Showing posts from 2015

The Idolatry of Bible Worship

[Know that I do not mean to inspect the idolatry within the Bible, but speak of the sola scriptura within the five solae (others being sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, and soli Deo gloria). Photo by Freaktography]

The Church is ossified. I believe that the mass exodus from the church in our contemporary western world is due to this scaling over of the eyes of the Church. Is it not a bony, skeletal, stiff thing compared to its bright cousin, the Spirit Church? And so this is what I label as the Church's successor: the spirit church, the church which casts off the stiff structure of doctrinal worship (ie, worship of doctrine) and replaces this with an experiential, spiritual commune of those willing to put Christ's passion for us over all other things. Over even the Bible, which seems to be the last object left to the Church, the last relic which it clings to with long, sharpened, clinging claws.

But I do not cast the Bible out entirely--only the worship of the Bible. And…

The Religion of Poetry

After some deliberation, when I wondered if I actually meant The Poetry of Religion, I've settled on things as they currently rest. "The Poetry of Religion" would emphasize the endpoint of religion, presumably with its different categorizes of doctrine and spiritual subjectivity, even myth. It states that poetry is a way of seeing religion, a way of describing it, experiencing it. That isn't the way that I think religion works at all. Rather, it is the poetry that we experience, not the religion. It is more correct to say that we form our religions out of poetry, not the poetry from the our religion.

Poetry has, at least within the English-speaking world where I reside, hit upon tough times. Virtually no one reads poetry anymore, other than a few serious practitioners (it is true, though, that many do write poetry but few of them take it so seriously as to study it, revere it, and take it into themselves as mental food). It isn't strange then to conclude that few…

The Fundamentalist's Bible

In the early part of the twentieth century protestantism came up with a declaration of sorts, actually a twelve volume work titled The Fundamentals, the core of which was a statement of beliefs centering around five key positions that have since come to be considered the tenets of fundamentalism (the Christian variety, of course).

These are:

The inerrancy (and literal interpretation) and full authority of the Bible;The virgin birth and full divinity of ChristThe bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead;Christ's atonement, through his sacrifice, for our sins;The second coming of Christ.
I am not a fundamentalist Christian, merely a Christian. The five fundamentals have within them either non-rational ideas (point 1) or ideas that may be considered as problematic (points 3-5), agreed upon or not; and disagreement with these five points do not necessarily discard one's allegiance to Christ in the least. It can be debated whether point 2 belongs in either camp.


The Buddha and The Christ

I really wanted to title this The Buddha, The Christ, Anatta, Mindfulness, and the Illusion of Self. Kind of long, though.

The Christian tradition is a long treatise on the saving grace for the individual. Not saying that it is solely that. My guess is that there were plenty of individuals who have practiced a Buddhistic principle within Christianity, but my own ignorance of this history prevents me from elaborating. I doubt that there will be many who would criticize the statement I just made though, that Christians have from the beginning been focused on the saving of the soul, the individual soul, the individual self.

Now, in the Buddhist tradition this is a bit problematic, since the sense of self is called into question. Mindfulness--anatta--achieved through meditation and the noticing of the mind upon thoughts and sensations which then come together in a sense of self, treats the individual "I" as an illusion; the "I" that is put together through sensations a…

Healthcare, Degrees, and Creative Destruction

Health care is expensive, as Steven Brill sometimes writes, because scans, labs, doctors, pills, etc cost too much. As simple as that sounds, it is surprisingly akin to what ails university training in today’s America. Kevin Carey writes in his new book, “The End of College,” that we have astronomical projections of future college costs due to the place that university training occupies in today’s market, that of a monopoly. Want a degree in Bioengineering so that you can get an entry level job at the NIH? Well, you’re likely--very likely--to need a degree at some university, and the more elite (more expensive) the university the better, in order to make yourself stand out from your peers. There is only one place to get a degree: a college. Likewise, in our health care system, there are only certain providers that are able to provide a diagnosis (apart from Google and WebMD). It is likely--highly likely--that a hospital will be involved. Just like in our university model, there is but…