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Where Do We Choose to See?

There hasn’t been much of time for blogging this week, alas. I’ve been scrambling to get a few book reviews out the door, along with sermon work for Sunday worship and prepping for a series of talks for next week when I am in Winnipeg as the pastor-in residence at Canadian Mennonite University. So many words to assemble and rearrange and package in such a short amount of time… Maybe if I had, oh, I don’t know, planned ahead a bit better? Sigh.

At any rate, among the many words and ideas clamouring for space in my muddled brain these days, here are a few wise ones from María Teresa Dávila, professor of Christian ethics at Andover Newton Theological School. These are found in one of the books I just sent off a review of, Wading Through Many Voices:

Knowledge becomes a matter of location, and location becomes a matter of where we choose to see and ultimately what we choose to love.

Where do we choose to see? What (and who) do we choose to love? I suspect that the entire biblical narrative, the broad scope of the human quest and condition, the promise and hope of salvation, the fate of the world itself might just be able to fit inside these two questions.


I’ve used the image above on a number of previous occasions.  It is a photo I took two years ago in the middle of a community full of displaced Colombian farmers on garbage-strewn hillside on the southern outskirts of Bogotá.  It is an image that reminds me frequently about the importance of location—of choosing where to see and what to love.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. mmartha #

    “Where do we choose to see? What (and who) do we choose to love?”
    Very good. What is our focus. Our church sign reads today provocatively also: “And the point is?”
    Blessings in your ministry.

    November 1, 2014
  2. mike #

    I’m not sure I fully understand the quote from the book but I do well understand It’s Title. I think “Truth” in the biblical sense, is simply what I choose to believe and this may not necessarily be the same as your conclusions. We wade through many voices, I sometimes think God is more interested in our sincere adherence and commitment to what we believe is true(Truth) rather than the correctness of our view. I find myself leaning into an Agnostic view- that we can’t really know much about God for sure other than “God is Love” and you know what?, I’m not even sure I fully comprehend Love yet.

    November 4, 2014
    • For me, the quote has to do with where we choose to locate ourselves. Do we place ourselves in contexts where we can learn from “difference voices?” Voices that are often shunted to the sidelines? Voices that have historically been ignored or rejected or ridiculed? These are the perspectives that Jesus often chose to “see” from. I think the author is saying that choosing to see (and to love) from these places is how we come to know (and live) more of the truth, from a Christian perspective.

      In that light, I’m not sure that authenticity to ourselves and commitment to our view of truth is as important to God as choosing who we will stand with and what our posture will be in the world.

      November 5, 2014

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