theory & practice

They’re meant to reinforce one another.

I just had lunch with a friend, and we talked about how much fun it was learning the 5 different fretboard patterns of pentatonic (five-tone) scales on the guitar.  When his practice was less developed, music theory had seemed boring and irrelevant to him, but now it was exciting and directly relevant.

It’s like this with just about anything you do, isn’t it?  There is a theoretical side to just about everything you can do.  Advanced mathematical formulae will help you do all kinds of science, but can seem irrelevant for the amateur lover of the natural world.  The study of history will aid healthy analysis of political swings and round-a-bouts, but can seem tedious to the armchair politician.  Etymology will help one choose the choicest words in your literary endeavors, but sound high-browed and lofty.  Analytic philosophy will help one to interact with ideas more efficiently, but sound like a pedantic waste of time.  Systematic theology will shape and enrich a life of worshipful obedience, but seem like detached speculation.

life unfolds

This poem was read to open a counselling class I’m currently in – I found it wonderful.

“Life Unfolds” By Macrina Wiederkehr

Life unfolds
a petal at a time
slowly.

The beauty of the process is crippled
when I try to hurry growth.
Life has its inner rhythm
which must be respected.
It cannot be rushed or hurried.

Like daylight stepping out of darkness,
like morning creeping out of night,
life unfolds slowly a petal at a time
like a flower opening to the sun,
slowly.

God’s call unfolds
a Word at a time
slowly.

A disciple is not made in a hurry.
Slowly I become like the One
to whom I am listening.

Life unfolds
a petal at a time
like you and I
becoming followers of Jesus,
discipled into a new way of living
deeply and slowly.

Be patient with life’s unfolding petals.
If you hurry the bud it withers.
If you hurry life it limps.
Each unfolding is a teaching
a movement of grace filled with silent pauses
breathtaking beauty
tears and heartaches.

Life unfolds
a petal at a time
deeply and slowly.

May it come to pass!

teleology & ethics

The word ‘teleology’ (from Greek τελος ‘telos’ – meaning ‘goal’, ‘end’, ‘purpose’ or ‘that toward which things tend’) is not a street-level term.  However, the concept of a purpose, goal, function or ‘end’ to things most certainly is.  It’s a common as anything.  Teleology is blindingly relevant.

Continue reading “teleology & ethics”

psalm 8 remixed

A targum of Psalm 8:

  1. Yahweh our Master!
    Your Name is priceless throughout the universe!
    Your glory is unsearchable and inscrutable
    and utterly beyond our capability to measure.
  2. Even the smallest and inexperienced ones; yes – babies
    they praise you – just as you wanted
    all this is like ignorant and inane babbling to those who hate you,
    yet this incoherent baby-noise completely silences sinners and evil-doers.
  3. When I ponder the chaotic-order of the cosmos,
    the mechanics of your workshop,
    whether multiple distant galaxies or single stars,
    knowing you plan and place them all,
  4. I wonder why you bother thinking of mere humans,
    or why you concern yourself with homosapiens?
  5. But – no other thing you’ve created comes as close to your divine greatness,
    potential and power, reason and rhyme; you gave it – we have it.
  6. Everything that you’ve created, we are now responsible for;
    under God and over creation:
  7. …over the lions and llamas,
    and every land-dwelling animal,
  8. …over every single thing that flies in the air,
    and every thing in fresh-water or salt-water,
    indeed – every kind of ocean-floor crawling and swimming thing.
  9. Yahweh our Master!
    Your Name is priceless throughout the universe!

anthropocentric ethics

Anthropocentric Ethics – In Ancient & Modern Perspective

The author/composer/poet/community which produced the text we know of as Genesis 1 observed many things. Just one of these is the uniqueness of humans in relation to our environment.

Day and night, earth and sky, sea and land, vegetation, and fruits, creatures great and tiny, both in the sea and on land…

And then behold – human beings. These humans are at the pinnacle of creation and are invested with the task and responsibility of governing the entire earth. Continue reading “anthropocentric ethics”