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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"
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.
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
- One Tune Review: ‘Supernatural Lover’ by VanDeRocker March 5, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com.In the late 1970s, when New Wave and punk had influenced enough bands, mainstream pop […]The post One Tune Review: ‘Supernatural Lover’ by VanDeRocker appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- ‘The Following’ roundup — #TheFollowing on Twitter February 4, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com.The coolest, funniest, smartest, and best-est comments from Twitter: How did they manage to make […]The post ‘The Following’ roundup — #TheFollowing on Twitter appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Bob Dylan, Lou Reed & Scott Simon are way cooler than Piers Morgan February 3, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com.Apparently, Bob Dylan’s participation in a Chrysler ad damages his reputation. Horrible seeing a great […]The post Bob Dylan, Lou Reed & Scott Simon are way cooler than Piers Morgan appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- One Tune Review: ‘Supernatural Lover’ by VanDeRocker March 5, 2014
- synergy: Dictionary.com Word of the Day March 9, 2014synergy: the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements.
- synergy: Dictionary.com Word of the Day March 9, 2014
- Poem of the Day: Market Forecast March 9, 2014Adjectives continue their downward spiral, with adverbs likely to follow. Wisdom, grace, and beauty can be had three for a dollar, as they head for a recession. Diaphanous, filigree, pearlescent, and love are now available at wholesale prices. Verbs are still blue-chip investments, but not many are willing to sell. The image market is still strong, but only […]Alexa Selph
- Poem of the Day: Market Forecast March 9, 2014
- Pig-In-A-Blanket by Matthew Rohrer March 9, 2014by Matthew Rohrer
- Pig-In-A-Blanket by Matthew Rohrer March 9, 2014
- Lady Damaris Masham March 8, 2014[Revised entry by Sarah Hutton on March 7, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Damaris Masham (1658-1708) was one of the earliest English woman philosophers. The main sources for her philosophy are two published books, A Discourse Concerning the Love of God (1696) and Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous and Christian Life (1705), and her co […]Sarah Hutton
- Lady Anne Conway March 8, 2014[Revised entry by Sarah Hutton on March 7, 2014. Changes to: Bibliography] Lady Anne Conway (nee Anne Finch) was one of a tiny minority of seventeenth-century women who was able to pursue an interest in philosophy. She was associated with the Cambridge Platonists, particularly Henry More (1614-1687). Her only surviving treatise, Principles of the Most Ancien […]Sarah Hutton
- Leibniz's Philosophy of Physics March 8, 2014[Revised entry by Jeffrey K. McDonough on March 7, 2014. Changes to: Bibliography] Although better known today for his bold metaphysics and optimistic theodicy, Leibniz's intellectual contributions extended well beyond what is now generally thought of as philosophy or theology. Remarkably in an era that knew the likes of Galileo, Descartes, Huygens, Hoo […]Jeffrey K. McDonough
- Lady Damaris Masham March 8, 2014
- Nietzsche, Friedrich: Philosophy of History March 8, 2014Friedrich Nietzsche: Philosophy of History This article traces the context and evolution of Nietzsche’s philosophy of history throughout his career. Attention is also given to its reception by thinkers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Nietzsche rejected grand architectonics whose purpose seemed only to convince people that they will someday soon […]
- Sadra February 19, 2014Mulla Sadra (c. 1572—1640) Mulla Sadra made major contributions to Islamic metaphysics and to Shi’i theology during the Safavid period (1501-1736) in Persia. He started his career in the context of a rising culture that combined elements from the Persian past with the newly institutionalized Shi’ism and Sufi teachings. Mulla Sadra was heir to a […]
- Zhang Junmai (Carsun Chang) February 8, 2014Zhang Junmai (Carsun Chang, 1877-1969) Zhang Junmai (Chang Chun-mai, 1877-1969), also known as Carsun Chang, was an important twentieth-century Chinese thinker and a representative of modern Chinese philosophy. Zhang’s participation in “The Debate between Metaphysicians and Scientists” of 1923, in which he defended his Neo-Confucian views against those of Ch […]
- Nietzsche, Friedrich: Philosophy of History March 8, 2014
- The Wit and Wisdom of Psychology Abstracts March 8, 2014The abstract to a scientific paper is a brief summary of the content. The start of an abstract, in turn, serves to introduce the subject of the research. This is fine for most kinds of science, but in the case of psychology (and parts of neuroscience) it can produce some rather odd results. In these […]The post The Wit and Wisdom of Psychology Abstracts appe […]
- Hormones and Women Voters: A Very Modern Scientific Controversy March 4, 2014A paper just out in the journal Psychological Science says that: Women Can Keep the Vote: No Evidence That Hormonal Changes During the Menstrual Cycle Impact Political and Religious Beliefs This eye-catching title heads up an article that’s interesting in more ways than you’d think. According to the paper, authors Christine Harris and Laura Mickes […]The pos […]
- Baby Brain Scans Predict Later Cognitive Development? March 1, 2014The shape of a newborn baby’s brain can predict its later cognitive development, according to a new study from New York neuroscientists Marisa Spann and colleagues. Here’s the paper: Morphological features of the neonatal brain support development of subsequent cognitive, language, and motor abilities Now, while the word ‘phrenology‘ gets banded around a lot […]
- The Wit and Wisdom of Psychology Abstracts March 8, 2014
- “The Language of God” Book Club–Chapter 5Does Collins show that Evangelicals have turned the corner on the scandal Noll brought to light, or does the continued resistance of the majority of Evangelicals to Collins’s work (about 75% reject human evolution) show that we as a collective group still do not take the life of the mind seriously?
