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Reflections on Theology

This is a place to record some brief theological reflections. In blog style more recent items will appear at the top of the column.

Life Imitating Art (or something)?  Oscar Wilde declared that, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” Or then there is Woody Allen's take on things which was that, “Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.” What got me thinking in this vein was a line in Roger Ebert's review of the movie "Hall Pass." The review asked, "When was the last time you saw a man under 30 in the movies who had a stable marriage, a job, children and a life where he valued his wife above his buddies?" This raises a lot of issues doesn't it?

Is there anything that can't be secularized?  In a recent entertainment page item the Rapper Eminem was quoted as claiming that after treatment for substance abuse be felt "born again." I am not sure how seriously to take that. After all, in the same piece he was also quoted as having talked about his recovery by saying, "I actually had to learn how to say my lyrics again - how to phrase them, make them flow, how to use force so they sounded like I meant them." Maybe his use of the term "born again" was only intended to make it sound like he meant that something really significant had happened. After all, image is everything!

"Best Before" Dates  Many Christian books really ought to have inscribed on their spines a conspicuous "Best Before" date to alert late arriving readers of the limited durability of their contents. That doesn't mean that these books are worthless but simply that they are not of lasting value. Not so anything that I have ever read penned by Harry Blamires! Though some of his best known titles were produced a half century ago they ring with the authenticity of having just been written yesterday. The added bonus is that Blamires' words remain potent and compelling even after multiple readings.

God is Still With Us  Many in our culture are uncomfortable when a conversation includes a reference to God or religion. However, the reality is that everyone, even the professed atheist, has some sort of theology. Even people who profess to being opposed to religion often spend a lot of time obsessing about it. If religion is such a retrogressive thing why does it persist in such a "sophisticated" time as this? Why are religiously laced profanities still an invective of choice? Why do secularists who find themselves in turmoil resort to prayer? Why are natural disasters still referred to as "acts of God?" When disasters do occur why do so many rise up to ask why God allows such things to happen? Why are references to the divine so common in moments of wonder, alarm or ecstasy? Fascinating, isn't it!