"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"The Spirit is not some fuzzy* feeling!"

I wrote this rather poorly considered note about the work and ideas of Ta-Nehisi Coates, one I would simplify to the issue that I think Stephen Colbert was getting at:  if all you can offer is problems, without solutions, then what good is that?  Anybody can complain, but a "public intellectual" should offer something more than:  "Everything sucks!"  After all, it doesn't take much insight and intelligence to offer that, and nothing more.

I tried to offer my counter to that pessimism; I should have left it to Walter Brueggemann.  Everything I learned worth knowing in seminary is summed up there.

*Yeah, it should be "goosey."  I'm stickin' with "fuzzy," though.


Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

I noticed that passage too, about the spirit not being just a "goosey feeling". I used to be convinced that you could meditate your way to "enlightenment" and while it's useful for learning to concentrate, it's far from being the beginning of being enough.

I agree about T.N.Coates. And I think his focus leads to unrealism at times. I was struck about how he seemed to think everything about the past election hinged on Barack Obama's race, he didn't seem to think it might, actually, have more to do with the actual candidates and the fact that one of them was a woman who has been the focus of a far more vicious smear campaign before Barack Obama first got into politics. He's talented and he's got some good ideas but he's still green and it shows. If he'll develop into the figure he's promoted as being remains to be seen.

3:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home