Search this site
Problem or Mystery?A problem is something which I meet, which I find completely before me, but which I can therefore lay siege to and reduce. But a mystery is something in which I am myself involved, and it can therefore only be thought of as a sphere where the distinction between what is in me and what is before me loses its meaning and initial validity. -- Gabriel Marcel
Follow on Twitter
Persuasion Consultant for Executives and Candidates
"I make your speeches stronger. I make your letters more persuasive."
Lecturer in English at Coastal Carolina University
Recipient of a scholarship to the 2006 C.S. Lewis Foundation Summer Institute
Winner of awards from the N.C. Press Association and the S.C. Press Association
Graduate of the Knight Ridder Assigning Editors Seminar
Graduate of the Leadership Institute's Broadcast Journalism School
Completed the Committee of Concerned Journalists Newsroom Workshop
Semi-Finalist, the 1996 Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellowship
Incapable of doubt, incapable of faithThe majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities, and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or much faith. -- T.S. Eliot, Introduction (1931), Pascal's "Pensees"
Share & Bookmark
The Anguished QuestionIf you really enquire about God, not with mere curiosity, not, as it were, like a spiritual stamp collector, but as an anxious seeker, distressed in heart, anguished by the possibility that God might not exist and hence all life be vanity and one great madness -- if you ask in such a mood as the man who asks the doctor, "Tell me, will my wife live or will she die?"-- if you ask thus about God, then you know already that God exists; the anguished question bears witness that you know. -- Emil Brunner, "Our Faith"
- You're an exception to the rule May 15, 2013 Colin Burch
- Please don't clone a T-Rex, literally or figuratively May 8, 2013 Colin Burch
- You don't have to do anything in this class May 1, 2013 Colin Burch
- ‘A Letter from the Western Front’ — a short film by Daniel Kanemoto May 22, 2013Here’s an outstanding short film, set during the First World War: HyperSmash
- Saying good-bye to Ray Manzarek: the best news media descriptions of his significance May 21, 2013Ray Manzarek’s significance to rock and roll, popular music, keyboards, and culture: “The Doors were [...]
- ‘Hollow Sparrow’ — new music by Surfing via SoundCloud May 19, 2013
- ‘A Letter from the Western Front’ — a short film by Daniel Kanemoto May 22, 2013
- prodrome, n. and adj. May 16, 2013
- Poem of the Day: Women Like Me May 22, 2013making promises they can’t keep. For you, Grandmother, I said I would pull each invading burr and thistle from your skin, cut out the dizzy brittle eucalypt, take from the ground the dark oily poison– all to restore you happy and proud, the whole of you transformed and bursting into tomorrow. But where do I cut first? Where should I begin to pull? […]Wendy Rose
- Poem of the Day: Women Like Me May 22, 2013
- Craw by Atsuro Riley May 22, 2013by Atsuro Riley
- Craw by Atsuro Riley May 22, 2013
- Hear Me Talk about Social and Emotional Learning! May 10, 2013On Monday, May 13, at 7pm, I’ll be moderating a panel at The New York Academy of Sciences. If you are in the area, please attend! Here a description of the event: Social and Emotional Learning: Preparing Our Children to Excel Monday, May 13, 2013 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM The New York Academy [...]Ingrid Wickelgren
- Can Doctors Diagnose MS from Blood? May 7, 2013I have seen the invisible arms of multiple sclerosis, a potentially devastating disease of the nervous system, touch friends, relatives and acquaintances. They perturbed the personality of a father of a close friend and left him unable to keep a job and support the family. They forced a young woman I met years ago to [...]Ingrid Wickelgren
- How to Make Kids Smarter—and Ease Existential Terror April 17, 2013A few months ago, I logged on to Lumosity.com to play my daily dose of brain games. The company had given me a free, temporary account so that I could try out their system as part of my research for an article I was writing on brain training. My then 11-year-old son wanted to play, [...]Ingrid Wickelgren
- Hear Me Talk about Social and Emotional Learning! May 10, 2013
- Public Reason May 21, 2013[New Entry by Jonathan Quong on May 20, 2013.] Public reason requires that the moral or political rules that regulate our common life be, in some sense, justifiable or acceptable to all those persons over whom the rules purport to have authority. It is an idea with roots in the work of Hobbes, Kant, and Rousseau, and has become increasingly influential in co […]Jonathan Quong
- Anthony Collins May 21, 2013[Revised entry by William Uzgalis on May 20, 2013. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Anthony Collins (1676 - 1729) was a wealthy English free-thinker, deist and materialist who in his later years became a country squire and local government official in Essex. Along with John Toland, Collins was the most significant member of a close knit circl […]William Uzgalis
- The Unity of Science May 16, 2013[Revised entry by Jordi Cat on May 16, 2013. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The topic of unity in the sciences includes the following questions: Is there one privileged, most basic kind of material, and if not, how are the different kinds of material in the universe related? Can the various natural sciences (physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology) be u […]Jordi Cat
- Public Reason May 21, 2013
- Time May 17, 2013Time Time is what clocks measure. The three key features of time are that it orders events in sequence one after the other; it specifies how long any event lasts; and it specifies when events occur. Yet despite 2,500 years of investigating time, many issues about it are unresolved. Here is a list of the [...]
