six months after birth? A year? Two years? Three? After all, when does a child achieve thoughts, beliefs, and desires?
Pro-choice students must now confront an uncomfortable fact: The logical implications of their position entail believing that killing three-year-old children is morally acceptable."
Saturday, March 14, 2009
My friend William Lane Craig will be soon debating Richard Carrier on the resurrection of Jesus. Knowing nothing about Carrier, I decided to read one of his essays. I chose "Why I Am Not a Christian." Among the many things I find unconvincing in this piece is that, amazingly, Carrier commits the "pet analogy fallacy," based on a famous piece by the British philosopher John Hick. The "pet analogy fallacy" is a variation of the straw man fallacy. What Carrier does is set up a characterization of Christianity and proceeds to knock it down. What's humorous and tedious to me is that he succeeds in knocking the straw man down again, and then again, and again and again ad nauseum.
Hick, in his essay, states that the atheist's mistake is to view God as creating a hedonistic paradise, like a pet owner creates a perfectly safe environment for his dog or cat. In the following quote we see that Carrier seems to look at things this way.
"The God proposed by the Christian hypothesis is not a disembodied, powerless voice whose only means of achieving his desires is speaking to people, teaching them to do what's right. The Christian God is an Almighty Creator, capable of creating or destroying anything, capable of suspending or rewriting the laws of nature, capable of anything we can imagine. He can certainly do any and every moral thing you or I can do, and certainly much more than that, being so much bigger and stronger and better than we are in every way. All this follows necessarily from the definition of mere Christianity, and therefore cannot be denied without denying Christianity itself. It's a simple fact of direct observation that if I had the means and the power, and could not be harmed for my efforts, I would immediately alleviate all needless suffering in the universe. All guns and bombs would turn to flowers. All garbage dumps would become gardens. There would be adequate resources for everyone. There would be no more children conceived than the community and the environment could support. There would be no need of fatal or debilitating diseases or birth defects, no destructive Acts of God. And whenever men and women seemed near to violence, I would intervene and kindly endeavor to help them peacefully resolve their differences. That's what any loving person would do. Yet I cannot be more loving, more benevolent than the Christian God. Therefore, the fact that the Christian God does none of these things--in fact, nothing of any sort whatsoever--is proof positive that there is no Christian God."
There's much more than this in Carrier's essay. But this is one point he raises again and again, and is one of his reasons why he is not a Christian. Carrier's reasoning goes like this.
1. The Christian God is all powerful.
2. The Christian God is all loving.
3. Any loving person would eliminate all needless suffering in the universe.
4. There is needless suffering in the universe.
5. Therefore the Christian God does not exist, and Christianity is false.
Examples of P3 for Carrier include: a school killer's bullets would be turned into popcorn; all guns and bombs would turn into flowers; and there would be no need of fatal or debilitating birth defects. In other words, if the Christian God should exist, we would expect the kind of hedonic paradise Hick mentions.
My problem with this kind of reasoning is that it is a straw-man caricature of Christian theism. In all my Christian years I have never thought of actual Chrisitanity in the way Carrier presents it. I conclude that Carrier is presenting something I will call "Christianity2," which is "Christianity" as Carrier thinks it should be. Perhaps Christianity2 includes some forms of Calvinism that take the "absolute sovereignty of God" to its logical & extra-biblical limits.
Since I have never, ever, believed in Christianity2, his argument does not provide me with a "proof positive" reason to abandon Christianity. I'd say, at this point, Carrier has a good reason to reject Christianity2, not Christianity. Carrier, at most, may be arguing against that relatively small band of Christians who hold to strong Calvinism. Perhaps a few fundamentalists would be included here, too.
Whether or not an all-powerful and all-loving God should allow for needless suffering is interesting. But in Christianity there is, precisely, needless suffering. "Needless suffering" is denoted, e.g., by the idea of "sin." Because "needless suffering" is part of the noetic framework of Christianity one cannot refute Christianity by pointing out that needless suffering exists. That would be like rejecting tennis because there's a net dividing the court. In my view one can accept P4 but reject P3. That brings in the whole philosophical problem of evil, the free will defense, and things like Greg Boyd's Satan and the Problem of Evil.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Twitter and Facebook are emergent properties of our culture. They are now with us and will soon be gone, to be replaced by something that will make them seem as archaic as a newspaper, and at a cultural speed that would make Alvin Toffler drop his jaw in awe.
I'm on both of them. I like getting instant photos from my son and daughter-in-law who work in Japan. I feel enormously thankful for something as simple as e-mail (remember that?), which keeps me connected to them. It's far better for me to be able to contact them via their Vonage setup that allows me to dial a number in Ann Arbor that connects me to Takayama at no charge. Amazing!
Yet... I resonate with what Julie Manga says in her nytimes letter "140 Characters In Search of Some Meaning." "Twitter cuts both ways. There is certainly something refreshing about (apparently) uncensored, direct communication among people. But while perhaps intended to connect and inform, Twitter and other similar venues (like Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and reality TV) can become an addictive distraction in life. They can be yet another means to dissipate our attention, get caught in seductive details and take us away from being present in the moment of our own lives and to the issues that affect our lives... I am not a Twitter-basher. I simply offer a caution that we be self-reflective about its impact on our lives personally and as a society."
Some people are now LIVING on Facebook. On the rare occasions I make an appearance, there they are, as if they'd never left, sitting in the living room of "online friends" waiting to say hello. Are they married? Do they have children" A job? Are they "on the job" when they twitter? Do we really need to know that, right now, Mary "is disappointed" and Bob "wonders if Friday will ever get here" and Katie "is a fan of Old Navy" and Jason and Jenni "ended their relationship?"
