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July 23, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Literalism versus the Alternatives as Understood through the Lens of the Evolution and Creation Debate


Interesting argument.

I would suggest this (see also Day-Age theory):
A Biblical Case for Old-Earth Creationism
This allows for the creation to be literal. But, ff it is poetic….it still doesn’t change what is conveyed–that God created the earth, us, and Creation. The idea that you could convey historical facts via song, poetry, or pretty much any other literary device.

I think a little more investigation might yield the notion that there are different literary genres in the Bible, so the attempt to make this distinction doesn’t entirely make sense. And people use multiple genres in real life…..without having this true/false problem. Treating the Bible as different genres which are cued in the text and context… the best way to read it in a way consonant with how its supposed to be read and interpreted.

Third, it seems you suggest there are important passages which aren’t literal which make the Bible less than a credible document.

Fourth, from your perspective lets posit a world where God is God:
1) If God did create the universe–this means at least two things:
a) then miracles are a credible option
b) then the parts in Revelation are potentially (literally) true.

Fifth, you understand history and literature thematically. You understand it from a story. I don’t understand why it would be different with the Bible?

Sixth, arguably, literary accuracy is only important in the most important passages. Or at least if those passages check out….the minutia passages don’t matter as much.

Lets assume the parables that Jesus told didn’t happen as a historical event–that doesn’t mean the parable itself isn’t true. We have Aesops fables, but the theme is still true–it still teaches us something about life. And I think its possible in some cases this misses the point.
My guess is the Jewish audience understood this to be the case.

Ascribing a purpose to the author…..then saying the piece doesn’t meet that purpose doesn’t seem to always be an effective strategy of thinking.

I just don’t see how the Bible’s credibility rises and falls under the issue of literalism versus non-literalism.

And of course…I think my answer on the larger thread also has some interesting things to say on this issue as well, which you can read here:

July 23, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Nine Purposes of a Sermon

Here are the 9 purposes of a sermon:
1. Wake-up call
2. Personal self-reflection
3. Memorable distinction–new view/new perspective (metaphor)
4. Emotional, memorable verse (verse for the heart)
5. Practical wisdom and advice that speaks to them & their circumstances
6. Persuade them to do go and avoid evil (i.e. consequences & spiritual economy/kingdom economy)
7. Learn to get past their barriers
8] Learn the ways the devil tempts us. How to reduce temptation
9. Reclarify myths & misconceptions.

1. Change expectations.
2. Provide leadership.
3. Rhetorical movement & encouragement
4. Responding to Kairos (ie in the case of 2008 crash, provide hope and understand the role of suffering and speak to the issue of social justice–the issues of serving, hope, and trust/faith)
See with new eyes (new viewpoint, new perspective–metaphor/tool/criteria/question)
Motivation to act
Awareness of the forces of evil. Awareness of long term consequences.
Learning to deal with the Odysseus challenge

July 20, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

The Case Against Naturalism–Revisited

Overall Assumptions:
This assumes that the only way Christians use to prove their case is via the Holy Spirt. Last time I checked there are 100 or more different routes to prove God’s existence.

Also, the question implicitly assumes certain things about human subjectivity. It assumes that human subjectivity

Naturalistic Assumptions:
It further has an unstated naturalistic belief.. Its not that a naturalistic framework or filter isn’t helpful…..but its conditionally so. When thinking about physical and earthly things a naturalistic framework (sans exclusivity) can be helpful. The assumptions of an exclusive naturalistic worldview (i.e. naturalism is the only game in town….and all others should just leave). Such a view would be like the NBA or the NFL saying that……or the hammer in the tool box telling all the other dozens of tools to shove it. The fundamental differences is we each have empirical proof of other modes of thinking working–particularly if we attended a university.

The Worship of the Objective & The Painful Death of the Subjective:
Infringing on personal freedom and/or thoughts is usually what Christians are accused of……but in this case the atheist is actually put in the position of doing it times 10. Notice, the Christian is saying you have the choice–but we think the Christian way is a better way to live. Thats what every ideology does. Thats what every domain to some extent in the academy does.

However, atheism says….don’t trust your own subjectivity. Don’t trust other peoples subjectivity. Only the objective is relevant. The problem is outside subjectivity theres no one there to even make this decision. Further, this neglects the science and common experiential wisdom that a (permanent, rather than temporary) detached objectivity is not only harmful to the human experience…..its impossible. Thats what both science and philosophy tell us.

