According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Future Might be Risky, But So Is the Past



by Peter Rollins
posted 12/7/12

Our futures stretch out in front of us much like a path engulfed by fog. While decisions we make here and now can help us to guess what may lie down the road, we can never know for sure what we’ll find there. There will be births and deaths, the finding of meaning and the loss of it, illnesses will come and go and economic changes will impact our lives in ways that we may not even realise.

In the face of such uncertainty we might say to ourselves that at least the past isn’t risky. It is over. Done. Finished. And yet, for good or for bad, the reality is a little different.

We tend to think that cause is used up in effect. In other words, cause and effect work in a linear way with the cause coming first and the effect coming after. And yet in the world of subjective experience things are a little different. This can be seen most clearly in language itself. At its most simple, the last words in a sentence can radically change the meaning that we had ascribed to the previous words. Here, what comes after, can effect how we interpret what came before. In this way what comes later retroactively impacts what came previously.

One of the ways that we see this play out is when talking about a breakup. Sometimes we can talk in such a way that it would appear that there was nothing good about the person we had lived with. Of course the relationship might have been fraught with difficulties from the outset, however we often find that it is the subsequent actions that have transformed the way that we understand what took place previously, thus fundamentally changing our interpretation of the past.

Is this not what we see in the French film 5×2 directed by François Ozon? By employing an inverted chronological structure the film begins at the troubled end of a relationship and then moves backwards. Ending with the couples chance meeting at a beach resort. In this way the viewer is invited to interpret what went before in light of what happened at the end, thus exposing how later events impact how we read previous ones.

While the idea of the future being able to rob the past can be scary it can also be a liberating reality. For many of us have had lives full of pain. There might be years, even decades, that we feel were wasted. It can feel as if the past is past and that regret is all we will ever feel. Yet the past can be changed. Something can happen today that causes us to radically reinterpret it. Perhaps, in light of the new reality, we start to view it like a prophecy pointing to toward the present, or a period of waiting or preparing. The point is that there is no way of nailing a single meaning to historical situations. To live is to risk. To risk the past as much as the future.






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