Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Looking To The Future

I haven't had any threatening letters to cease and desist over my series on Walter Brueggemann's excellent how-to book, The Bible Makes Sense that started by chance over reading the reviews of the Bible museum that opened in DC, I thought recommending people read Brueggemann and the verses and chapters he cites and doing the thinking exercises he suggests at the end of each chapter was going to be a lot more useful than going to look at a bunch of things and exhibits - some of which sound more Disney to me than would teach someone about The Law, The Prophets and The Gospel.  Americans, maybe all people would rather get the cheap artificial substitute for things than go through the work of understanding the real thing.  They certainly don't want to apply The Law, The Prophets and The Gospel in their own lives when they can substitute going to a theme park or one given the upper market title "museum" than doing religion.   You can spend 24 bucks and get not much before you go home and bow down to Mammon on the TV altar or you can spend half that (less if you buy it used) and really get something out of it. 

But I've decided to continue with it past Advent, into Christmas and maybe beyond.  If I have inspired five people to get the book and read it and two to do the exercises, it will be worth it.  I'd do this for one other person - other than myself.  I'd read the book and done some thinking about it but I find that the slow-reading and re-reading involved with typing it out has made me look more deeply into all of the above.  I've started writing a diary on the issues for consideration and am finding having to look at what my thinking is far from easy or far from self-confirming.   It can give you a lot more work to do than you might have thought.  

Promoting The Law, The Prophets and The Gospel are probably about the most subversive acts you could take against Trumpian-Republican Mammonism.  Their potential to make change was proven by the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movement, the impotence of Marxism was shown by the Marxist dictatorships which have gone to a combination of Mafia government and ultra-capitalism of steroids.  And what you can say of Marxism holds true for atheist materialist systems in general. 

Maybe I'll make this a regular thing.  Anyone who wants to recommend something is welcomed to. I can't promise to get round to it.   I was thinking of going through St. Gregory of Nyssa's On the Making of Man next, but you've got to go through his brother, St. Basil's book the Hexaemeron first and those Cappadocians were deep thinkers and rich writers.   It makes you regret that their sister, St. Macrina the Younger didn't write anything that survives.  Both of them credited her with being a major force in their intellectual and spiritual formation - St. Gregory refers to her as "The Teacher".  An amazing family, that one.  Millenia ahead of their time in so many ways, timeless in others. 


  1. Why bother? Stephen Hawking says we have only 100 years left on the planet. He had said 1000 years but he changed it because, you know, science. And he says we have to colonize other worlds which we can totally do as soon as we take our biosphere, right down to the microbes, with us (Martian soil is poisonous, it turns out. Sorry, Matt Damon).

    But, you know, science! Who needs books when you have Stephen Hawking?

    1. I can't remember where I read it, it was in one of those "greatest physicists" polls of professional physicists, but, as I recall, they made a point of saying that Hawking wasn't given a very high ranking even among his professional colleagues. As I recall the top tier were pretty much given to the Newton, Einstein, Feynman class of physicists.

      In her review of The God Delusion Marilynne Robinson noted that as she was writing it Hawking - in his regularly occuring need for getting mentioned in the media - was advocating Mars colonization but others with some more relevant specialization said that even the proposal for burrowing under ground here had more promise. I'm extremely claustrophobic so I think I'd rather not. I'd rather listen to James Coyne on The Cross and the Lynching Tree.

      I suspect that if there is a future this will be seen as a period of shocking scientific decadence and Hawking and a lot of the current atheist-cosmologist-ideologues will be seen in a similar light as pop-historical lore does figures like Cardinal Bellarmine. Maybe they'll have even corrected the record on Bishop Wilberforce and the Thomas Huxley camp falsification of their encounter - which the contemporaneous record doesn't support, even what Darwin said about it refutes the atheist-scientistic lore on that count. But they'll have to relearn how to read instead of watching BBC -
      Hollywood costume drama as the history of science.

  2. I've decided anyone whose fame rests on pop-sci isn't much of a scientist. I heard a paper on "selfish genes" by a real biologis, who shredded the entire concept.