Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Human Need to Know Ontological Realities

Storefront on Michigan Ave. in Chicago
One of the books I am reading this summer is The Theology of Dallas Willard: Discovering Protoevangelical Faith, by Gary Black. Chapter 1 is alone worth the price of the book. It clearly explains the history of how American Christianity has arrived at the Entertainment Church. 

Today Willard confirmed one of my theories, which is: the metaphysical impulse in humanity is not going away. Having taught undergraduate philosophy courses for the past sixteen years I have observed how much students in general want to talk about deep, philosophical issues and underlying ontological realities. This includes talking about the existence of God.

Black writes:

"Willard believes the human being is essentially a living, embodied spirit, created in God’s likeness, which is inexorably spiritual in nature and essence. The ontological nature of God is spirit. God is not simply spiritual but his existential disposition is spirit. In creating human beings, the Genesis narrative describes God’s imparting an aspect of his nature (image) into human beings by “blowing” spirit, or breath, into the body of Adam. This bestowing act delivers the spark of animation to Adam’s body. This description provides a basic understanding of human ontology and its intrinsic connections and relations to the properties and functions of the spirit or pneumatology. Hence, to understand humanity, one must equally engage spirituality. This gives reason to why Willard sees a contemporary renewed interest in spirituality. This interest is a natural curiosity into the fundamental reality of the human condition. This curiosity is not a passing fancy but a significant human need, as Willard views it. It reveals the metaphysical and ontological drives to understand the nature of what is real, how things exist in the world, and from whence they came to “be.”" (Pp. 90-91)

Yes - "the metaphysical and ontological drives to understand the nature of what is real, how things exist, and where things come from, ultimately. This is why I did multiple degrees in philosophy and theology. I not only love talking and studying about meta-onto matters, so do most of the students I teach. 

God is not going anywhere.