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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Metaxas, E. (2010)Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Thomas Nelson. 

A true leader must know the limitations of his authority... if he understands his function in any other way than as it is rooted in fact, if he does not continually tell his followers quite clearly of the limited nature of his task and of their own responsibility' if he allows himself to surrender to the wishes of his followers, who would always make him an idol - then the image of the leader will pass over into the image of the mis-leader, and he will be acting in a criminal way not only towards those he leads, but also towards himself. 142

Death is hell and night cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvellous , that we can transform death.

Standard issue religion had made god small ... Bonhoeffer rejected this abbreviated God. 467.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vardy, P. (2008). An introduction to Kierkegaard (Rev. and expanded ed.). Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers. 

mirror of Erised - remarkable mirror ; those that stare at it will see nothing less than the deepest desires of their hearts. It doesn't necessarily reveal the future. It reveals what the person yearns for most and this desire may or may not be satisfied in the future. The mirror enables people to confront and address their Desiree, to ask whether or not this is what they should desire or what they really want to desire, and it gives. Them an opportunity to change the direction of their lives. Xi

Kierkegaard wants to challenge and question the person whoever happy on the surface, who seems to lead a successful life, who has all the outward marks of what the world considers success. He wants these people to slow down, to be still, to look at themselves in a different way; and then, perhaps, they may come to recognise the facade they have constructed and the despair that they actually live in. Xv

stages on life's way 1845

The idea that Jesus , an ordinary looking man walking around Palestine nearly two thousand years ago, could also be God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, is not a reasonable one. god is the unknown, the absolutely unlike. There is an infinite, radical, qualitative difference between Gid and man. Humans make the mistake of conceiving Fof in anthropomorphic terms ... The dangers of failing to take the unknowability of God seriously can scarcely be overestimated... The deep qualitative chasm in the difference between God and man has been obliterated. 18

K argues that if the Christian story is true, then any merely human teacher is in an essentially diferent position from Jesus. Jesus as God reveals truths that would not otherwise be accessible. The claim that Jesus is both God and man is, however, not reasonable – it will elicit either offence or faith. The truth of teh christian claim cannot be arrived at by reason since faith in teh absolute paradox is actually beyond reason. Faith is higher than reason 21

Climacus sets out a critique of ways of undersatnding truth that claim that it can be known objectively through reason. K believed that complete and Eternal Truth is inaccessible to reason and that if we hold fast to reason then we may be led to believe that there is no ulitimate truth. Faith ghoes beyond reason; it is called to accept something which reason would reject, that reason is itself limited 23

Objective way of seekingtruth seeks to minimise risk; it is based on reason, proof and justification. The subjective way, however, is fraught with risk: because there is no objective certainty, because there is no proof that a subjective commitment is correct, there is a much greater degree of vulnerability 30

K argues that thinking people drive through their lives; they are hitched to a horse and have a particular direction and mode of transport. Yet for many people life has no centre; they drift through life attracted by whatever momentarily takes their interest and fancy; they are subject to all teh vagaries of fate and whatever their whim may be at a partuicular moment; they are often oblivious, unable to engage in self-analysis or understand where they are going. “The existing person is the driver others are the drunken peassents in teh back 35

Ethical stage may not allow a p[erson to attain individuality, and without individuality people lose any sense of their own direction, lose the centre of thier lives and revert to being dragged around like drunken peasants 53

It is only when one is broken by despair, unable to rely on one’s self and one’s own strength, that real faith can arise. 57

Different approaches to love

Aesthetic – love is sensualor erotic used to maximise enjoyment. The purpose is enjoyment.
Ethical – love is essentuially a duty represented by freely chosen love within the family
Religious love focused on God and of neighbour in a giving love. Religous love is a non-preferntial love. 59

Religous stage requires teh abandonment of teh supremacy of reason as well as the security found in the objective. It involves the enormous risk of staking one's life on something which may be mistaken 60

faith is not a matter of ascent to doctrines, it is not a matter of belonging to a particular religious group and taking part in their rituals. Faith is shown in how one's life is lived - those alone have faith who trust their whole life to God, for whom God is at teh centre of everythingg that tey do and think and for whom the whole of life is viewed as coram deo - before God, or in the heart of God, as Luther puts it. 64

Indirect communication - "People have to be brought to see something whose reality cannot not be grasped by words" 78

Genuine community can only be found amidst people who have first become individuals.This for K is thre real aim of a Christtian community - to strengthen each other on teh individual journey to God while recognising that everyone is a failure and yet is loved unconditionaly by God 78

In prayer, God does not get to know something, but the person praying gets to know something about him or herself. Prayer does not change God, it changes teh person uttering it. K maintains that in prayer we learn something and teh refusal to learn about ourselves is teh greatest possible loss.80

For K then purity of heart involves 'knowing yourself'' before God 80

The pure in heart are those who honestly and truthfully centre their whole being on a l;ove-relationship with God 94

is it possible to live in such a way that despite false belief you can be in relationship with God without knowing it? More so that someone who may have more correct objective facts about God but whose life does not translate this into a life of faith where faith involves a subjective relationship with God. Aslan and Calormene officer who serve Tash 96


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Helen Cameron “Life in all its Fullness” Engagement and Critique: 

Operant theology—the theology embedded in the actual practices
of a group (what we do).
• Espoused theology—the theology embedded in a group’s articulation
of its beliefs (what we say we do).
• Normative theology—the theology the group names as authoritative
and will allow to challenge its operant and espoused
• Formal theology—the theology of academic theologians and the
dialogue with other disciplines.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nye, R., Savage, S., & Watts, F. (2001). Psychology for the Christian Ministry. New York: Routledge. 

Many kinds of metaphors have been used to characterise religious development: images of inner revolution, a journey, horticultural growth, changing nutritional needs, rebirth and death. Different metaphors illustrate the various characteristics involved in religious growth.

Many people experience a yearning to develop, driven by what Paul Tillich (1957) called ‘the urge to self transcendence’, a dim sense of our personal incompleteness. Yet too many regard the dynamic change inherent in ‘development’ as a threat to ‘solid’ faith, ironically resisting religious growth on religious grounds. 101

Most people develop a general aptitude for logical thinking in readiness for adulthood. However, religious thinking does not always follow suit. For some people more elementary ways of thinking about religious matter may continue to be cherished. Despite having an ability to think in more ‘abstract’ terms, it may seem safer to stay within the parameters of literal, or even more impressionistically emotional or sensory, kinds of thinking 102

The transition from thinking about religion in concrete, literal terms to a form more suited to the qualities of the adult mind can be a particularly awkward moment in religious development. Many adults seem frozen in a state of what Ronald Goldman called ’11-year old atheism’ 103

Two ways adults can feel uncomfortable about this development. Some adults may recall the literalistic religion of their childhood as relatively stronger and more ‘real’. They may feel guilty about having developed doubt, questions and alternative world views… The shift away from the passion of emotionally governed ‘thought’ or literal certainties does not need to be interpreted as a withering of faith when seen in the context of the normal process of intellectual development.

For other adults the revolution in religious understanding since their childhood may lead them to think that they did not have ‘real’ faith as children. For example people may feel uncertain about the validity of religious commitments they made to a God they understood in simple, literal terms, when subsequent understanding has fuelled and apparently more complex, deeply informed sense of God.

Accepting that it is normal for our approach to thinking to change in these ways can help people feel more comfortable with eth full course of their religious development... 104

Do you welcome change in your own spiritual and religious life? If so why? If not, why not?


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