Random Links 157

Lutheran Quarterly

VDMA: Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum . . . the Word of the Lord remains forever.”

 The Signs of the Times

My Favorite: “Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.”

Who Says Religion Can’t be Funny?

My favorite is the fast catholic! 🙂

Speaking of Faith

I liked what Krista said on the first person approach:

“Why the First-Person Approach?
(A note from the host)

Krista Tippett, host of Speaking of FaithHearing people talk from their experience, out of their story, is fundamentally different from hearing their conclusions and doctrines first. With Speaking of Faith, we are introducing a new way of talking about religion, one which will be both informative and illuminating as well as complementary to existing religion news coverage.

Journalistic reporting about religion often asks people to speak for a tradition, or for God. And for understandable reasons it favors guests — including religious leaders — who are willing, even bound, to do so. Therefore many discussions about perspectives that religion/faith/belief could bring to our civic life begin like this:

“Christians believe…”
“Judaism asserts…”
“Muslims insist…”
“The Bible says…”

The trouble is, these kinds of pronouncements put listeners on the defensive. In fact, they even foster division within traditions.

The first-person approach behind Speaking of Faith sidesteps the predictable minefields and opens the subject wide, making it inviting, both in ambiance and substance. It insists that people speak straight from the experience behind their own personal beliefs. How did they come to hold the truths they hold? How are religious insights given depth and nuance by the complexities of life?

This way of speaking also has the effect of opening the listener’s mind. I can disagree with another person’s opinion; I can’t disagree with his or her experience. Because I know where they are coming from, I am capable of some understanding — even compassion — about why they think that way. Moreover, because I have heard their story I am able to attach a person, a humanity, to their conclusions, and I will never quite be able to dismiss that position or denomination in the abstract in the same way again.

Speaking of Faith, however, doesn’t stop at the story. The first-person approach, after all, could be just another dead end if it didn’t move beyond personal confessional. That is where my role as a theologically-trained journalist is critical. I engage people at that personal level, but I also invite them to articulate the important ideas and the deep, relevant perspectives that faith can add to our private and public lives.”

I listened to the following podcasts with great interest and found them very helpful:

A History of Doubt (May 3, 2007) even Luther and Jesus included .. cool.

The Private Faith of Jimmy Carter (April 26, 2007) Hearing him talk about juggling his private faith with public responsibility made me think about how I handle my personal opinions and what I’m “ordained” to do.

Truth and Reconciliation (March 22, 2007) The conversations in this podcast blew me away.   I’m still haunted by some of the comments and insights here.

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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