Without a subjective you have no identity
Without a subjective you have no decisions
Without a subjective you have no perceptions
Without a subjective you have no sense making
Without a subjective you have no survival
Without a subjective you have no human

Its ironic that theism is more pro-freedom, human dignity, and diversity than.

We’re more than atoms
We’re more than animals
We’re more than robots

Wake up! Its time to wake up from selling our our humanity to the cold spreadsheets of scientism which don’t leave room for individuality, subjectivity, personality, identity, and human dignity. Without those….we might as well be atoms or robots or whatever.

You’re on Quora….you’re reflecting on ideas…..all of that screams a different way….a different perspective… that actually takes your value as something meaningful beyond just its contribution or diminution of evolutionary survival. Your value transcends is evolutionary potential because you are humans and because you are you.

This is the line in the sand: you can choose a framework that values you….that says you are worthy of love… are worthy of time… are worthy of creation……or a system that says you are just flotsam and jetsam. Its one or there other…..and choosing wrong has echoes which last for eternity. Which one is it?

July 18, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Stuff I’ve been writing about on Compassion in Politics

Base of the Pyramid Strategy (link)
Christian Apologetics (link)
Critical Thinking (link)
Design Thinking (link)
Social Entrepreneurship (link)

July 15, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Jonah Sachs on Storytelling

1. Hero
2. Villian
3. The Stakes

1. Meaning
2. Explanation
3. Story

Finding purpose to build a better world. How we can all live together on the planet.

Annie’s movie was 20 minutes long. Modern myth makers.

Question existing meaning.

See & feel.

The full presentation (his presentation tends a little agnostic).

Old: Character, Conflict, & Plot

New: Freaks, Cheats, & Familiars. Example: The Meatrix (notice: a remix/spoof of pop culture)
What are other human beings doing? Curiosity. Break expectations of the ways humans look.

Encoded systems of altruism (stories do this–people who break the rules)
Systems of altruism/norms. Loved or hated cultural norms.
Monolythic cultural norm.


The Shamen. From out tribe. Speaking our language. [NK needs to create a new language too]
Do you have one of these? Not a rant…as intro.

Start with their passions. Not just yours.

Start with campaigns (political & advertising). De-coding.

Story Wars book. Stories about a better world. Called to something higher.

“We crave validation more than sex.” Robert Tercek
Outsourced meaning making to journalists. Easy answers. Soundbite. Now I understand that complex crisis.
Shows = bait. (1/3 = commercial)
Making a disease (advertising)
Expired-on parking meter
Waking up from 60 year trance
Social media is so seductive (the greatest lover you ever had)
Gives us validation (vain? narscisitic?)
Dan Eldon used storytelling, art, & photography to change Africa (creative activists)–documentary or book
Creative Visions Foundation (founded by Dan Eldon’s mom)
Video storytelling (kind of like Peter Gabriel’s nonprofit)
Guerilla aid. Via blog/video/etc….
Commercial photographer (pictures of indigenous people–advocacy for indigenous peoples in UN) 4 countries sign it.

Origins story.
What you geek out on (hobby–to be known for–for me its chocolate)
“Help people see themselves in your story.” (the why….the context….what makes you tick and see the world). Being who you truly are.
[download the manifesto on storytelling]

“Stop. Go. Pause. Repeat.” Lauryn Ballesteros
Be real. Be human. Be authentic. Be truly you.
Confidence & authenticis & at deep level the value you add.

July 14, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Recent focus of my writing on Compassion in Politics

Naturalism | Physicalism | Materialism

Feel free to leave comments….

July 1, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Why Did God Make the Universe So Big?

1) Expanding universe

2) Leaves us plenty to explore. We will probably never run out of things to explore as long as humans are alive. (Also, if you want to do something…..its REALLY a big deal)

3) The universe displays God’s glory. If you were an artist, and the universe were your canvas….wouldn’t you go big? God went truly epic, wonderous, and beyond amazing.

4) Its consistent with his character and who He is as God. He is the alpha and omega….He is the I AM.

So thats logistically/practically & otherwise (probably) why God made such a big universe


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