October 20, 2004

“Hmmm. A limo that can fly. Now I’ve seen everything.” “Have you ever seen a man eat his own head?” “No.” “Then I guess you haven’t seen everything.” Read more

October 19, 2004

Listen, I’m not under any false illusions that Hans-Georg Gadamer needs my help, but I was a little rough on him in a previous post as being the quintessence of philosophical abstruseness. In fact, Gadamer is an incredibly important figure in 20th century philosophy, so all four of you who read this should have a better appreciation of him. In the post-Kantian turn in philosophy, F. Schleiermacher and W. Dilthey emphasized that for a human being to understand a text,… Read more

October 18, 2004

If you have not yet seen Jon Stewart take the Crossfire guys to task, do yourself a favor and watch it — link here. Which makes me ask: Is Jon Stewart angry? (Rhetorical question — the answer is yes.) But, is it OK for him to be angry? I mean, when he is firmly convinced that shows like “Crossfire” are hurting our democracy, that all they do is allow spin-meisters and political hucksters and sloganeers to come on and shout… Read more

October 17, 2004

In the book, Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America, Michael O. Emerson (and Christian Smith) look at the contributing factors to the continued racial divide between blacks and whites and how the divide is exacerbated by evangelicalism. Sociologists, Emerson and Smith conducted a massive study, including over 2,500 phone interviews and 200 face-to-face interviews, thus cross referencing both quantitative and qualitative analysis. First off, they claim that while the U.S. is not necessarily “racist,”… Read more

October 16, 2004

Here’s a reflection from Paul Ricoeur regarding his connection to Taize Read more

October 15, 2004

Occasionally, I’ll be posting my grammatical pet peeves; common mistakes that I think should be avoided. Here are three: When two ideas or people seem to work well together, they jibe — they do not jive. When you change course, you take a new tack — not a new tact. It’s a sailing term.When you address your Christmas card to my family, it’s The Joneses — not The Jones’ or The Jones’s or, my personal favorite, The Jones. Read more

October 15, 2004

Ricoeur is a philosopher/theologian who has had a great impact on the field, most especially, of philosophical hermeneutics. Unlike Gadamer, he emphasizes that we can indeed talk about methods of interpretation, but he is post-critical enough to admit that all interpretations are limited, never complete or final. One of the interesting ideas he explores in Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning (1976) is that a text, like a conversation between two persons, has a life of its own…. Read more

October 12, 2004

Derrida died late last week, and there was an interesting obit in the NYTimes (and other places as well). It was noted that Derrida’s following was always larger and more passionate in the U.S. than it was in Europe. It also noted that several political scandals regarding the Holocaust tarnished his image (a Jew, Derrida defended some scholars with former Nazi ties) and that his academic star had been on the wane for several years. On this count, I had… Read more

October 10, 2004

…for Minnesota sports fans. The Twins caved in memorable fashion, the Gophers choked, and the Vikes squeezed by the Texans in OT after leading 21-0. Ugly all around. In happier news, the NYWC in Dallas was great — lots of time catching up with friends, meeting new ones etc. One of the new ones is Mike Pilavachi with whom I had a scintillating conversation one night. Mike, Marko, and I all bemoaned the tendency that human beings seem to have… Read more

October 7, 2004

Had breakfast today with Dr. Darrell Guder — he’s a fantastic guy who is interested in missional ecclesiology, especially from a Barthian perspective. We try to get together once a month, and it’s always awesome for me. He’d be reason enough for anyone to come to PTS for an M.Div., and to get a Ph.D. from him would be da bomb. Then I talked Moltmann for 90 minutes with Dr. Rick Osmer. That was spectacular — mind-bendingly delicious. Tomorrow I… Read more

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