Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Will 'Get What You Want' Leave A Cultural Gap?

Hi guys, lets talk a little about culture. Fragmented hyper-modern culture.

I heard the following story on NPR this morning about the loss of a cultural commonality using the contrast between Seinfeld in 1994 and American Idol in 2009. I thought it was a fascinating idea of increasingly fragmented, hyper-individualism. What do you think?

Will 'Get What You Want' Leave A Cultural Gap?
by Laura Sydell
December 29, 2009

Get what you want, when you want it. That's the phrase that has dominated the entertainment industry over the past decade. New technologies have given us access to countless channels for music, television and film — and we can sample them whenever we find it convenient. But as the options multiply, are we losing our sense of a common culture? …

… "In history, as far as we can tell, there have never been cultures or societies in which there weren't a very large set of shared ideas — norms, values, stories" and so on, says Nass. "We've just never seen that before."

As the monoculture fragments, social-media platforms and other wired and unwired communities are creating new kinds of connections — connections that are building bridges between people in ways that watching Seinfeld never could. But Nass says they're not likely to be the kinds of connections that will hold a nation together.

5 min. Audio version

Thursday, December 24, 2009


God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man (C.S. Lewis)

The mystery of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding (Martin Luther)

Infinite, and yet an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s despised son. (Spurgeon)

Isaiah 7:14 (Amplified Bible)
14Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]

John 1:14 (New International Version)
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[a] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Thoughts? Comments? I am more and more awed and impressed by the miracle and significance of the incarnation of God in Christ. Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thomas Aquinas and Christian realism

I found this Scot McKnight’s web site:


“Why study Thomas Aquinas? By almost everyone's admission Aquinas was the most important philosopher for almost 2,000 years between Aristotle and Descartes. But Peter Kreeft of Boston College has another answer: 'My personal answer is that I believe Aquinas was simply the wisest and most intelligent philosopher in history. And I want to show you why.'

In 14 CD's just released (2009), Peter Kreeft introduces listeners to the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas
Peter Kreeft introduces listeners to the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas

The CD's and accompanying Course Guide appears in a prestigeous series called "The Modern Scholar: Great Professors Teaching you!" by Recorded Books. Your local library likely has this series so its free to the public.

Some of Kreeft's lecture topics are: "Aquinas's Importance and a Short Biography," "Philosophy and Theology, Reason and Faith", "Can You Prove God's Existence?", "The Case Against Aquinas's God and Proofs" "Aquinas's Cosmology: Creation, providence and Free Will," "Aquinas's Metaphysics" and other enticing subjects.”


(Joseph) My personal favorite ‘believing’ philosophers of the twentieth century are French Catholics who drank deeply from the wells of St. Thomas and Aristotle: Jacques Maritain who authored Intregal Humanism in 1936 and Emmanuel Mounier, the author of the Personalist Manifesto in 1938. Both Maritain and Mounier had a huge influence in the Catholic student movements of the 1950s in the Caribbean and South America.

What do you know about Thomism? How might it provide a philosophical framework for believers in a postmodern age? I have invited Ray Ciervo to comment on this. He is more familiar with Thomism than most of us.