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It’s Magic

I’m in the process of taking my third and fourth courses from Professor John Stackhouse right now, and I think it would be fair to say that my own views of epistemology have been profoundly shaped by my time spent under his tutelage. In one of our classes last semester we discussed the postmodern tendency to be untroubled by lack of coherence or consistency with respect to one’s views about the world. So, for example, someone may have no difficulty thinking in strictly rationalistic terms in their professional roles, in Romantic terms when it comes to interpreting the “objective value” of a piece of art, or appealing to the law of karma when thinking in the “religious” sphere of life. This multiplicity of mutually incompatible cognitive styles seems unproblematic to the postmodern mind—a feature Stackhouse claims to be unique in intellectual history. Read more

Lessons in Transit

This morning was a fairly ordinary morning on the bus.

Riding the bus has taken some getting used to for a prairie boy accustomed to wide open spaces, and driving everywhere and anywhere at the drop of a hat. I am not used to having to wait to get anywhere I want to go, and I am certainly not used to being squeezed like cattle into a bus or standing less than a foot away from a total stranger for forty minutes, both of us desperately pretending to look anywhere but at each other. I am not used to standing in the rain on a cold Vancouver morning while three buses blow by because they are full, and I am not used to taking three hours to warm up after the process described above. Read more

Who Has Heard Correctly?

Reading Discipleship for this seminar on Bonhoeffer is proving to be quite a jarring experience. As an Anabaptist, passages like the one Bonhoeffer concludes his discussion on the Sermon on the Mount with should not be as troubling to me as perhaps they might be for others… As one who is often prone to drift toward rationalism… ouch! Read more

Bavaria, Lisbon, and the Problem of Evil

This morning I was washing the dishes, listening to the sounds of my happy children playing (surprisingly!) peacefully together. Some days everything just seems right with the world—the kids aren’t fighting, the sun is shining, I’m not wretchedly behind in my schoolwork, the Flames beat the Oilers last night… Read more

Nations and Narratives

An article discussing the Liberal Party of Canada’s national leadership convention caught my attention in this month’s edition of The Walrus. In it, Don Gillmor addresses, among other things, the vexed issue of what exactly constitutes Canada’s national identity, and the role nationalism plays in personal senses of belonging and identity. Consider the following quote (Ignatieff = Liberal leadership runner-up and author Michael Ignatieff): Read more

Why Blog?

So here goes… the typical “first post” where that pesky question “Why blog?” is usually addressed. For those who know me (and have harassed me to start a blog for some time now), this question becomes even more acute. I have frequently expressed ambivalence toward the whole medium of blogging—you know, typical criticisms such as: Read more