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Agnosticism for Dummies Christians

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Agnosticism, Homepage, Postmodernism | 0 comments

I am kicking around this idea for a book called Agnosticism for Dummies Christians. Who knows if it’ll ever see the light of day, but I think the idea deserves a few posts (if for no other reason than to see if it strikes a chord with anyone).  I would like to offer a suggestion: Those who dwell on the old “Theism vs. Atheism” debate are stuck in an increasingly outdated paradigm and therefore are asking the wrong question. Sure, you can pull up any number of YouTube debates between some conservative Christian and an ardent atheist and watch them vehemently attack one another, and you may come away with the impression they are diametrically opposed, and that each represents a radically different view of the world.  But you’d be wrong.  While our proverbial theist and atheist disagree about...

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Nihilism, Grace, and the Religion of the Rose

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Catholic Church, G.K. Chesterton, God, Homepage, John Caputo, Love, Mysticism, Postmodernism | 1 comment

I just returned from a Caribbean cruise (my life is hard), and I brought two books with me: Chuck Klosterman’s The Visible Man, and John D. Caputo’s Hoping against Hope: Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim. The former is a novel and is the one I was planning on reading (to be honest I wasn’t expecting to crack the latter at all). But as it turned out, I read almost all of Hoping while Visible remained untouched.  Caputo is one of the leading figures in the world of so-called “Radical Theology,” and this book explores his own spiritual journey from a young boy in his pre-Vatican 2 Philadelphia parish, through his time in a religious order as a young man, to his adulthood as a philosopher and theologian.  The basic gist of Caputo’s argument stems from a line from a German mystic (those “disturbers of the...

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Is God Dead?

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in God, Homepage, Humanity, Idolatry, Peter Rollins, Postmodernism | 8 comments

I have been reading a bit of Irish philosopher/theologian Peter Rollins recently, as well as listening to some of his talks on YouTube. His reading of the Christian tradition is quite radical and subversive, and I am not convinced I have really “gotten” him quite yet. In an effort to further that along, then, I wanted to try to articulate his basic position as best I can (because that, for me, is the best barometer for knowing how well I actually understand something). Mankind is born with a sense of lack (of which a child becomes aware once he develops self-consciousness — it usually manifests itself as a fear of detachment from his mother). This desire for the other Rollins calls idolatry, for it is a desire for that thing out there that will ultimately satisfy us and give...

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I Am an Agnostic

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Agnosticism, Catholic Church, God, Homepage, Humanity, Postmodernism, Suffering, Worldviews | 24 comments

(And so are you.) Here’s what I mean: Agnosticism refers to what we can claim to “know” (gnosis  being the Greek word for “knowledge”). An agnostic, then, is simply someone who doesn’t know something about a particular subject. The Latin equivalent of agnosticism is “ignorance” — if someone asks you whether you agree with the Iran deal that Obama recently struck, you could say, “Well to be honest, I’m pretty agnostic and ignorant on the matter, unfortunately.” In other words, there is relevant information that you don’t know.  When it comes to supernatural things it gets tricky. While a person may claim to know that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius and also claim to know that angels exist, those are two very different types of claims (even though they both invoke the category of knowledge). The first claim...

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Scientists and Superstitious Simpletons

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Culture War, God, Homepage, Postmodernism, Science, Worldviews | 18 comments

I am sick and tired of hearing about the supposed “objectivity” of science and scientific inquiry. The claim goes like this: Belief systems, whether religious or secular, deal in supernatural issues like the afterlife, morality, and the state of the soul. Science, on the other hand, deals in brute facts, and therefore needs to be taken seriously. It’s an incredibly modern kind of claim, if you think about it. And I am just postmodern enough to be suspicious of it. It was Jean-Francois Lyotard who summed up postmodernism as “incredulity toward metanarrative.” By metanarrative, Lyotard meant any overarching story that grounds all of existence, a foundational worldview or set of principles that contextualizes everything else. To that, Lyotard said, the postmodern attitude is one of heel-digging and discomfort. In other words, there is no “view from nowhere.” The desire...

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