Immanuel Can’t

February 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

English: , Prussian philosopher. Português: , ...

Immanuel Kant is the bad guy. Or so the story goes. He did not live up to his name. Immanuel means ‘God with us’ and Kant made sure God could no longer be with us. Maybe it would be appropriate to change his name into ‘Immanuel Can’t’.

After all it was Kant who created a dichotomy between the things and the perception of them. In Kant-speak: the distinction between the noumenal and phenomenal. ‘Noumenal’ refers to the way things are in reality. According to Kant we can forget about knowing them as they are. Their true essence or nature is unavailable to us since those things get filtered through our senses and are molded by what our mind does to them. The impressions of those things is all we have in our mind and that’s what we have to work with. They only appear to us in a certain way; they are phenomena. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Christians Ought Not to be Called Resident Aliens

February 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

‘Resident Aliens’, co-authored by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, was published in 1989 by Abingdon Press, and is still relevant. But so is the critique that can be leveled against it.

The book constitutes a powerful message to the church to be true to its calling. The authors show how on both ends of the conservative-liberal spectrum the Church fails to be true to itself. Conservative tendencies to equate the Gospel with a politically conservative stance combined with a literalist hermeneutic and Scottish realist epistemology falters as much as the liberal idea of doing ‘generic’ good and not feeling compelled to take the Biblical narratives seriously in a hermeneutic derived from the faith community itself. With the breakdown of Christendom (i.e. a Christianized society in which the Church enjoys the favor of the state) a new opportunity is offered to the Church to truly shine again in accordance with its divinely intended purpose: to be a colony of resident aliens, an outpost of the Gospel in a world hostile to the teachings and life of Jesus Christ. The Church, then, lives out an ongoing story that longs for God’s eschatological purpose. It offers an ethics that is revolutionary, alternative to the status quo, and eschatological; a virtue ethics that can only be discovered and understood by becoming part of and living out the particular story of Jesus and his Church. « Read the rest of this entry »

Apocataphatically speaking . . .

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Better not to speak of the unspeakable
except what you are unfathomably not

unthinkable
unthought of
unimaginable

I begin to think
but the mere thought of you
initiates an explosion that exceeds
my capacity to contain

You, non-construct of my feeble attempt
make yourself known without words
leaving me exasperated
without tears left to shed

why do you invite me
to the abundance of your poverty
to the plurality of your simplicity
do you envelop me in a knowing
that crushes my mental faculties?

I can barely verbalize the experience
the words come stammering
haltering even to describe what it was not

How do I bear this unknowable knowing
this weight of your unspeakable speech-act?

Oh my goodness
Oh my not-badness
Oh my God

I have no words for you
I better shut up!

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