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It’s been a little while since I’ve had time to write. Other concerns have demanded some attention, and between traveling and working all hours, the universe has reminded me again to slow down. Which is to say I have a cold. And when I have a cold, I generally go to bed for a couple of days, read and otherwise catch up on this and that.

I was several chapters into What’s So Great about Christianity, a book which I recommend others read but which I often wish to throw at a wall, when I began to hear those quiet little questions I only hear when I stop the incessant chatter. Why are you reading this? Are you really learning or just fencing? D’Souza makes some interesting points, but his often reverse causalities are unlikely to sway my thinking very far. When he descended to the defending Anselm’s Ontological argument, I knew there was little left here to be mined.

We have such a little time, and we given one great gift in the universe: our choice of how to use that time. With the thousand thousand limitations we put on ourselves, we still have so many choices we can make. And so I decided to step back and look again at those things that build, and for a time let go of fighting those things that destroy. We must defend the castle walls, but what is the point if we never sing?

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It is right to give thanks and blessing when we eat. Food is so important, and so much goes into providing it, that mealtimes are an important time to stop for a moment and give thanks. It is also the easiest of rituals to introduce into our lives, and the importance of ritual is something we’ve lost track of in the modern, Western world. Read the rest of this entry »

I was reading this link from leisureguy’s blog, “11,000 couples later, gay marriage largely a nonevent in Mass.” It got me thinking about a discussion I had with my grandmother some months back when she asked after my friend who’s “a bit funny.” By that she means “in a committed, homosexual relationship.” I had the honor of being there when he said his vows as he was there when I said mine.

She asks after him often, and she always whispers “your friend” in the same voice she whispers “black” when the race of a person comes up. And as a conservative Christian, she does not approve of homosexuality. But of course, she doesn’t completely approve of black people, either. But still, she asks after him. And she has no malice towards blacks. She is what she has been for a long time now, and what she learned to be from an early age. Loving and racist and homophobic and still loving. Read the rest of this entry »

As promised, I’ve posted my full review of The God Delusion.

I’ve been quiet here for a couple of weeks, but mostly because I’ve been spending my blogging energy chatting elsewhere. For those interested in following along on some of the discussions, or curious about what blogs I find interesting, here are some of the more interesting ones:

Upcoming here: Review of The Black Hole War, a book I didn’t plan to review here but has some interesting religious implications; review of The Art of Reading Scripture; a bit longer discussion of The God Delusion; and some early thoughts on my current reading: What’s So Great about Christianity, one of the better Christian Apoligetics I’ve read (outside his poorly researched critiques of evolution). I’m only a quarter of the way through. I still want to throw it at a wall sometimes, and I think he misinterprets a lot of history, but he brings actual facts to the discussion (which is very unusual) and makes several arguments that are worthy of actual debate. He’s even changed my thinking on some aspects of Christianity’s historic influence on Western society (I think his argument makes a better case that Western society has had a great influence on Protestantism, but I’ll go into that deeper later). If you want a very interesting and comprehensive discussion of this book, see Ken Ponder’s review on Amazon.

And I want to finally get back to some discussions about pantheism itself. I’ve been so distracted with so many interesting books.