Wednesday, November 24, 2004

My Sentiments Exactly

Haven't commented on the result of the U.S. election yet (ok, I'm a bit slow at commenting on anything at the moment), but I just loved this quote from my favourite bishop :

'Can I add one more thing, conscious that an election has just taken place in America and that many in my country were surprised as well as alarmed by the result?  I take the view that whatever we wanted to happen, even if we think that this is a terrible result, even that puts us in the position of the children of Israel in Babylon commanded to pray for the peace of the city where they were held captive.  More positively, I want to say to George W Bush and those who help him run the world: OK, fine, you have a world empire.  We had one of those and we have spent a century counting the cost of it.  You have a world empire with a strongly Christian flavour in the vote that sustained it.  We had one of those (though not always the same type of Christianity that many in America now embrace, but never mind); and we learned, painfully enough, the deep ambiguities of thinking that in bringing Christ to the world we could ignore the things that were being done in his name.  More to the point, the idea of a Christian empire came to first embodiment under Constantine, whom most Americans (if they’ve heard of him) learn early in life to reject, partly because it reminds them of George III sending bishops to the colonies.  For generations now people have criticized Constantine and his empire. If you now have a Christian Empire, could you perhaps begin to think about how to avoid the mistakes both of Constantine and of Victorian England, and about how to get it right this time?'

good question, Tom

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Psyched Out

Aaagh! Ok, so it's been a while! What can I say? I've been busy. Or perhaps I just haven't had much to say. I 've been reading blogs most days, but haven't been inspired to write. Anyway, now I'm in the middle of trying to write an essay, so it's an ideal time, right?
I'm up to my eyeballs in a ridiculously titled human behaviour essay. I'm somehow trying to give an overview of the psychodynamic (inc. Freud and Jung), behavioural (Pavlov, Skinner etc), and humanistic (Rogers, Maslow) schools of psychology, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each and a 'Christian' appraisal (as if there was any one Christian view on all this stuff), all within 2000 words. Oh dear, I've already written over 2000 words, and I'm less than a third of the way through!

Came across this pretty amazing quote from Calvin :
'Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes, and gives birth to the other. For, in the first place, no man can survey himself without forthwith turning his thoughts toward God in whom he lives and moves...On the other hand, it is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself.'
-Institutes of the Christian Religion (1.1.1-2)