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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
- Automotive Americana at the 26th annual Run to the Sun car show March 23, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com.Pee Dee Street Rodders and the City of Myrtle Beach held the 26th annual Run […]The post Automotive Americana at the 26th annual Run to the Sun car show appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Just in case you haven’t seen this short film featuring Arcade Fire March 22, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com.Watch the short film “Here Comes the Night Time” by Arcade Fire — and look […]The post Just in case you haven’t seen this short film featuring Arcade Fire appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Steve McQueen with vinyl records March 12, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com.Check out Steve McQueen with vinyl records! Related PostsAutomotive Americana at the 26th annual Run […]The post Steve McQueen with vinyl records appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Automotive Americana at the 26th annual Run to the Sun car show March 23, 2014
- frivol: Dictionary.com Word of the Day April 22, 2014frivol: to behave frivolously; trifle.
- frivol: Dictionary.com Word of the Day April 22, 2014
- Poem of the Day: Sonnet XCVIII: From you have I been absent in the spring April 23, 2014From you have I been absent in the spring, When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim, Hath put a spirit of youth in everything, That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him. Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell Of different flowers in odour and in hue, Could make me any summer’s story tell, Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew: […]William Shakespeare
- Poem of the Day: Sonnet XCVIII: From you have I been absent in the spring April 23, 2014
- Hoffnung by Amy Gerstler April 23, 2014by Amy Gerstler
- Hoffnung by Amy Gerstler April 23, 2014
- The Power of Dad April 14, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- A Transformation of Light: How We See [Video] April 2, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- Quick! What Is the Word for a Pair of Opposites? [Video] March 28, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- Aristotle's Ethics April 22, 2014[Revised entry by Richard Kraut on April 21, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Aristotle conceives of ethical theory as a field distinct from the theoretical sciences. Its methodology must match its subject matter - good action - and must respect the fact that in this field many generalizations hold only for the most part. We study ethics in order t […]Richard Kraut
- Epicurus April 20, 2014[Revised entry by David Konstan on April 20, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The philosophy of Epicurus (341 - 270 B.C.E.) was a complete and interdependent system, involving a view of the goal of human life (happiness, resulting from absence of physical pain and mental disturbance), an empiricist theory of knowledge (sensations, together with the […]David Konstan
- Blame April 16, 2014[New Entry by Neal Tognazzini and D. Justin Coates on April 15, 2014.] To blame someone is to respond in a particular way to something of negative normative significance about him or his behavior. A paradigm case, perhaps, would be when one person wrongs another, and the latter responds with resentment and a verbal rebuke, but of course, we also blame others […]Neal Tognazzini and D. Justin Coates
- Aristotle's Ethics April 22, 2014
- Intentionality April 12, 2014Intentionality When we think about a piano, something in our thoughts picks out a piano. When we talk about cigars, something in our speech refers to cigars. The picking out, referring to, or being about things when we think and speak, is intentionality. In a word, intentionality is aboutness. Many mental states exhibit intentionality. If […]
- Pascal, Blaise April 11, 2014Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) Blaise Pascal was a French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, inventor, and theologian. In mathematics, he was an early pioneer in the fields of game theory and probability theory. In philosophy he was an early pioneer in existentialism. As a writer on theology and religion he was a defender of Christianity. Despite chronic ill […]
- Nietzsche, Friedrich: Philosophy of History March 8, 2014Friedrich Nietzsche: Philosophy of History Nietzsche was well-steeped in his contemporary methods and debates in the philosophy of history, which carried over into his philosophy in essential ways. Once a prodigy in classical philology, Nietzsche’s philosophy is everywhere concerned with traditions, historical shifts in custom and meaning, and, to adapt his […]