- The Controversy at Bryan CollegeAlthough Bryan’s position differs from ours, we hope that dialogue with other positions can be renewed and encouraged rather than stifled going forward.
- Robert Boyle Speaks to Modern ChristiansWhat does it really tell us, to say that “nature abhors a vacuum” or that “nature does nothing in vain?” As long as men allow themselves so general and easy a way of rendering accounts of things that are difficult, as to attribute them to “nature,” shame will not reduce them to a more industrious scrutiny into the reasons of things and curiosity itself will […]
- “The Language of God” Book Club–Chapter 5
- Sunday Reading March 9, 2014Pretty cool video about Detroit's business opportunitysAaron Bady
- Triple-Decker Weekly, 96 March 9, 2014We must realize that if Pop Art depersonalized, it does not make anonymousimp kerr
- Ambitious Conditions: Taiye Selasi’s “Ghana Must Go” March 8, 2014“Ambitious” is a back-handed criticism, a way of positioning Selasi as a promising writer who had written a flawed first novel.Aaron Bady
- Sunday Reading March 9, 2014
- Beyond the Façade February 23, 2014Vladimir Putin's Fragile Empire Fragile Empire Ben Judah Yale University Press, 400 pages $30.00 As the Olympic festivities wind down in Sochi, western attention on Russia has been at levels unseen since the Cold War. As the most expensive Olympic games yet (the most recent estimate is $ 50-51 billion by the Washington Post), President Putin has in […]
- The End of the Line? September 26, 201325 years after Chrysler closed the AMC plant, how has Kenosha fared? The End of the Line? Twenty-five years ago, Chrysler closed its newly acquired plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The event made national headlines. Only a few months before, Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca had announced that the company intended to buy out French automaker Renault’s control […]
- The Voice of Ireland June 15, 2013An Interview with Author Kevin Barry The Voice of Ireland My wife tossed The New Yorker on to the tabletop, You have to read this short story, she said. I did. And the rhythm of the language and the force of the story led me on the rampant search for more. The author was an Irish writer named Kevin Barry whose work consists of two short story collectio […]
- Beyond the Façade February 23, 2014
- Exile is a waste of human capital. March 7, 2014Share and Enjoy:Jessica Hagy
- When interviewing for jobs and partners. March 6, 2014Share and Enjoy:Jessica Hagy
- For many, the only respites are television (temporary) and death (permanent). March 5, 2014Share and Enjoy:Jessica Hagy
- Exile is a waste of human capital. March 7, 2014
- Making Sport of Signs and Similitudes February 28, 2014 William Egginton
- In Sickness and in Health February 21, 2014 Claire Seiler
- Winnie’s Penelope: On Solitude and the Comfort of Strangers February 9, 2014 Ato Quayson
- The 7 Best Links to Digital Poetry Projects from MLA January 14, 2014
- Introduction to Omeka – Lesson Plan November 12, 2013
- Things My Computer Taught Me About Poems: An MLA 2014 Special Session Proposal March 28, 2013
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- Aggressive Nature
- Upset about gay marriage? American Christianity is the culprit
- UK parliamentary committee forces spy “watchdog” to show up for grilling
- How Latvian Mythology Contributed to the Olympic Silver in Bobsleigh
- Religious liberty and thought crimes
- The only mystery allowed is the mystery that can be explained
Patricia V Merrell on … CFB on Tyndale House Publishers or ML… Tyndale House Publis… on Tyndale House Publishers or Pu… Tyndale House Publis… on Tyndale House Publishers or Ch… CFB on Tyndale House Publishers or Ch…
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"
- Following Mark Driscoll's plagiarism, it's time to ask serious questions about Tyndale House's credibility
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- New books: What Martin Luther thought about prayer beads
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- Advice to a Prophet by Richard Wilbur : The Poetry Foundation [poem]
- The Slap! Comedy on the Web is out! paper.li/cfburch4/13257… Stories via @TOsketchfest @AboveAverage 5 hours ago
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- Myrtle Heights Lantern is out! paper.li/cfburch4/13143… 13 hours ago
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Arts and humansArt is the signature of man. -G.K. Chesterton
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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"
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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
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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