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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Wednesday, November 3 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

A quick review

Trying to think, write, and keep a bleary eye on the election returns in the wee hours of November 3, I'll try to keep this short and sweet by recapping some of the reactions about "theoretical thinking" sent in thus far and perhaps pushing on to another breakthrough in the process.

Two reactions to this series have suggested, to me, opportunities to push home the concept of theoretical thinking. One writer (not on the list) mentioned my appreciation for Ayn Rand. I used Ayn Rand's works in one of last week's entries because two of her most widely read novels deal with a certain kind of "theoretical thinkers" and I thought reflecting on that would illustrate the kind of thinking I'm recommending. I am not, however, a fan of the late Ms Rand or, especially, her philosophy. Her novels are readable, even enjoyable, romantic in a classical literary sense, and somewhat inspiring, but their worldview is antithetical to Christianity and family values. Her basic philosophy is "the virtue of selfishness" (which is the title of the little nonfiction book she published to summarize her ideas, which she considered a viable philosophy of life).

Rand's presuppositions are athetistic (which she never concealed). Furthermore, as a novel that I once published for a Christian author (Ellen Myers, The Refiner's Fire) argued, there are no children in Rand's novels because parenthood is a virtual impossibility, philosophically, in her worldview. Good parents sacrifice their own lives for their children over and over again from the time of conception and on through the rest of both parents' and their children's lives. Such "altruism" has no place in Rand's philosophy, so Rand's philosophy has no place in a Christian way of looking at life and the world. But this is not about Ayn Rand...again, it's about theoretical thinking. In this case, it's thinking theoretically about Rand's system of thinking. I believe Ellen Myers did some excellent theoretical thinking about Rand to come up with these observations.

Another writer, on the list, said she read Monday's installment on this topic, POV, but had difficulty understanding it because it was too much about theology, a difficult "science" or "-ology." But it wasn't "about" theology, but about using theological ideas to illustrate and encourage theoretical thinking. Take several of the tough ideas in Monday's entry and try to "unpack" them. Think theoretically on these questions:

1. Why do theologians (people who spend their careers studying what can be known or at least theorized about God) want to call their theology "systematic"?

2. Why did I say "no 'theology' is a philosophy"? What separates those two sciences?

3. Why does the Judeo-Christian Bible begin with "creation"?

4. What do virtually all Christian thinkers mean by the biblical "fall"?

5. Why do virtually all schools of Christian doctrine emphasize "redemption"?

Discuss among yourselves; I have to get back to the returns..

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 


If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.

Sent by Trudy Myers  

Thought for today

Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say, "I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!"


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