- CS Lewis on our problem being that we desire too little
- Notes from Tim Keller's Sermon "Joy"
- Tim Keller's use of identity in his theology
- Christianity and Theological Diversity
- Paul's Collection for the Jerusalem Church
- Wolf Blitzer Assumes Survivor Mom Thanks the Lord
- Eulogy for My Father Stan Vander Klay
- Pastor Views on Creation and Evolution
- NT Wright's shocking assertion of what Pentecost means
- Notes from Tim Keller's "The Gospel and Your Wealth"
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Skepticism is for:
1. To undermine illegitimate forms of authority.
2. To stimulate inquiry. Continue reading
Wow, very impressive. I would like to deconstruct it a bit though.
The thesis is that education affords one the choice to consider a more generous outlook on the banalities of modern urban existence. This is true and helpful. What’s interesting to me is that he undercuts his own nihilism when he makes the opening assertion “this is water”. The asserting of nihilism ironically undercuts the nihilism as well because of course you need something in order to base an assertion upon. You can’t both have nihilism AND an assertion with bite.
A true nihilist would of course assert that the choice to be generous, the choice to love, the choice to assert fellowship is arbitrary. You could as easily assert violence to indulge the felt frustration and in nihilism there is no morality to critique that violence. He says there is no religion or morality but the beauty of the vision he is suggesting is of course, like unseeing water, also dependent upon an idea of what beauty and goodness and good community are. The psychopath, the terrorist and the serial killer find beauty and goodness in mayhem and slaughter, but this we condemn and rightly so.
You cannot will an aesthetic destination like beauty and goodness without either some water-like construct of the goodness of that destination and you can share it and have the experience of fellowship (note how much Christian language he borrows) without a communal assumption of the goodness and beauty of that construct.
The piece is multilayered because he begins with water like banality of contemporary urban living, cuts to a level of nihilism and free choice, but the water like level beneath THAT level that he must appeal to is actually the cultural remainder of Western Christendom. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard would be all over this one.
Of course a true post-modern can assert any narrative he/she wishes with their post-modern credibility in tact as long as they wink at what they are doing, knowing that all such assertions are freely done because none of this really exists, but then I say “this is water”.
As a Christian I say the the water you are appealing to where you seek shalom, goodness, generosity that isn’t just the imaginary construct of your choice is actually the fabric of a good creation woven by a good Creator who joyously calls you to choose to love now simply because it makes you feel moral or offers some consolation from the banalities of urban existence, but because woven into the creation is a joy that will fundamentally not be denied.
Education helped teach me how to listen carefully to his video and deconstruct it for that I can be grateful. Education can lead to other good and joyful places, as CS Lewis once noted, an atheist need be very careful in their reading.
David Foster Wallace who made this speech of course killed himself. Here is a video of Dallas Willard dying of cancer. He speaks of joy. His life is being taken from him, but he is choosing something in a far more despairing circumstance than a long line at a check-out counter and he finds joy unto joy.