- Justice, Western Theories of May 16, 2013Western Theories of Justice Justice is one of the most important moral and political concepts. The word comes from the Latin jus, meaning right or law. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the “just” person as one who typically “does what is morally right” and is disposed to “giving everyone his or her due,” offering the [...]
- Aesthetic Emotion May 15, 2013Art and Emotion It is widely thought that the capacity of artworks to arouse emotions in audiences is a perfectly natural and unproblemmatic fact. It just seems obvious that we can feel sadness or pity for fictional characters, fear at the view of threatening monsters on the movie screen, and joy upon listening to upbeat, [...]
- Time May 17, 2013
- A Machine to Weigh the Soul May 21, 2013Newly discovered papers have shed light on a fascinating episode in the history of neuroscience: Weighing brain activity with the balance The story of the early Italian neuroscientist Dr Angelo Mosso and his ‘human circulation balance’ is an old one – I remember reading about it as a student, in the introductory bit of a [...]
- Fantastic Distortions of Perception May 19, 2013A new paper in the journal European Neurology reports on a remarkable case of perceptual distortion that’ll please any connoisseur of neurogothic: A 48-year-old woman woke up one morning without knowing where she was. She recognized her husband and finally realized that she was at home, but reported that she felt that all surroundings appeared [...]
- The Trouble With “Limitations” In Science May 16, 2013Is it always good thing to know your limitations? Over at Scientific American, Samuel McNerney writes about the dangers of learning about common human cognitive biases. The problem is that it’s easy to find out about, say, confirmation bias, and think “Well, it affects other people, but now I know about it, I am immune [...]
- Churchill and the Stigma of Depression May 15, 2013The BBC today has an interesting article by Mark Brown of British mental health magazine One in Four: Do famous role models help or hinder? The context is that in Britain, charities and other advocates for people with mental illness have become fond of pointing to famous people, past and present, who suffered from a [...]
- Visualizing the Connectome May 12, 2013Last year, I blogged about a new and very pretty way of displaying the data about the human ‘connectome’ – the wiring between different parts of the brain. But there are many beautiful ways of visualizing the brain’s connections, as neuroscientists Daniel Margulies and colleagues of Leipzig discuss in a colourful paper showcasing these techniques. Here, [... […]
- A Machine to Weigh the Soul May 21, 2013
- Does Evolutionary Psychology Explain Why We Believe in God? Part 1 May 21, 2013When we look across times and cultures and find very similar beliefs concerning the nature of physical, biological, and psychological reality, those similarities cry out for some explanation. Since these different individuals have a very diverse range of experience, something other than common experience alone just might account for the similarities of belie […]Michael Murray, Schloss, Jeff
- Series: Evolution Basics May 17, 2013Written by BioLogos Fellow of Biology Dennis Venema, this series of posts is intended as a basic introduction to the science of evolution for non-specialists.Dennis Venema
- Engaging Science in the Life of Your Congregation May 14, 2013With so many issues to discuss, Christians can easily get the feeling that science is always attacking the faith. It is essential to balance such conversations with positive responses to God’s creation. After all, the primary response to the natural world in the Bible is to praise the God who made it.Deborah Haarsma
- Why Do More Homeschoolers Want Evolution in Their Textbooks? May 13, 2013"Many homeschool parents contact me or show up at my office and quietly say, 'Is there anything besides Young Earth Creationists?'"
