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Tag: Relativism

Solomon’s Concession

I watched part of a documentary last night, until my stomach turned, on Bronislaw Malinowski, one of the founders of Cultural Anthropology. The discussion of his book The Sexual Life of Savages, reminded me of my Cultural Anthropology professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. His favorite dismissal term was “puritanical”. No reasons need trouble us wherever that term was applied. He claimed to want discussion, so every time he used that putdown word, I raised my hand to take umbrage. After all, surely the Puritans deserved a “value neutral” ethnography as well, but that would mean letting go of a pet hypocrisy in the Social Sciences. He got tired of seeing my hand, but carried on unphased otherwise.…

No Tomorrow

“What if there were no consequences? Yippee! We could do whatever we want!” The post-modern mentality = an intellectual auto-immune disease where reason attacks itself. Terminal if left untreated.  We recover our senses gradually as we put virtue ahead of pleasure.    

Relevant Irrelevancy

Bible Lecture North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers) September 2nd, 2007  It has been seven years since I last stood in this spot, and I have been thinking about the things that have happened during those seven years.  One thing is that this past year I turned fifty-six.  So, the government now officially recognizes me as a senior citizen.  Linda and I took a vacation this summer and I found myself for the first time ordering off the senior menu.  I wanted someone to ask to see my ID, but nobody did.  In fact, we went into one restaurant and we ordered the buffet.  The young woman behind the cash register looked at us and turned to yell at…

Other Shepherds?

Bible Lecture North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)  Text: John 10:1-21 The most basic question before us is whether Jesus is the truth or a truth i.e., just an opinion, just a worldview, just a retreat into some dark corner of personal perspective. The question of whether we can know truth or only just opinion reaches back to the dawn of classical philosophy and the debate between Protagoras and Plato.  Protagoras claimed that truth is simply a matter of where our self-interest lies.  There is no truth independent of human opinion.  Thus, he coined the phrase “Man is the measure of truth.” Plato rejoined that this is a contemptible way of handling truth.  Humans, at best, merely discover truth; they…

Whatever Spirituality = Spirituality? Whatever!

Years ago I listened to the new president of a church-founded college extol its virtues in terms of buildings, bodies, bucks, and spirituality. “We encourage spirituality,” said he. “We have support groups for Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, whatever”. I knew that school enough to know that only those had a place at the table who subscribed to the credo of sloppy universalism. Any Protestant, Jew, Catholic, or Muslim bold enough to hold the historic tenets of their faith to be true was bullied into silence or found the welcome mat removed. Anti-dogma dogma excludes all but its own. Whatever spirituality is twin sister to apathy. Judah was rich in whatever spirituality when Jeremiah delivered to her God’s death sentence. Highly…