Rick Davis

reductionism

The reductionist tendency in our culture touches us all, we just do not always know what to name it. Remember that reductionism is the practice of explaining higher things by the use of the lower. Hence, reductionism. In our culture one of the prime examples of cultural reductionism is the current (and immediate past) argument …

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homo religiosus

Homo religiosus, a term coined by Mircea Eliade, represents a being who craves the transcendent. I contend there a lot of these kinds of homos running around our culture. I listen to a lot of people who want a supernatural explanation for what happens to them. The proliferation of information, as well as the hideous …

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rabbi-the sequel

Please, let’s look at some old words in a new (even older) way. To converse comes from con-(a prefix meaning “with’) and -vers(a word meaning “turns” or “taking turns”). Conversation means “taking turns with someone,” that is both listening and speaking, mediated by thinking. Dialogue comes from dia-(a prefix meaning “with”) and -logo (Christian, do …

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rabbi

I am early on an airplane tomorrow. Thus, two posts in one day because I will get back late tomorrow night. Our study group met with Rabbi Jeff last week. Rabbi Jeff is a conservative Jew, not a messianic Jew. He is Hasidic by background, a descendant of rabbis for generations. He reads the New …

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Father

Say the word “Mother” in our culture. The image you conjure is of one who offers a life time of love, acceptance and nurture. Warm and fuzzy feelings abound. Say the word “Father.” The image you see differs wildly from that of the mother. “Mothering” means the gift of kindness, directional advice and a safe …

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Well packaged

Help me decide (by deciding with me) that the evangelism question is one we ought to have in a big way. Groups that focus inwardly mostly lose their cultural relevance. Christians who turn inward only (or mostly) disobey the boss. Remember when vision, mission and purpose statements were the rage? You could not go into …

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God, the World and Related Subjects

What is a biblical worldview? At the very least, a biblical worldview is the “overall unity of philosophical or metaphysical outlook (Edmond L. Cherbonnier. Hardness of Heart (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1955), preface). When your eyes cease to roll, we will continue. Don’t hurry, I can wait. Simply put, while diversity of theological outlook exists …

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Ya Know?

E.Y. Mullins conceded the viability of human rational ability in many areas of life. In the matter of absolutes and ultimates, Mullins thought, “reason is so clouded by rebellion and sin that it must have special revelation” (Quoted by John Newport in Ultimate Questions, copyright John Newport, 1989), P. 18. How do we know anything? …

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Show and Tell

I mentioned before the post-modern image of an evangelist. A man on tv with a weird hairdo, who tells you to send money to God but lists his own address; this is an evangelist. This is not an image we would want. We feel better about missionaries. They are altruistic, self-sacrificing, compassionate and loving. Missionaries …

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Kant can

Immanuel Kant stands supreme as the philosophical godfather of millions of Americans who probably do not know his name. Kant’s epistemological system posits that truth is the synthesis of information filtered through one’s own needs (mostly) and perceptive ablities (greatly). Thus born, individualist philosophy survives Kant to nourish Nietsche (Hitler’s favorite philosopher) and the aforementioned …

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