- Series: Searching for Motivated Belief May 9, 2013Over the next few months, with permission from Yale University Press, BioLogos will offer edited versions of chapters from John Polkinghorne's best books, Belief in God in an Age of Science and Theology in the Context of Science, in order to help readers delve more deeply into some of his most important ideas.Ted Davis
- Does Evolutionary Psychology Explain Why We Believe in God? Part 1 May 21, 2013
- I Want to Believe May 21, 2013Just because we can hear the black helicopters doesn’t mean they don’t existJarrod Shanahan
- Bravo, Gentlemen! May 20, 2013Auberive prison, November 28, 1872, 7 a.m. Murderers, can you hear time’s bell? In any event, I’m content with this. We suffered but we saved our cause. So many cynically accumulated crimes, coldly done, so much cowardice and inability widely expose you. Bravo, Gentlemen! The white orgy is complete! Can you take your good nameEvan Calder Williams
- Untitled May 20, 2013 Evan Calder Williams
- I Want to Believe May 21, 2013
- An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
An important church in my family: All Saints Church (Episcopal), Avenue, Maryland
Fresh Literary WorkAt LiturgicalCredo, "contemporary stories of faith and doubt." Member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.
- Andy Warhol’s semi-Stoic psychology — plus 40 more quotations from Thought Catalog
- Rescuers nearing end of search for survivors after deadly Oklahoma twister
- Pray for Moore, OK
- Scientific convention and grammatical convention
- Kierkegaard versus the Christian apologists: faith and reason in genuine tension
- The irrelevance of opposing a commencement speaker
What I Read Online
Approximating alphabetical order:
Strange Days ::: A professional journalist and university lecturer finds the strange conditions of our times and our souls
Beerman ::: Beer news with a fresh voice in a column that appears every other week
The Foote Daily ::: Microbrews & Libertarian News
Myrtle Heights Lantern ::: Current events & analysis from a Libertarian perspective
The Slap / Comics of the Twitterverse ::: The latest news and views from established and new comedians
The case for an inta… on Where’s the ‘heart… S.M.I.L.E. Sirius Mi… on Persuasion cannot happen witho… King’s Cross B… on The Gospel versus Jesus: A cri… Saint Stephen’… on Saint Stephen’s Cathedra… Communicating truth… on Communicating truth — ra…
Liturgy For The PeopleThe liturgy is essentially not the religion of the cultured, but the religion of the people. If the people are rightly instructed, and the liturgy is properly carried out, they display a simple and profound understanding of it. For the people do not analyze concepts, but contemplate. The people possess that inner integrity of being which corresponds perfectly with the symbolism of the liturgical language, imagery, action and ornaments. The cultured man has first of all to accustom himself to this attitude; but to the people it has always been inconceivable that religion should express itself by abstract ideas and logical developments, and not by being and action, by imagery and ritual. --Romano Guardini, "The Awakening of the Church in the Soul"
- Pray for Moore, OK
- How Martin Luther's translation of the Bible influenced the German language
- Andy Warhol's semi-Stoic psychology -- plus 40 more quotations from Thought Catalog
- How can you know if a Buddhist amulet has been blessed? The Buddhist amulet market crashes in Thailand
- 'Amish: Out of Order' -- my review of the new National Geographic Channel series
- My daily stats: 4 new followers, 3 new unfollowers via justunfollow.com 5 hours ago
- 'A Letter from the Western Front' -- a short film by Daniel Kanemoto wp.me/p2zJxu-21 8 hours ago
- Andy Warhol's semi-Stoic psychology -- plus 40 more quotations from Thought Catalog wp.me/p3TOr-1cT 8 hours ago
- The 41 Greatest Andy Warhol Quotes fb.me/VD91M8uQ 8 hours ago
- The 41 Greatest Andy Warhol Quotes tcat.tc/ZbROPX 8 hours ago
Topics at handAnglican art arts atheism Bible books C.S. Lewis Catholic Christian Christianity Church commentary culture education Episcopal faith film God history humanrights humor imagination Islam Jesus literature liturgy London movies music news philosophy photos poetry politics psychology publishing quotations religion Religion and Spirituality science spirituality theology travel worship writing
Who I Am43-year-old husband & dad of three daughters; former newspaper editor; former owner of a coffeehouse-used book store-music-art venue. Currently a lecturer in English at Coastal Carolina U. in Conway, SC; Beerman columnist for Weekly Surge; editor and publisher of LiturgicalCredo. Contact me. Learn more.
Where I’ve Been
What I Listen To
Arts and humansArt is the signature of man. -G.K. Chesterton
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- March 2007
Wittgenstein on Kierkegaard
"Kierkegaard was by far the most profound thinker of the
[nineteenth] century. Kierkegaard was a saint."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein, to his friend Maurice Drury.
