Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Case for Reading the News

How do you get your news? Do you even pay attention to the news at all?

Well, you should pay attention. No, not just so that you can engage in small talk that has a bit more substance than just talking about the weather. Pay attention to the news because this entails paying attention to the world around you, the greater community. Hopefully, paying attention to the greater community around us will in some way instill care and concern for things and events that are not directly related to the increasingly egocentric lives that many of us live today.

How can one feel the horror of the earthquake and the devastation of the tsunami that followed it in Japan, if one does not pay any attention to the news? Yes, you will probably eventually find out about the big catastrophes from those other people who read the news, but the events will not be real to you in the same way. Also, how is it possible to maintain a respectable opinion on politics and to make informed decisions about the leadership in a democracy, if one does not keep some sort of tabs on what is going on in the world. Continue Reading

Advertisements

Artifice and Hope

Lately I have been reading Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. Though the main topic of the book is Christ’s resurrection and the implications that it has for how we live and what we believe about what happens when we die, Wright has some very interesting thoughts about beauty and art, which I thought might be relevant to this blog. He notes that a feature of many of the communities that we live in, typically poorer ones, is ugliness.

This rings true in a real way. The only shadow of beauty that people often have in these communities is the glitz and glamor of whatever new-fangled product the television is trying to sell them–or the shallow, sensualized, one-sided version of beauty that is showcased in our culture’s fascination with celebrities. Just drive through your local impoverished neighborhood and you can just feel an overwhelming grayness, often accentuated by some of the run down homes.

This brings us to Wright’s assertion:

“When people cease to be surrounded by beauty, they cease to hope. They internalize the message of their eyes and ears, the message that whispers that they are not worth very much, that they are in effect less than fully human.” (231) Continue Reading

Purpose of this Blog: Reflect and Wonder

I often worry about people who go through life and never take time to really reflect seriously about it. Instead, they move from one fleeting pleasure or thrill to the next, never taking the time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds our human existence. Indeed, a wise man once said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

In that spirit, I have decided to create this blog. To give myself and others the opportunity and occasion to wonder, to ponder, and to reflect.

Often times the world can be a dark place. Full of evil, suffering, pain and the like. You probably don’t need any convincing of this. If you cannot think of an example from your own life, you will come up with one after living life a bit more. Yet, the most powerful examples often force us to ask. The mother of the still born infant, the victims of human trafficking, the survivor of the holocaust, and the atheist all ask the question: Where is God here? Continue Reading