November 19, 2007 Musings on a Christian values
Any theology of the Cross that can be articulated
will set itself contra mundum. The stark reality is that non Christian
values are evidenced everywhere you look in the contemporary Church.
The entire concept of government and administration of the Bride of
Christ by Trustees and Boards of Directors have given evidence to this
contention in my experience. Pragmatism works in a limited, finite sense,
and it is the way that is foremost in too many Christians' minds.
On a positive note, if a Church will diligently look at the Spiritual
giftedness of its membership, leaders and adminstrators and leadership
will not be chosen based on what they are doing in their vocation as
the sole criterion. Godliness, humilty and fervor for the glory of God
will be more important. The first question out of a Pastor's mouth when
interviewing a prospect for church service (that's probably another
evidence of a wrong modus operandi) should not be "what is your
occupation" with the view in mind to plug that person into some
corresponding work in the Body. While this may proved some information,
it is not primary, essential, determinative knowledge.
This is just Christianity 101- Glory to God and transformation to man,
not a well-oiled machine model of administration. The world's ways leaves
out the value of "the things that are not" 1 Corinthians 1:28:
"God has chosen the things that are not, that he might nullify
the things that are." Following Christ means passio passiva, suffering
because we have to suffer. That is what Luther reckoned- suffering is
among the marks of the true Church. Being somewhat freed from preoccupation
with self we are freed for solidarity with others, especially those
who suffer. Being crucified with Christ is not pragmatic.
This is not altruism; its a condition of discipleship. We find our lives
as we lose them in the love and service of others. That gives koinonia
much greater significance than often allowed for in the modern church
and denies any attempt to countenance th mantra "If it works, do
it". Bonhoeffer wrote, "The figure of the Crucified invalidates
all thought which takes success for its standard."
Listen the the Call
Listen to the call going out to all
Going out to you-do what you're called to do
God is able to raise up a deliverer
His eyes the earth will seek
He is raising up the humble and contrite heart
God is able to glorify His Name
In the lowly and weak
He will raise up a servant and set Him apart
Will you live your life for Jesus, to surrender everything
All to Jesus, All for Jesus, bring in the living offering.
A heart of humble service
A heaert of deep concern
A heart that beats so humbly
And with compassion burns
A messenger and minister
To see the good news through
A good and faithful servant
To render what is due.
November 19, 2007
What is Analytical Philosophy?
This term is so maleable as to defy easy definition.
Analytic philosophy comes in many different flavors, but I think of
logical positivists and their successors as foremost instances of its
influence. I studied Wittgenstein some twenty years ago and frankly
cannot remember most of his arguments. Hs genius and language games
were too confounding and impractical to be worth much to me.
In my mind, one area where this influence of the analytical philosophy
might be evident that would seem to have impact on all theists would
be the growing abandonment of Foundationalism within Christian circles.
The Emergent church rejects this Foundationalism as well, declaring
that propositional rationalistic truth is a concept irretrievably corrupted
by modernism. I am not ready to abandon Foundationalism as Stanley Grenz
would have had me do.
To show how broadly the term can be applied, Alvin Plantinga, who recently
spoke at SBTS, would be considered an analytic philosopher of religion
from a Christian perspective because of his rejection of Foundationalism.
The big questions today are hermeneutical in nature, and I think twentieth
century's journey through analytic philosophy and its demand for clarity
of meaning in attempting to turn philosophy into a science is in part
a source for this.