Tuesday, April 15, 2003

The Long-Awaited Ethics Posting

Our Ethics class up to this point has basically consisted of a sweeping history of Western philosophy and theology from Aristotle to Hegel. On some points it been a nice review, on others a good introduction. Nevertheless, Im glad to be moving on from there. We’re reading Truth Is Stranger Than It Used To Be by J. Richard Middleton & Brian J. Walsh, and so far, it is utterly depressing. I really enjoyed the first chapter - it explained how modernism and the myth of progress are illusory and needed to come to an end. The authors described modernism as a three-story building, but What is it that lies beneath the ground floor? Nothing but our own strong shoulders. (p. 21) Modernism has gotten us so excited about the abilities of the individual that there isn’t a need for community, let alone the Church, let alone God. So, I was all ready to jump on the post-modern bandwagon (granted, I was sort of running that direction anyway) when the authors decide to spend the next three chapters taking post-modernism apart as well. At the ends of chapters 3 and 4 respectively, we are left with these uplifting quotes: As… a postmodern era begins we find ourselves again at sea. But this time we have no navigational assistance and no direction. We are alone, adrift in a postmodern world. (p. 62) And The problem… is rooted ultimately in the violence of the human heart and thus requires a remedy considerably more radical than that suggested by post-modernity.(p. 79) The light at the end of this tunnel is that we are now turning to the Biblical narrative for guidance, which leaves me hopeful about the book and the world. That, and these authors like to quote from Indigo Girls songs, so I’m pretty much a happy camper no matter what they say.

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