“Believe” is a transitive verb, and other good points against me

Christian H at The Thinking Grounds makes an attempt to figure out why on earth I'm against critical thinking and what I even mean by saying that. We're pretty clearly talking past each other to some extent, but he does give me an excuse to extend, qualify, and generally shake the kaleidoscope of my AmCon post to see how it rearranges itself. Here are some scattered shards.I. Where I'm coming from: I wrote the post because I have talked with so many people who perceive themselves to be … [Read more...]

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Addictions and Corrections to the Minutes

See what I did there?Anyway, I have a whole lot of random notes or clarifications about that earlier post and no real organizing principle for them, so I will just throw them out here in a list.* I think I expressed myself poorly earlier, since some people seem to have read the initial post as saying, "With some addictions you need to treat underlying physical or emotional factors first, so that you can point out to the person that their real needs are spiritual." This isn't what I meant … [Read more...]

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“The Agony of a Steadily Trusting Faith”: Wesley Hill

quotes Walter Moberly [O]ne should not so romanticize the process of moral and spiritual struggle that the Lukan depiction of Jesus as one who maintains apparent serenity and trust amidst suffering is downgraded; as though an anguished and in some ways vacillating struggle for faith is intrinsically superior to a steadily trusting faith; or as though a steadily trusting faith did not involve its own kind of moral and spiritual struggle. and expands on his words.  … [Read more...]

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“Sister Outsider”: I watch “Beyond the Hills”

at AmCon: “Beyond the Hills,” the wrenching new movie from Romanian director Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”), is easy for American audiences to misunderstand. The Washington City Paper‘s review thinks it’s about the sufferings of an unbeliever trapped “within a world of intolerance.” It’s about “a battle between salvation and love.” This is badly missing the point. more (fairly spoilerous) … [Read more...]

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Ha!

One caveat: Talk about mystery and paradox can easily morph into yet another way of putting God into a box. You can write a book explaining why God utterly exceeds our grasp—and by the time you're done, you may be feeling pretty smug. Then your dear friend and fellow believer comes along: "What's all this about a 'hidden God'? He's not hidden at all!"--from the end of this review; via Wesley Hill … [Read more...]

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“Bonhoeffer’s Argument Against Religious Blackmail”

Wesley Hill: Bonhoeffer suggests, contra Stendahl, that if we’re really to preach about the sin of humanity, we have to avoid yoking that preaching too closely to the feelings of guilt that may or may not be a feature of our hearers’ experience. Regardless of what a person may feel, Bonhoeffer implies, the gospel truly addresses them and lays claim to their lives. The truths of sin and redemption aren’t dependent on the rising and falling of human emotional states. And to dismantle a faulty view … [Read more...]

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From “Demons”

"That's all lies, you are a very wicked man, and I conclusively expressed your groundlessness to you just now," the girl student replied disdainfully, as if scorning too many explanations with such a man. "I precisely told you just now that we were all taught by the catechesis: 'If you honor your father and your parents, you'll live a long life and be granted wealth.' It's in the ten commandments. If God found it necessary to offer a reward for love, it means your God is immoral. These are the … [Read more...]

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