commentary and editorials

35 notes

In general, it is extremely foolish … to suppose it should really be such an easy affair with faith and wisdom that they just arrive over the years as a matter of course, like teeth, a beard and that sort of thing. No, whatever a human being comes to as a matter of course, and whatever things come to him as a matter of course, it is definitely not faith and wisdom.
Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death

(Source: ayjay, via sheddenm)

8 notes

It’s that sort of movement away from body that is really, really troubling. I understand why and I credit some way, you pull out a cell phone and watch a few old episodes of “The Simpsons” because you don’t want to smell the guy sitting next to you. But I also don’t understand it. If you’re in a subway that’s crowded there’s always somebody to look at, there’s always something to see. There’s always something to smell and that’s what we’re not experiencing anymore; we’re not living in our bodies. That’s why we’re not dying in cemeteries, that’s why were not reading the newspaper. That’s why we think that nature is green. These evasions of place, that theme runs through these chapters. And in some sense what I’m arguing is that the dream in the desert, which was always for the time before the fall, green Eden before Adam and Eve were sent out to the desert, or for the time after our death where we will be in a heaven that is green. That dream is still very much alive in the secular imagination, and when Oprah Winfrey and Bono go on TV to tell us all about the green and they get on their private jets and go on to another location, to tell those people to be green. What we’re watching is a secular dream of Eden. So many of my friends tell me they’re not religious. I’m like, Of course you’re religious. You watch Oprah Winfrey, don’t you?
Richard Rodriguez

(via azspot)

62 notes

The first step - especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money - the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.
Chuck Palahniuk (via trexcommentary)

(Source: nathanielstuart, via tribefire)

8 notes

Holiness, [Benedict] argues, is not something that happened in a vacuum. It has something to do with the way we live our community lives and our family lives and our public lives as well as the way we say our prayers. The life-needs of other people affect the life of the truly spiritual person and they hear the voice of God in that.
Joan Chittister, O.S.B., The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company), 25.

(Source: scottxstephens)

8 notes

The revelation of God represents the shattering of my narcissistic thinking, in which I am always at the centre; the event in which God displaces me from this central position, so that I cease to be my own master, and acknowledge another as master.
Emil Brunner

(via azspot)

17 notes

Here is one thing you need to understand about the rise of Calvinism in America. It is, by nature, predatory. Men with Calvinist beliefs become pastors of churches that are not Calvinistic in hopes of turning the church into a Calvinist church. Many of these men are dishonest about their beliefs. Now that the Calvinists have pillaged non-Calvinistic churches, they are turning their attention to starting new churches. There is a huge war going on within the Southern Baptist Convention over the resurgence of Calvinism in the Convention. These modern-day Puritans are every bit as arrogant and narrow minded as the Puritans who came to the Colonies in the 17th century.
Does Rural America Need More Christian Churches?

(via azspot)

6 notes

Many Anglophone theistic philosophers who deal with these issues today, however, reared as they have been in a post-Fregean intellectual environment, have effectively broken with classical theistic tradition altogether, adopting a style of thinking that the Dominican philosopher Brian Davies calls theistic personalism. I prefer to call it monopolytheism myself (or perhaps “mono-poly-theism”), since it seems to me to involve a view of God not conspicuously different from the polytheistic picture of the gods as merely very powerful discrete entities who posses a variety of distinct attributes that lesser entities also possess, if in smaller measure; it differs from polytheism, as far as I can tell, solely in that it posits the existence of only one such being…For philosophers who think in this way, practically all the traditional metaphysical attempts to understand God as the source of all reality become impenetrable.
David Bentley Hart

(Source: onancientpaths)

59 notes

Late modern society is principally concerned with purchasing things, in ever greater abundance and variety, and so has to strive to fabricate an ever greater number of desires to gratify, and to abolish as many limits and prohibitions upon desire as it can. Such a society is already implicitly atheist and so must slowly but relentlessly apply itself to the dissolution of transcendent values. It cannot allow ultimate goods to distract us from proximate goods. Our sacred writ is advertising, our piety is shopping, our highest devotion is private choice. God and the soul too often hinder the purely acquisitive longings upon which the market depends, and confront us with values that stand in stark rivalry to the only truly substantial value at the center of the social universe: the price tag.
David Bentley Hart (via onancientpaths)

(via sheddenm)

5 notes

In the Christian tradition, detachment from material goods means using them as a means to a greater end, and the greater end is greater attachment to God and to our fellow human beings. Inconsumerism, detachment means standing back from all people, times, and places, and appropriating our choices for private use. Consumerism supports an essentially individualistic view of the human person, in which each consumer is a sovereign chooser. In the Christian tradition, the use of material things is meant to be a common use, for the sake of a larger body of people. We do not help each other as individuals but as members of one another.
William T. Cavanaugh
William T. Cavanaugh - Being Consumed: Economics and Christian DesireBeing Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire
(Via Andreas)

(Source: kindlequotes)

10 notes


"Market totalitarianism is indeed incompatible with a Christian ethics that starts from the sacredness of the human person, "realized in community with others," because from this ethical perspective the economic institutions have to ‘serve’ human needs, and not the other way round. In the words of the famous Catholic pastoral letter Economic Justice for All, "Wherever our economic arrangements fail to conform to the demands of human dignity lived in community, they must be questioned and transformed." [National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1986, p. 15].

Jan Rehmann, Pedagogy of the Poor, Pg. 55