Thursday, May 16, 2019

Our Problem with Limits

Reinhold Niebuhr sees the problem of sin as arising from human finitude on the one hand, and freedom to aspire on the other.

Humans seek to overcome the resulting insecurity in two major ways. The more common is by asserting the will in an effort to gain such power as oversteps the limits of the human creature’s place. A more intellectual form is attempting to deny the limited character of human knowledge and perspectives. This intellectual pride and assertion of will to gain undue power disturb the harmony of creation.

Adam and Eve’s sin consisted in yielding to the temptation to try to be more than what they were created to be, human. The tried, in effect, to be God.

                                 -Adapted from Millard Erickson, Christian Theology (3rd ed), p 535-6

Friday, May 3, 2019

What kind of doctor do I want to be?

If we use the language of business to describe medicine, it changes who we are and what we do as providers.

                                                                           -Richard W Sams II

Friday, April 19, 2019


God is not a bureau

                                    -Millard Erickson, Christian Theology

Monday, April 1, 2019

Who is this About?

When you read the Bible, you are going to be tempted to think that this or that passage is about somebody else.  Let me just warn you: don’t go there. Let the word of God plunge deeply into your heart. Let it expose things that are uncomfortable. That’s the only way you’re going to grow. That’s the only way you’re going to become like Jesus.

                                                                 -Phillip Miller

Friday, March 22, 2019

Diversions can make us numb, leading us to a state of indifference with respect to what is true. 

                                               -Robert Miner, "Pascal and the uses of Skepticism"

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Risk in the Church

A church which pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling…[We must] play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment.

                                                                -Hans Küng – The Church

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Every man who thinks and lives by thought must have his own skepticism, that which stops at the question, that which ends in denial, or that which leads to faith and which is somehow integrated into the faith which transcends it.

                                         -T.S. Eliot, Intro to Pascal's Pensées

Monday, March 11, 2019

An Old Idea

Missionary work is not a side show of the church, to be sustained by the gifts of a minority who are sufficiently interested. It is the main artery which is essential to the life of the body and to the strength of the heart. Nor may this missionary activity be confined to the regions beyond. Paganism is not limited to heathen lands. It is present in every community, and may be found among those who maintain an external standard of goodness yet are pagan at heart. Conversion may need to begin within the church itself, through the renewal of a living Christian experience. But the real test of that renewal will be in the recovery of the evangelical passion. A living church must be quipped for adventurous service. Like the individual Christian, it can keep its life only by losing it.

                                                                      -The Interpreter's Bible 1953, ref I Cor 10

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Red Hill Mining Town

We'll scorch the earth
Set fire to the sky
And we stooped so low
To reach so high
                                      -U2 (Red Hill Mining Town,  
                                                                                     The Joshua Tree)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


Where there is nothing sacred, there is nothing.

                                                                              -Phillip Rieff, My Life among the Deathworks

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Search

On the one hand, the accumulated writings of the greatest minds of the last three thousand years is available for the first time to anyone with a smart phone. However, due to the massive mound of such writing and the work it takes to sort through, most are as unlikely to dig in as if there were still old walls of language, space, time, and the like to limit them.

On the other hand, this has not stopped the world’s billions from dropping in their own universal approach to truth for everyone to see in the form of the latest attention-getting cat video.

And so, in the modern world, meaning is so much more commonly sought in cat videos than in researching the sages.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


The sort of cheerful nihilism so dominant in post-modernism could only take root in the flabby, comfortable West, where one can play around with everything, including God, justice, marriage, society, truth, and so on, without having to worry about the consequences.

                                                                  -Bartholomew and Goheen, Christian Philosophy