End With A Whimper, End With A Bang

In contemplating a conscious end to this blog, I have been thinking about the various ways I can go about it. What it comes down to is that I lack the motivation – I’m not sure if it will come back. It might be that I just have too much on my mind, too much other writing I’m doing, too many jobs, too much laziness on top of everything. I don’t know.

Anything you’ve always wondered, before I call it quits? Lemme know.

17 thoughts on “End With A Whimper, End With A Bang

  1. You’ve been a great conversation partner. I’ve learned and received a lot from you. I’m sorry the blogging process wasn’t more affirming because you’re an intelligent, gifted individual. I’m sorry to see your blog go, but I support your decision. May God bless you in your life and ministry. You’ve certainly blessed me.In Christ,Mark

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  2. Anything I’ve always wondered:What is wrong with post-modernism? Is it even possible for an American using a computer to not be post-modern despite their best efforts? I love post modern methods from Cervantes on. Heck, the two Genesis stories are a great example of post modern methods built right into the Scriptures. So why do some bloggers out there despise it so much?I’ve always wondered.(I think if you take yourself not too seriously, then a blazing ball of glory is the only way out – but sometimes a step ladder and a helicopter will do just fine)

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  3. Jodie:I think the issue with postmodernism is that uncertainty is terrifying. It really does require a gestalt shift to begin to accept paradox and uncertainty in your thinking, especially in the area of religion, where the stereotype is that people come to religion seeking certainty. I think that either someone is already doing this, or is willing to go through what it takes to begin for some reason, or is not anywhere near doing this.I don’t even understand what it would be like to be someone who didn’t see paradox throughout Scripture. Reading the Bible is what destroyed my certainty, not the other way around. I think of that destruction as an act of God, like ripping off a band-aid (or a blindfold, in my case).Christianity keeps me uncertain – the more I “do” Christianity, the more uncertain I become. But to an objectivist, this would seem like an awful thing. For me, though, it is liberating and ceaselessly interesting, and I can’t imagine what it would take to remain an objectivist and still be religious/spiritual in a meaningful sense. It was way too much for me, in any case.It is also the only position I can place myself in without self-deception. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I find God *in* the uncertainty, not outside of it. What I discovered some years ago now and continue to discover is that, for me, the choices are God in paradox, God in uncertainty, or no God at all.

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  4. <>Let me say again, angry conservative bloggers, before you fire up your keyboards to roast me alive. This is an interesting exercise. Please do not blow it out of proportion.<>I’ve actually given up my blog for various reasons.My only response is that the above sounds like a Nixonesque self-pitying complaint. And not for the first time.

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  5. Sorry Presbyman, my original response was too snarky. I should assume that you mean well.My only response to you is “I am not a crook.” If you picture me saying it in a jowly way in front of some microphones it helps to get the picture more clearly.In other news – if my comment is self-pitying, it is unconsciously so. I’ve just found that there are people who take me a *lot* more seriously than I take myself. I’ve tried various ways of making it clear how I approach my own views, but in a situation where it seems that many conservatives feel they are at war, there is occasionally some shrapnel that comes my way.Overall, its deeply depressing to be in a dysfunctional situation like this, but I’m coming to learn that this is a bad medium for personal communication. I’m trying to figure out what I think I want/need to say before I end it, and I’ll try to keep the Nixonian self-pity to a minimum, since I understand why that would become tiresome.

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  6. Sorry, but your last post seems to have been deleted, so I will leave this comment about your essentials here. By the way, will you be using your essentials as the basis for your statement of faith for candidacy?This is indeed very interesting. Would you make any claim about the physical bodily resurrection of Christ? Paul seemed to make it central (1Cor. 15 comes to mind)? You make some very strong statements about God being good and loving and you don't seem to be agnostic about this, like you are about so many other things. Why is this? How do you know what “evil” is? You said, “I will not preach a God who is in favor of evil, or promotes evil, or accepts evil without calling us to resist with ever fiber of our being.” What would you like your God to do about “evil” -only talk about it and have others talk about it with impotent hands? How about a God who in his infinite knowledge chooses to judge evil for his own infinitely good purposes? What might that look like? How about the biblical picture of a jealous and holy God, who has mercy on whom he has mercy and compassion on whom he has compassion? Your affinity for Eastern mysticism and Buddhism would seem to be stopping here, don't you think (you know, the whole ying yang thing)? If you were inclined to believe in a more pan(en)theistic god, as you seemed to indicate in several other areas, does not that concept of god include what you term as “evil”? How do you reconcile your definition of god as mystery & paradox, with a very boxed in god of love? Why not a god of paradox, who is both evil and good? Is this not more consistent?You also make no statements about atonement. Do you then believe that Jesus is pretty much just a good moral figure who is a model for us, or did he do something objectively for us in history? Is your idea of the deity of Jesus a unique thing, or is this something that we can all aspire to? Sorry for all the questions, but your essentials seem somehow contradictory? I hope you will forgive me, but I cannot seem to shed those laws of logic that are foundational to all communication.

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  7. Adel:I removed the later post because as I re-read it, I didn't think it was saying anything I felt had to be said.“By the way, will you be using your essentials as the basis for your statement of faith for candidacy?”If you're inclined, I posted my statement of faith a long time ago. Enjoy it or revile it, as you choose. I am actually already a Candidate, so I suppose my self-refuation and stupidity slipped past my Presbytery. Oh well, there goes the neighborhood.“Would you make any claim about the physical bodily resurrection of Christ? Paul seemed to make it central (1Cor. 15 comes to mind)?”I suppose I would claim that this physical, bodily resurrection was clearly mysterious and clearly did not involve a body as we understand our bodies. This body appeared and disappeared, teleported through walls and so on. I agree the resurrection is crucial for Paul. But what do you mean by “physical” and “bodily”? What kind of body?“How do you know what “evil” is?”For simplicity's sake, I listed only things that I honestly think are self-evidently evil – things like rape, torture and genocide. If you really need me to argue against those things…I don't know what to say.As to how I know what evil is – I don't, not in the way you think you know things at any rate. If you'd like some content to what I mean by evil, read other posts of mine.I don't really want to get into the “Eastern Mysticism thing” with you. You'd have to define what you mean a lot better, since you could be referring to any number of ancient traditions or new religious movements under that umbrella. The “whole yin-yang thing” doesn't have much to do with what you are talking about, at least as I understand Daoism. Also, it might be worth noting that “the whole yin-yang thing” has nothing to do with Buddhism. I think you're actually confusing a great many things here, and I don't know how to disentangle what you're saying to respond to it meaningfully.No, panentheism does not mean that God is evil. I don't know where you're getting that. For some panentheistic theology, I recommend Sally McFague. She's a good starting point for understanding panentheism if you're interested in it. There are others, but I enjoyed what I read of McFague, though I will warn you, she's one of us self-refuting types who can't communicate.“How do you reconcile your definition of god as mystery & paradox, with a very boxed in god of love? Why not a god of paradox, who is both evil and good? Is this not more consistent?”I think I was really clear that this was my visceral reaction – but I'll expand a bit if you like. I think that there is no reason why we can't see paradox in love – I don't think we need to add evil in there to have paradox. Love certainly isn't simple or single-faceted. I do think that God must be apart from our categories like good and evil, but I still think they are meaningful categories that we can talk about.I'm also not sure what kind of “love” you are talking about which you describe as “boxed in”. Could you define what you mean, because I can't for the life of me imagine how someone would think love was “boxed in”.“You also make no statements about atonement. Do you then believe that Jesus is pretty much just a good moral figure who is a model for us, or did he do something objectively for us in history? Is your idea of the deity of Jesus a unique thing, or is this something that we can all aspire to?”Adel, this isn't a systematic theology. I left a lot of stuff out. That's the problem with fundamentalism, no matter what fundamentals you pick. It leaves things out. Which in and of itself is a useful observation to make.Did Jesus do something objectively for us in history? Insofar as we can know, I'd say “yes”. Is Jesus a good moral figure? “Yes”. I see the compartments you're trying to fit me in, by the way.I also don't understand – are you asking if I think Jesus is unique, or if I think my idea is unique? I would say, respectively, “yes” and “of course not”, but I can't tell which you're asking from the syntax.“I hope you will forgive me, but I cannot seem to shed those laws of logic that are foundational to all communication.”Oh, right, I forgot – I cannot possibly be communicating, right? Thanks for reminding me.paoisghna;dgpaihaioheateodn;abifg;agfawifahefaLook, I think your attempts to demonstrate to me that I'm not reasonable or intelligent or able to communicate are going to frustrate you in the end. As I've said before, if you honestly think that everything outside of your version of objectivism is meaningless, we're not going to get very far. You've already said that you don't acknowledge any form of paradox in Christian faith and practice, and for you “mystery” is something that applies only to tangential details. What is it that we have to talk about?You keep saying that only you are functioning by the rules required for all communiation – which is, as you like to say, “self-refuting”. But given that you think that's the case, what do you think we're doing right now? If this is all meaningless drivel to you, why are you reading it? Just another chance I'm giving you to sharpen your sword? Enjoy it, I guess.

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  8. Doug,You said,<>Reading the Bible is what destroyed my certainty, not the other way around. I think of that destruction as an act of God, like ripping off a band-aid (or a blindfold, in my case).<>Excellent way of putting it! Your words brought to mind Psalm 46:8-10a,<><>Come, behold the works of YHWH;see what desolations God has brought on the earth.God makes wars cease to the end of the earth;God breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;God burns the shields with fire.“Be still, and know that I am God!”<><>Damn, I’m going to miss you!In Christ,Mark

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  9. Doug,I for one loved the post you deleted and meant to copy it. I had a strong feeling you were going to pull it down. But I missed it.If it was heresy, then cry havoc and let loose the angels of heresy. Paul wrote a really good list of fundamentals in 1 Cor 13, and your statement seemed to embrace the point Paul was making. The way of Jesus is the way of faith, of hope and of love. Faith is the opposite of objectivism and Hope is the opposite of certainty. But it is love that dares us to hope and to live by Faith.None of the fundamentals of fundamentalism seem to acknowledge faith, or hope or love. I think at the end of the day that is probably the biggest reason I don’t rely on them. I prefer 1 Cor 13 to all the lectures on spiritual laws, orthodoxy, or magic thoughts and recitations that are supposed to bring about eternal life. At the end of the day they all fail. Noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.

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  10. Hi again Jodie, and thanks for the support. If you send an email to my hotmail account, I’d be happy to send you a copy of the post. Your feeling was right on – when I looked at it again, it was saying things in a way that I didn’t think they were best expressed.Obviously, you already know that I agree with you on almost everything you leave in comment threads 🙂

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  11. Hey Mark, thanks for the comment. I might start up a new blog when I start CPE – I have a feeling I’ll need someplace to process that isn’t a CPE group, bothering my wife or whining to my friends who already hear it a lot from me. There are definitely some things that I’ve liked about this blog – interacting with you is one of them. We’ll see if that happens, because I’ll miss these positive interactions as well.

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  12. Hey Luke – I’m sorry about the bad timing. I might start something else up at some point if I get the itch, and you’ll be one of the people I’d let know about it.And yes, feel free to use any prayers I have posted – that’s basically why I typed them up for the blog. You don’t even have to cite who its from if you don’t want to (it can mess with the flow, you know?).

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  13. Also, Luke – at this point, there are about 300 posts on this blog, so if you want to see what I think are the best of them, check out “Best Thoughts” among the tags on the right side of the page. Those are what I consider the cream of the crop, if any are worth referring to as “cream”.

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