Read Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard: Religion, Individuality, and Philosophical Method by Charles L. Creegan free online.
Menu for Liturgical Credo
Related Topics Online
Monthly Archives: September 2008
The things — the beauty, the memory of our own past — are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. -C.S. Lewis, in “The Weight of Glory”
Following Lewis’s formulation and speaking for myself, my heart has been broken many, many times.
At the beginning of my Major American Writers class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I open with a quote that I hope will help the students understand why we bother with literature and why literature matters.
I usually tap an American literary figure, but last week, a line by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had me thinking about something C.S. Lewis wrote.
Tell me if I’m off-base here.
In “A Psalm of Life,” Longfellow wrote, “Art is long, but life is fleeting”.
In “On Stories,” Lewis wrote, “In life and art both, as it seems to me, we are always trying to capture in our net of successive moments something that is not successive.”
I think I was fairly responsible with the comparison and contrast. I made it clear that I did not think there was a perfect critical fit between the two quotes. Even so, I wanted to use the quotes to draw attention to a couple of thoughts. One, while life moves along, in its chronological sequence, we still value certain things that seem eternal, that stand outside of ourselves and our time. Two, that art can sometimes open us up to a sense, feeling, or impression of something eternal, something beyond us.
A powerful example of that sense or impression was related by the poet (and Lewis friend) Ruth Pitter in one of her BBC broadcasts, entitled “Hunting the Unicorn,” which was aired decades ago now. Pitter said:
I was sitting in front of a cottage door one day in spring long ago, a few bushes and flowers round me, bird gathering nesting material, trees of the forest at a little distance. A poor place, nothing glamorous about it. And suddenly, everything assumed a different aspect, its true aspect. For a moment it seemed to me that truth appeared in its overwhelming splendor. The secret was out, the explanation given, something that had seemed like total freedom, total power, total bliss – good with no bad as its opposite, an absolute that had no opposite. This thing, so unlike our feeble nature, had suddenly cut across one’s life and vanished. What is this thing? Is it, could it be, after all, a hint of something more real than this life? A message from reality, perhaps a particle of reality itself? If so, no wonder we hunt it so unceasingly, and never stop desiring it and pining for it.
I did not include the above Pitter quote in our class discussion. While I was trying to explain the Lewis quote, however, I noticed some of the students were moved and surprised by what I was saying. My explanation probably had more in common with Platonism than Christianity, and yet just expressing the possibility of an impression from something beyond our material framework was stirring for me, and it felt counter-cultural to talk about such things.
-Colin Foote Burch
From the New York Times article about the Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to France and his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy:
In an interview in fluent French with reporters traveling with him on an Alitalia airplane from Rome, the pope was asked what his message was and replied that it “seemed evident to me that secularism in itself is not in contradiction with faith.”
Religion and politics, he said, “should be open to each other.”
Speaking before the pope at the Élysée palace, Mr. Sarkozy renewed his appeal for a “positive secularism” saying it was “legitimate for democracy and respectful of secularism to have a dialogue with religions.”
Earlier in the article, reporters Rachel Donadio and Alan Cowell also wrote:
In a private meeting with French Jews on Friday, the pope spoke vehemently about the church’s opposition to “every form of anti-Semitism, which can never be theologically justified,” according to a text of his remarks.
In reaching out to the community he also discussed the holocaust, saying, “God does not forget.”
NPR reported that France has the highest number of European Jews, as well as a growing number of Muslims.
Following the recent death of the great Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, I have been listening to David Aikman’s essay “One Word of Truth: A Portrait of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn” on a special MP3 edition of Mars Hill Audio.
Mars Hill Audio also has a 74-minute download entitled The Christian Humanism of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (also available for purchase on CD) featuring scholar Edward E. Ericson, Jr. Here’s a fantastic quote from Ericson’s 2006 book, The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005:
“Solzhenitsyn’s work and witness teach us that the true alternative to revolutionary utopianism is not postmodern nihilism but gratitude for the givenness of the world and a determined but patient effort to correct injustices within it.”
“And although you were dead because of your sins and because you were morally uncircumcised, he has made you alive with Christ.”
This image and many more images from historical anatomical atlases are available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/historicalanatomies/home.html.
“[I]f the New Testament is right, Christ did not come to pluck souls from an evil and worthless creation and transport them to an angelic existence; instead he came to announce the beginning of the world’s renewal.”
- from The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education by Norman Klassen of St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, and Jens Zimmerman of Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia