This is the sort of stuff I like to talk about with friends… maybe you can tell I’m not really into sports.
(following an earlier discussion…)
Nathanael: …are you a fan of rand
John: I was reading some of her philosophy, and I find some of it to be interesting
Nathanael: it does have that quality
John: i agree that if everyone adopted her ideas that people would starve and the poor would be left behind
Nathanael: but if it wasn’t everybody that adopted it, it’d be a restatement of Nietzscheian “Übermensch”
John: what I liked was that she said the means of our existence isn’t based on the issue of having to give the beggar the dime in our pocket
Nathanael: what do you mean the means of our existence like the purpose for our being is not to be charitable?
John: not that we shouldn’t be, but that it’s not the sole means of our existence
Nathanael: oh well if you thought that was cool –
Nathanael: you need to get into postmodern existentialism and absurdism and start making up your own reasons for existence
John: hahaha, Oh i’m not man
Nathanael: y not? postmodernism questions our perceptions as they are filtered through the cultural lens which we are largely unaware of; the society that surrounds us and often defines our understanding
John: its just that as a Christian, I love helping people, and I truly want to, but i also feel that self focused thought is good, isn’t that what we must do in our walk with God
Nathanael: existentialism and absurdism relates the existence of things before their essence and enables us to embrace the absurdity and create our own meaningful framework or definitions of meaning in our lives
John: I also believe that God protects and provides for His people, however if man wants to do something, God will allow him to reap what he has sown
Nathanael: hrm i can see how dwelling on this completely would be “self-focused” but it also leads to a better understanding of your own personal existence amidst the great everything else well rand is dangerous to dabble in then because she will quickly take the mercy and grace away from God
John: this is certainly true, and as her being an atheist, i believe her world view if off the mark – wait…doesn’t post modernism stem off into this idea that their are many roads to salvation, and that all views should be accepted?
Nathanael: that is a potential aspect of postmodern thought however i don’t think it’s inherently universalist or atheistic – humans themselves define God by their own terms which are not necessarily God’s terms. postmodernism actually challenges the anthropocentric nature of human theology and denies the limitations to deity we unwittingly impose. case in point; manifestations of God – most orthodox christians understand it as a trinity, or at least three persons who perform specific functions as part of the godhead understandable oneness rejects that and speaks to the wholeness of God’s being. yet also there were other purposeful: manifestations through the burning bush, the voice in the void the angel who wrestled with isreal, etc at the same to Christians as a whole understand God as a male figure, which is… rather simple imho. if not in physicality in essence.
John: but wouldn’t us as Christians use the Hold Ghost to guide us through the scriptures to gain a better understanding of God
Nathanael: this is a mystical framework through which we divine personal knowledge of the spiritual, but we have to remember that supernatural understanding can still be restricted by our own limitations as socialized humans living in “civilization”
Nathanael: people were unable to accept many aspects of Jesus’s message and instead chose to both politicize it, orthodox-ize it, and turn it into a system of human government, but before they could do that they had to actually destroy jesus physically. His murder was a rejection of extra-human values, or those beyond civilization
John: then I also believe that we need to pray for God to either make us aware of these societal ideas that cloud the revelation of who “He” really is, or to simply just break down those barriers in our mind exactly
Nathanael: and this is why i adopt a existential/absurdist/postmodern frame of thinking so that I can better understand God in a way I feel is more honest and humble without trying to impose my preconceived notions which result from the pride and individualism of man in rebellion towards god
Nathanael: of course then there’s the question of how authentic that humility can really be because it arises from again human understanding and wisdom but i think in and of itself it is self-doubting with those new elements, and more prepared to accept the mystical versus traditional knowledge
John: I got ya, makes sense
Nathanael: it is not for everyone admittedly but i think that’s what jesus said as well
John: yeah dude, some people are just barely hanging on, I don’t think they could handle all of that
Nathanael: We all approach God on our own level and it/he/Jesus meets us there; what’s important is that Christians have compassion and grow together towards a more perfect knowledge and love of God; as God is love if we do this we grow together in harmony. But the love comes with growth, and not by itself people go and say “oh we should just love each other” well we don’t love each other for the sake of love and not to hurt each other’s feelings, we love each other because we grow to the point where that’s all we’re capable of.
John: I can agree with that I would also add that in order to grow, we need to help others when needed, and although this “help” might be uncomfortable at times, it is rooted in love with the hopes that we all can become elevated and can grow closer to God
Nathanael: sure but we have to be careful to help and not hurt
Nathanael: im not saying just leave people where they’re at and say “oh they’ll be fine” but we have to act like Christ to them, be a real friend to them, and not just be judgmental religious drill sergeants all the rest of that stuff is really the personal stuff so you’re right its part of your own discipleship to grow and advance on your own but one of the way you do that is by helping and loving others so your focus ought to be wherever you feel it most.