Moltmann on Peace

Peace is not merely the absence of war; it is also the overcoming of injustice and oppression. In positive terms, it is life that is blessed, affirmed, loved and successful–life as shalom. Anyone who wants to serve peace must serve life. He must therefore resist war, because this is the deadliest form of discord. But this resistance against war is only one part of a much wider devotion to life.

Prayer for Times of Grief

God of compassion, There are times when it seems impossible to give thanks, for the loss is too recent and the pain is too great. But in this, we have hope, That even in the darkest valley, we are not alone, for you are there And our hope is not in vain, for we see your presence in the church, the body of Christ, which walks beside us. Give us the grace and love

When the Idols are Destroyed

Holy God, We come to you bearing many things. Some are burdens, but others are idols: The idol of superiority, The idol of certainty, The idol of believing that we are the gatekeepers to your kingdom, The idol of making the gospel an object of mere belief, and not a way of life. But when the burdens are lifted, and the idols are destroyed, What remains is truly precious: Women and men in community,

Study Guide for Exam 2

Here are some topics to study for the second exam in Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2017. Students are responsible for knowing everything covered in lectures and readings, but the items on the following list will make up the bulk of the exam. Material will be added to the list as it is discussed in class. Philosophical behaviorism The identity theory The multiple realizability thesis Functionalism Objections to functionalism (missing qualia and inverted spectrum) Computationalism Turing test The Chinese Room argument Problems for materialism Locke’s theory of personal identity Objections to Locke from Reid and Butler Problem with duplication and brain transplants Epicurean hedonism Act utilitarianism The utilitarian calculus Strengths of act utilitarianism Weaknesses of act utilitarianism Preference utilitarianism Ways of measuring preferences Rule utilitarianism General objections to utilitarianism Hume on morality Hypothetical vs.

The Burden of Freedom

Hearing the sermon on Sunday, then reading Abraham Joshua Heschel on Monday and Flannery O’Connor on Tuesday – they all seemed to be speaking the same thing to me. This week’s prayer: Lord, I feel the weight of my choices, bearing down upon my conscience, each one a testimony to the truth that those who do evil have their greatest allies in those who do nothing. The burden of freedom is this,

Do Not Be Daunted

I bought an entire book for these two paragraphs, but they are worth much more than I paid: “Rabbi Tarfon would say: You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now, Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now.”1 Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, Wisdom of the Jewish Sages: A Modern Reading of Pirke Avot, p.

In Offense, Giving Thanks

Holy God,

Thank you
for the one
who offends me,
for in offense
my heart is laid bare
and my idols are revealed.

My anger declares
the object of my worship.

Is it myself,
the empire,
or you?

Lord, have mercy.

On Passing Judgment

One of last week’s lectionary texts was Romans 14:1-12. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. (Rom. 14:10, NRSV) God of Grace, In belittling others, I am made small. By doubting their faith, I cheapen my own. In my haste to judge, I am the one condemned.

Be the Body of Christ

We are the Body of Christ.

He cannot go where
we refuse to tread,
speak what we
refuse to say,
or share what
we refuse to give.

May we be the
instruments of
his love and grace.


A Prayer for My Failing Faith

God of Hope, I claim to be person of faith, yet live as a person of fear. I build walls, because I fear the stranger; Hold on to the present, because I fear the future. And make my own plans, because I do not trust yours. What a fool to think that what I do out of fear could ever be better than what you do out of love. Thanks be to God,