Arimathea
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Religion
The human animal is the worshipping animal. Toward the divine, we have a need to pray, to sacrifice, to offer up, and to praise. From the spirit dances of primitive animism to the rational contemplation of philosophical paganism, from the ethical code of the rabbis to the theological vision of the scholastics, from the sprinkled blood (the origin of blessing) of temple cults to helping the poor in simple Christian charity, men need to relate the immanent and the transcendent -- they see their particular lives in time and space transfigured and transfused with meaning unbounded by human things. Religion is this aspect of human life where the everyday and worldly intersects with the ultimate and divine. Is this an accident of human evolution, or is it a racial neurosis brought upon us as conscious beings who live in the shadow of our own death? Is it a reflection of the divine order, where creatures naturally orient themselves toward their source? Has God revealed himself to us, as the Christians claim? In this realm, I shall try to delve into such questions as an Orthodox Christian who ever pesters God with "Why?"
Monday, December 21, A.D. 2009
Did Christianity Cause the Crash?

Last week, I read Hanna Rosin’s article in The Atlantic, “Did Christianity Cause the Crash?” In it, Rosin explores the “prosperity gospel” movement so prevalant in certain Protestant circles. Oddly, Oral Roberts, one of the prosperity gospel’s popularizers, died the next day.

I am just shy of being solipsistically self-absorbed enough to believe that all of cosmic history revolves around my awareness of the world. However, it does seem that way much of the time. I suppose that if great texts can speak to people on different levels, addressing them where they are, the greatest author may do the same with the text of creation. It’s just a passing thought.

Rosin covers the prosperity gospel phenomenon and asks if the doctrine played a part in the recent housing bubble. If God blesses with material riches those who pray to him, shouldn’t we expect green manna to fall from heaven so we can afford that new, big home? Or, maybe, I am thinking of mammon. Those Protestant preachers on television get me confused between the two. Perhaps, their followers share the same confusion.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, December 21, Anno Domini 2009
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Tuesday, December 15, A.D. 2009
Klavan on Euphemism

Andrew Klavan mocks Americans’ inability to call our civilization cancer what it is:

War is peace.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, December 15, Anno Domini 2009
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