Sunday, November 30, 2008

One of my theological, philosophical, and political musings this quarter has been what is known as the Euthyphro question. It is a question of morality as Socrates asks Euthyphro "is something right because the gods (or God) command it, or do the gods (or God) command it because it is right?" In my philosophy classes, the consensus seems to be that there must be something that right is that is the reason that God makes his commandments. If not, then his commandments are arbitrary and random which is something I find hard to believe. But a view like this could also seem to put something in authority over God. Uh Oh. Anyway, in my imaginative writing class I was assigned to write a poem streaming three entries from my writing journal. This was the result of trying to weave three articles with the Euthyphro question in mind. If this poem seems too cynical or harsh on God, keep in mind that I've been reading 17th and 18th century poetry all quarter and am trying to imitate some of their doubt to represent my own struggle.

Morality lies under sands of a private beach.
Many are sure it flows from the Divine Castle built
on the shore. But this cannot be where it forms.
To make these laws not arbitrary wishes of Being,
even God must be measured in His good.
We all are looking for a way to make sense
of life. Smashing politics into pieces,
trying to make it work for you and
for me.
Opposition falls on man,
clothing him in confusion,
tripping him short of the divine.

Still a work in progress as my workshop group pointed out to me this week (the consensus there was that the poem did not make much sense :))

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For my Christianity and World Politics class this week, I was assigned passages from some of Martin Luther's letters. Martin Luther being such an influential figure in the Protestant Reformation I assumed that most of his teachings would seem simple and familiar coming from a Protestant background. However, I found the readings to challenge this view to some degree. We read a letter that Martin Luther wrote to the Princes of Germany explaining how far Christian are to be obedient to secular authority. This letter came after Martin Luther has been excommunicated by Rome and already urged the German princes to help reform the Catholic church. Martin Luther explains in this letter that he has waited long enough for the princes to act against Rome and their oppression has caused him to decide to resist the German government. Here, one might question Luther with verses where Paul tells Christians to submit to all earthly authorities. Luther acknowledges this argument and gets around it in an interesting way.
Luther reveals that there are two types of people in the world: those of the kingdom of God and those of the kingdom of the World. Furthermore, there are two governments including the spiritual which strives to make people just (believers in Christ) and the secular government which creates outward peace and prevents evildoing. Luther then argues that the law and "Sword" (the Old Testament idea of "eye for and eye") are for the benefit of the unbelievers governed by the secular government. Luther seemed to contend that just Christians do not need the law or Sword and that is why Jesus taught so much against the Sword and violence. The reason then that Christians submit to their authorities of earth not because they need it but because they must serve their neighbors who still need this authority to help them avoid evil. Luther's position of resistance against the German government seems to be justified as a service to his unsaved Christians.
The part that really seemed strange to me was Luther's idea that the Old Testament laws of eye for an eye should still apply to non Christians and our dealings with them. Also, he seems to assert that Jesus' teachings of "turn the other cheek" is for Christians only who are already just and do not need the law for the correction. Perhaps I am alone in feeling that this is a new teaching, but I do not recall Pastor Edgecomb ever phrasing it quite like this. Well, it also could be that I am completely misinterpreting what Luther is saying here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

I was reading Rolling Stone magazine and came across this website. Its a guy who takes Garfield comics and takes out Garfield. The result, to me, is a compelling and challenging comment on the loneliness and depression that pervades our individualistic society. It has now become a daily reminder for me about the importance of God's presence in our lives and the tragedy that the lack of this presence leads to.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Last tuesday I went up to Stevens Pass. The snow can only be described as epic or possibly legendary. It had dumped the whole night before and was coming down hard the whole time that Davis and I were there. In some spots the the powder was literally waist deep. This was a day that snowboarders dream for but some seasons rarely get. Already, this year, I've been blessed with two of these days. But, alas, the very next day I had to go and sprain my ankle in a game of intramural basketball. For the rest of the week I've been trying to engage in less arduous activities, like the school's musical (I had to go for my theatre class, I give the production 6/10). The ankle does seem to be healing faster than normally, and I hope to be back to full capacity in a week or two.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the flag over the loop

This is something I jotted down last quarter as I studied. With the 2008 campaign in full swing, I thought some of you may like to see a bit of my political struggles:

So many complaints and controversies
Heaping blame on the old eagle
Her own nest is filled with condemnation
The world is tired of her oppressive claws,
And greedy beak.
She always thought these were just protective.
To provide for her family.

And I can feel my own egg cracking,
My complaining beak is starting to move.

Then I look out my window.
Red, White, and Blue bleeding from the tallest tree.
Glistening in the sunlight promising me hope, liberty, and protection.
It begs me to trust and to help fix the nest,
not tear it down.