Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Link-worthy linky-links

Best blog title ever? Quite possibly.

During my recent writer's block (now into its second week) I've decided to get link-happy. As if on cue, several of the blogs I follow have outdone themselves. Thus, if you have a few minutes and are interested in any of the things below, I hereby open up portals for you into the realm of Answers to All Life's Questions -- or, at least to things I find compelling.

First of all, for a great take on one aspect of Nietzsche's Parable of the Madman, and an important distinction between the basic atheistic denial of God and an actual construal of what life on earth means without God, see Scatterings. Here's a quote, from the David Hart essay it refers to and aptly expands upon:
[Nietszsche's parable] of the madman who announces God's death is anything but a hymn of atheist triumphalism. In fact, the madman despairs of the mere atheists -- those who merely do not believe -- to whom he addresses his terrible proclamation. In their moral contentment, their ease of conscience, he sees an essential oafishness; they do not dread the death of God because they do not grasp that humanity's heroic and insane act of repudiation has sponged away the horizon . . .

For another instalment addressing the state of Christian discipleship today, particularly as it concerns what tends to be one of its problems, see the stoop. The following slice is a highly relevant Peterson quote that the argument builds toward:
Christians today are conspicuous for going along with whatever the culture decides is charismatic, successful, influential -- whatever gets things done, whatever can gather a crowd of followers -- hardly noticing that these ways and means are at odds with the clearly marked way that Jesus walked and called us to follow.

For a quality excerpt from TF Torrance's Space, Time and Incarnation and "Barthian" reflections on the issue of how the infinite might dwell in the finite, see Via Crucis. Rather than a quote, here's my own little teaser. (Try to imagine each line coming at you as stark white text on a black screen, with dramatic film-trailer music playing over top):
Common conceptions of God are that God has to be immutable (steady, unchanging) and impassible (unaffected by the temporal, or immune to suffering). Fair enough. But is God bound to these? What if our binding God to these abstract concepts hinders us from seeing important aspects of God as Christ reveals Him? What if what we learn from Jesus is that God is all these things and more, so that notions of mere immutability and mere impassibility might leave us with something other than the omnipotently loving and utterly gracious Christian God?

And finally, if you didn't know this already or notice it in my previous comments, see here what is hitting Scottish shores in September--a shift in the theological world that puts one of its epicentres in quite close proximity to where I sit. (When I was already honoured enough simply to be sitting in this man's office on a regular basis!)


Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

"humanity's heroic and insane act of repudiation has sponged away the horizon."

Great expression: sponge away the horizon. I know exactly what he means. A sense of possibility and future can dissapear.

I hadn't read Parable of the Mad Man before. Wow.

Jon Coutts said...

Yeah isn't it something? Can't believe you hadn't read it before. Mind you, I just read it this year myself. It is incredible.