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NEW BLOG

About two months ago, a friend and I discussed the possibility of beginning a blog entitled The Pentecostal Worker. There are many reasons why this seemed like (not only a wise, but also) the appropriate thing to do. As much as it is nice to have one’s own blog, the ability to write with another in a more focused manner seems to be a bit more beneficial. I think you will enjoy it much more, as well:

http://pentecostalworker.wordpress.com/

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Changes, changes.

There are a couple changes being made right now with reference to the blogging deal… things will continue to be a bit slow, but I will keep you updated when things switch up. It will be the best for all of us. Well, except for the people that keep coming to the site because of the Dostoevsky poem.

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Project Awaken

Check out my post over at Project Awaken.

Things have been pretty busy lately, hopefully posts will pick back up soon.

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For some reason WordPress hasn’t allowed me to post for the last several days. Here is a nice lecture by Zizek on Materialism & Theology.

Also, check out this fantastic new band:

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If anyone does not hate father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, Yea, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. — Luke 14.25ff

“Modern psychologizing interpretation of Jesus has been bothered largely with whether the word hate here should be taken seriously or not. This is certainly to miss the point of the passage. The point is rather that in a society characterized by very stable, religiously undergirded family ties, Jesus is here calling into being a community of voluntary commitment, willing for the sake of its calling to take upon itself the hostility of the given society. The seriousness of the alternative posed before the would-be disciple is underlined by the parables of the builder and the king who too hastily committed themselves to enterprises for the cost of which they were not prepared. Again we could modernize the text and be surprised, and perhaps usefully instructed, by the fact that whereas modern churchmanship tries to make membership attractive to the great number, Jesus was here moving away from the crowd. But again the point is not the tactical question, whether Jesus wanted many disciples or a few. What matters is the quality of the life to which the disciple is called. The answer is that to be a disciple is to share in the style of life of which the cross is the culmination.”                                                                                             — John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, 37/38

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A friend, recently, showed me a book called A History of the World in Six Glasses. The chapter about coffee was quite interesting. One of the main points the author makes is that coffee is/was the drink of intellectuals. In fact, coffee (or coffeehouses) encouraged academic discourse and even threatened the governmental milieu. Now, I have seen that university students treasure their coffee — although it is often arguably strictly functional and rather unpleasant to taste if made without care, but this is for a different post. Spending a significant amount of time in coffeehouses during my years in the university, I have been subjected to a significant amount of terribly unbearable conversations from nearby tables. Unfortunately, I believe I have, also, listened to far too many terrible dialogues/discourses/debates (if you can even call them that) in academic circles as well. For example, take the fairly recent discussions between the “new atheists” and theologians such as Alister McGrath and John Polkinghorne. I am admittedly biased. I believe that McGrath and Polkinghorne are both cogent and erudite theologians and have much to contribute to the conversation between Religion and Science; quite unlike their antagonists. What I find terribly unbearable is the lack of sufficient discourse, i.e., both sides merely talk past one another — it is almost unreservedly un-cerebral. There is a complete lack of erudite interaction, engagement, and dammit, could we find a theologian willing to offend somebody. Again, I am being particular here with McGrath and Polkinghorne, because there are other theologians who do interact with contrarians in a more academically serious way (e.g., F. LeRon Shults, Alan Padgett, Ian Barbour [and, eh, you might add Hans Kung]; again, I single McGrath and Polkinghorne out because they are in the public eye, and I think they could engage with more profundity and erudition than I have seen). From a strictly pragmatic and accessible position,  Terry Eagleton’s recent book Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate is a quite fair look at the debate from a mostly critical position of Ditchkins (sic!). But to get to my point: please will somebody take Wittgenstein seriously? Can we begin think about the way that we use language? Can we please have a truly educative, and not merely quasi-visceral, discourse? Can we please begin to rethink the way in which we think and speak about the things that concern us? This is not only apropos of Religion and Science; this is about the way we (think and) speak about politics, economy, theology, etc. If we cannot see a significant amount of maturation in our discourse in the academy/in the church, I fear that there is not much future for an even mildly cerebral discourse in the coffeehouse. A la Prof. Barnes, I digress.

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A side note to this digression, which I posted primarily because I have not posted anything recently. My hope is to have more organized, focused writings on this blog in the near future. As a result, many posts will continue to be brief, directed toward recent readings, etc., as well as spontaneous posts and/or series’. One thing I want to avoid is merely advertising my reading 🙂

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