Thomas Merton, were he alive today, would never live like this. Merton never watched TV, yet possessed an uncommon wisdom about life and the world he lived in. If we become a total Facebook-culture that's what we will lose, because it's what's beneath the face that actually matters. Face-to-face is better than face-book. To meditate is better than to twitter. There's a ministry of presence and a ministry of absence (Henri Nouwen). There are some things that are not for the whole world to know. Besides, most people could care less that Angie "is now angry and going to bed."
"Let me ask you to consider this question: What do the words committees, elections, majority rule, boards, board members, parliamentary procedures, voting, and vote have in common? None of these words are found in the New Testament! We have imposed an American form of government on the church and, as a result, most churches are as bogged down in bureaucracy as our government is. It takes forever to get anything done. Man-made organizational structures have prevented more churches from healthy growth than any of us could imagine."
- Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Church, p. 377
I believe Rick Warren here expresses the sentiments of many pastors and Christian leaders who love Jesus, love the people God has entrusted to them, and long to be part of "church" as a movement. John Maxwell said "This is the book we've all been waiting for." Legendary pastor W.A. Criswell said "This book will help every church, regardless of size, to recapture the mission of a New Testament church." Hadden Robinson said a wise pastor should read this book three times.
This was Warren's "purpose-driven" book that came out before his The Purpose-Driven Life. It was praised by evangelical Christian pastors and leaders and dismissed by organizational church leaders. (For the most part.) In my interactions and dialogue with pastor-leaders over the years I have seen the frustration and even despair of many who came to lead churches that were captive to "man-made organizational structures."
To get the quote above in context Warren's book remains worth reading (and re-reading).
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Non-fictive attempts to debunk Christianity cannot, in principle, succeed. This is because the Christian claim is that it is a true story, not a propositional truth that concludes a chain of deductive reasoning. "Logic" and "being rational" do not apply to "story," in the sense that stories are not imprisoned behind the steel bars of "literal" language. Here are some thoughts I have about this, not necessarily in any logical order.
- The Christian story qua story will never go away. It is deeply embedded in the ontological depths of humanity, surfacing and re-surfacing in film (e.g., "Gran Torino"; "The Matrix," "The Shawshank Redemption," "The Lord of the Rings," "Saving Private Ryan," "Braveheart," "Gladiator," etc. etc. etc.) and in real life (the stories of fire fighters who sacrificed their lives to save others during "911"; the man who dove under a NYC train to save a life; etc. etc. etc.). It resonates, like a single piano tone causes a tuning fork to vibrate, with the basic deep-ontological insight that there's something not right with us that needs to be fixed, combined with a growing realization that we can't do this ourselves and need to be rescued ("saved"). Look - one reason the Christian story dominates culture is because it speaks to us. Rather than being a mere epiphenomenon of our ontological condition God gave us a true story that we could understand because of our condition.(See C.S. Lewis and many others here.) (See here Francis Spufford's Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense.)
So - I study Christianity historically. The people I read here study Christianity historically. If I wanted to study brain surgery I think it would be helpful to read the works of brain surgeons. The same goes with the Christian texts and Christian history; viz., study those who devote their lives to the study of the Christian story. One wouldn't want a "brain surgeon" who's cut and pasted some things from the internet to operate on them; I don't want to deep-discuss my passion for the truth of the Christian story with internet cut-and-pasters either. A lifetime of study would help, which includes great periods of thought and pondering of the subject matter.
The Christian claim essentially has to do with history. That's precisely why the evangelical atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens, you know who the other two or three are) have little to say to here, and why their "assault" does not affect the historical nature of what I choose to believe in. It's also why discussion of the historical nature of the resurrection of Jesus is vitally important. (See, e.g., the works of Eugene Peterson, to include Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology; Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading; The Jesus Way: A Conversation On the Way That Jesus is the Way; and Tell It Slant: A Conversation On the Language of Jesus in His stories and Prayers. For examples (powerful ones!) of the use of story to express Christian truth read Annie Dillard, Frederich Buechner, and Flannery O'Connor for starters.)
Is Christianity "rational?" I believe so. There is a logic to it. For me that's good, since I teach logic and love doing it. But I don't believe that logic, for all its powers, gives the last word about truth. Logic is essentially non-empirical, and is amazingly non-effective in helping actual people (in marital relationships, e.g.; in spite of Albert Ellis's "rational-emotive therapy." But note: the "philosophical counseling" movement does interest me,). Logic is a tool. It's not the only tool. If the only tool one has is a hammer they tend to view every problem as a nail. People whose only tool is logic (no matter how learned their logic is) use it to develop a theory of everything. I hate to burst your bubble, but much of life is not logical and its truth cannot be exhausted via logic. But the multitude of non-logical experiential realities can be spoken of via fictive theories of truth. "Story" conveys truth in ways logic cannot. My doctoral dissertation years ago was an attempt to develop a metaphorical theory of truth (following Paul Ricoeur, Wolfhart Pannenberg, et. al.). Logical people beware - there's an entire universe of study out there in support of this.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Note: only one person has ever asked me if I've seen the Maher-movie. Probably no one else ever will. If they do I'll give them my best "You have got to be kidding" look. (This is the same look you would give if someone asks you if you've seen "The Love Guru.")
I probably won't see it, unless some day it's free on TV. Even then, I doubt if I'll watch it. I'm not in denial about this. Rather, I mostly only have time to read serious atheistic literature. I love teaching Philosophy of Religion, and we don't waste students' time on silly stuff, whether from the side of atheism or theism.
Some have actually seen the thing. Here's a review from a theist. (I didn't read the entire review, for reasons cited above.)