Through the River

Through the River

Through the River: Understanding Assumptions About Truth — Hirst, Hirst, and Hiebert 2009—200pp.

Jon and Mindy Hirst thoughtfully present teachings absorbed by the authors from a book by Dr Paul Hiebert (1999), using a visual analogy, based upon three communities of people living in different ways around River Town. Each community lives by and depicts a particular epistemology—a ‘truth lens’—either positivism, instrumentalism and critical realism, respectively.

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Exploration

To me exploration isn’t about conquering natural obstacles, planting flags… It’s not about going where no one’s gone before in order to leave your mark, but about the opposite of that – about making yourself vulnerable, opening yourself up to whatever’s there and letting the place leave its mark on you

This quotation from Benedict Allen* speaks to me because it effectively provides an echo of all human experiences…if we can recognise it.

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Discipleship and the Crises of Global Capitalism

IMG_1150Discipleship, as a praxis, relies upon gaining the hearts of people first, before shaping their understanding.

Discipleship is, first of all, a matter of allegiance and alliance. Loyalty and faithfulness to a core set of values. Values that may be: incarnated in a patriarchal figure (Jesus; Rev. Moon; Keynes etc.), written in a set of documents (Talmud; Mao’s Red Book; Deming’s Profound Knowledge) or represented by an institution (Vatican; Conservative Party; Google). Some form of discipleship is at the core of all people movements — be they social, political, religious or industrial. Popular (of the people) movements have phenomenal potential to impact and transform societies and nations. Witness the Arab Spring. Or the Revolutions of Russia, France and America. Or Nazism. None of these would have succeeded without becoming popular movements. Or without the making of disciples in the earliest stages of revolution. Read more

The ideology of Science

What do you do with a scientist who has lost touch with the subtly of the interaction of science within human culture? Invite him to front a Horizons program apparently.

Last night I completed a viewing of the fancifully named “Science Under Attack,” fronted by the man who is the pontifical head of the scientific academy: Nobel Prize winner Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Academy. Affable enough on the surface, he couldn’t wait to tell us, all glossy-eyed about his youthful awakenings to the wonders of science, such as a pyjama-clad viewing of Sputnik One, whisking across the sky.

This was the third in a series of Horizons’ programs that I watched over the past week or so. In each of these programs, articulate but ultimately unconvincing Scientists attempt to woo their audience with a potent mixture. Firstly, we are taken on a smugly edited “journey of discovery” in which the narrator and star of the show—yes, The Scientist—pretends to rediscover the basics of the science they are examining.

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Why is missiology significant?

“Missiology … what is that?”

A reaction I have not infrequently experienced when telling people about what I have been or am studying. My Dad, for some time after I graduated with my Master’s, regularly needed reminding “What is that degree again?” (Eventually, I answered by giving him a framed copy of my diploma). Somehow “Intercultural Studies” doesn’t communicate or stay well in the memory and “Missiology” doesn’t fare much better.

So what are they all about and why might they be significant or relevant to life today? Continue reading “Why is missiology significant?”