- Intentionality April 12, 2014
- The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy” April 20, 2014Can quantum physics help to diagnose schizophrenia and depression? A paper just published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease claims that a technique called ‘quantum resonance spectroscopy’ (QRS) can accurately diagnose various mental health problems. But is it quantum wizardry or magic quackery? According to the authors of the new paper, Zhang et [ […]
- How To Fool A Plagiarism Detector April 17, 2014Should you trust plagiarism detection software? In my view, no – we should never treat an automated plagiarism report as definitive evidence, whether positive (as proof of plagiarism) or negative (as proof of innocence.) These tools are useful for rapidly screening texts to raise red flags, but once a suspicion is raised, only old-fashioned manual […]The pos […]
- Brain Scans: Don’t Throw Out The Baby With The Dead Salmon April 11, 2014Is neuro-skepticism in danger of going too far? Is it time to take a critical look at critiques of neuroscience? Martha Farah of the University of Pennsylvania says yes, in a Hastings Center Report just published: Brain Images, Babies, and Bathwater: Critiquing Critiques of Functional Neuroimaging Farah covers a broad spectrum of criticisms, ranging from […] […]
- The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy” April 20, 2014
- Interpreting Adam: An Interview with Denis Lamoureux, Part 1The central problem that Christians have with evolution involves Scripture. All the anti-evolutionary arguments we hear in churches today are a symptom of a deeper problem: the assumption that God revealed scientific facts to the biblical writers thousands of years before their discovery by modern scientists.
- Still Surprised by EasterWe now take for granted an understanding of the Christian story that was largely worked out by Paul and later theologians. Even though the Gospels were composed after Paul’s letters, they were concerned to tell the story itself in all its strangeness as it had been preserved by the first generation of Christians. And what we find in the stories themselves is […]
- “The Language of God” Book Club – Chapters 10-11Collins’ original use of the term “BioLogos” was as an alternative label for the position often known as “theistic evolution.” Now this gets a bit confusing as “BioLogos” became the name for our organization that Collins founded (after the publication of this book). We continue to be dissatisfied with the label “theistic evolution” because as Collins said, m […]
- Interpreting Adam: An Interview with Denis Lamoureux, Part 1
- Theorizing the Web 2014 Special Offer April 22, 2014This April 25 & 26, join us for the 3rd Annual Theorizing the Web conference, brought to you by The New Inquiry Foundation. Register here For a limited time only registrants who donate $30 or more will receive a 1 year subscription to The New Inquiry Magazine. Look at the amazing program! See all conferenceTNI
- Manufactured Response April 22, 2014I spent most of my life trying to Americanize myself, but all of that rebelliousness melted away when the earthquake hitYurina Ko
- Disgorge the Cash April 21, 2014Companies used to borrow in the markets as a last resort for financing investment in their business. Now it’s a front for shareholder giveawaysJ.W. Mason
- Theorizing the Web 2014 Special Offer April 22, 2014
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- 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
- Resource: Open Source Tools for Viewing Large Collections in JS in the Browser April 22, 2014
- Announcement: The 4th RECODE Workshop April 22, 2014
- Resource: Principal Component Analysis, Step by Step April 22, 2014
CFB on Online searches for ‘sex… CFB on The greased path Patricia V Merrell on … CFB on Tyndale House Publishers or ML… Tyndale House Publis… on Tyndale House Publishers or Pu…
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"
- RT @allaboutbeer: Celebrate #EarthDay and read about brewers fighting to protect clean water. ow.ly/w3fpE 2 hours ago
- RT @thenewjimcrow: "Bids to shorten prison terms get bipartisan support (and opposition)" latimes.com/nation/la-na-s… #Race #Crime #Politics 2 hours ago
- RT @MotherJones: Let's say your death penalty lawyer drank a quart of vodka daily during your trial... mojo.ly/Pph40H 4 hours ago
- RT @ajam: Missouri inmate seeks execution stay over secret drugs trib.al/uVczZhu 4 hours ago
- Finally watching National Constitution Center panel discussion on the future of free speech via YouTube: youtu.be/DYs-1cGo28o @TheFIREorg 5 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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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