Tuesday 26 June 2007

Kim's ten confessions

Here is Kim’s contribution to the new meme.

I confess that:

1. I think a lot more about baseball and sex (the order varies, particularly in the off season) than God.

2. I much prefer Mark to John (a little less conversation, a little more action, please), and the wit of Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde to the wisdom of Solomon.

3. I find the state of the church – and not only denominationalism but also the snake oils of managerialism, therapeutics, and the latest “vision thing” – to be much more threatening to my faith in God than the reality of suffering.

4. I consider the doctrine of biblical inerrancy to be a veritable compendium of Christian heresies.

5. I stand in awe at the edifice of Roman Catholic theology, as one might stand before Chartres Cathedral – or the Tower of Babel.

6. I hold in equal contempt ministers who do not read theology and theologians who do not read poetry and fiction.

7. I have no time for the cultured despisers of the Enlightenment on the one hand and of “postmodernism” (curate’s egg that it is) on the other, and I seriously doubt the intelligence of people who consider the likes of Foucault and Derrida to be “intellectual impostors.”

8. I am vexed by the abyss between the beauty of eucharistic theology and the banality of eucharistic practice.

9. I am uncomfortable with Christians who never swear, as if, missing a chromosome, they are less than truly human.

10. I find the telephone to be a necessary irritation, but the mobile phone to be the invention of Antichrist.


Ben Myers said...

I especially agree with #3, Kim -- nothing makes me doubt the existence of God more severely than a church committee meeting.

Anonymous said...

I love # 2--Mark is my favorite Gospel. I also agree with #3, but I must add that I find that I have no patience with theologians who simply dismiss the problem of suffering--since this is the theological problem that laity often grasp first. The wisdom of the sensus fidelium populii is never clearer than when they refuse popular nonsense about "God's plan" when standing at the grave of loved ones.

Robert Cornwall said...

On #10, I was for a long time in agreement, and then I got hooked. As for #1 it is good to know a preacher from Wales thinks more about baseball than God. I don't feel so bad now!

If only the Giants could win a World Series in my lifetime!

::aaron g:: said...

#3 is so true. There is no Christianity outside the church, but so often the church sucks.

Weekend Fisher said...

100% with you on #10.

Kyle said...

Nice. Amen especially to the one on Eucharistic practice.

Anonymous said...

#6, I hope, can be expanded to include film. At the moment, I don't have time to read fiction and I've never appreciated poetry. . . but I can't get enough of going to the cinema with the time I don't have to read books!

Anonymous said...

Michael, I agree. Untold pastoral harm has been done by ministers repeating question-killing platitudes, "God always takes the best" being my un-favourite. Our job is neither to dismiss nor answer the problem of suffering; all we can do is to try to guide people towards the God in whose presence (cf. Job) the problem of theodicy ceases to be faith-threatening.

Bob, may you live to be as old as Methuselah - with the Gints you will need such longevity! Or perhaps you should ask BB for some steroids to slow the aging process.

And Terry, yeah, sorry, take the word "contempt" with a shaker-full of salt - it makes me sound like a culture-fascist! And include film, music, etc. by all means.

Anonymous said...

The "off-season". I so sympathise.

Oh, wait, you meant baseball...


Drew said...

Just on #7, I think Derrida might have liked your list ;)

Shane said...

Sacred hamburger is my favorite dish.

"Les imposteurs intellectuelles" (Eng trans. "Fashionable Nonsense")is a hilarious book with a very limited thesis, namely that many postmodern philosophers abuse scientific ideas like topology or quantum physics so greatly that their claims are not even wrong, but merely nonsense. Derrida, interestingly, is not one of the targets of their criticism. However, others like Luce Irigaray, Jacques Lacan, Bruno Latour, etc. are shown to be using ideas of which they have no knowledge whatsoever. Which is why they are impostors. Sokal and Bricmont do not attempt to prove postmodernism false--although the case they make should give anyone who is excited about postmodernism a bit of pause.


Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,

I may be wrong, but I think that book goes by the name of Intellectual Imposters in the UK - hence my quotation marks in #7.

To be sure, there are mountebanks about. From the little I've read of/about them, Lacan and Irigaray may be among them. I've certainly found myself saying, "By what criteria can one tell what they say is true?" And even "What the hell are they talking about?" On the other hand, I try never to underestimate my own stupidity!

Derrida and Foucault, however, are the real McCoy for sure. As you yourself have said of the former, they've "done their time" (with the Western canon [and one way you can tell a quack is by their contemptuous dismissal of the Western canon]).

In any case, "postmodernism" is a two-bit word - and that's before you take account of inflation!

Ben Myers said...

Thanks, Beth -- your comment was the funniest one I've read in ages!

Willie Deuel said...

Re: #7 - I confess that I had to look up the phrase "curate's egg". Thank you for expanding my vocabulary.

Re: #8 - Agreed, quite completely. It starts as an intimate communication and dispensation of God's marvelous grace, but ends up being "an extra ten minutes after the sermon."

Re: #9 - Christians who swear piss me off. (That's a joke, son, don't you get it?) One of my profs always says, "two things happen when people find out you're a pastor: they ask you to pray before the meal and they apologize when they curse in front of you."

Anonymous said...

I never swear. I dislike other people swearing in my presence. I can't help it and don't mean to be judgmental -- it's how I was raised! It does really grate on me to hear profanity and blasphemy. And I am not otherwise conservative.

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