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September 26, 2011

Reflection for the Week- September 26th, 2011

Superficial and agenda driven readings of the Bible plague the church. Too many readers make up their own meanings as they go along, showing little concern for the orientation of the text. Instead of paying close attention to author and context, there is a tendency to drift from one passage to another in hope of a jolt for the day. Such a strategy, so widespread in our times, puts us at the center of meaning, and in so doing, therefore underplays the power of God’s revelation in its offer of a living and sustainable spirituality. Recovering credible biblical interpretation remains a long and difficult road ahead, but should we be unwilling to engage and to be engaged by the text and its meaning, the integrity of the faith we profess will suffer a serious blow and people will rightly turn away.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

September 19, 2011

Reflection for the Week- September 19th, 2011

Quitting church is reaching epidemic proportions. Caught in the vice between those who exchange the gospel for a social code and those who market it as a consumer product, streams of people are flowing out of churches. From what I can tell many of them long for God, love, truth, credibility, justice, and redemption but are disappointed with what the church is offering. Bagels and coffee, and promises of health and wealth are limited and breaking down. Thus, today’s pseudo–gospel is having less and less traction and for this we should rejoice. Yet, the fallout is serious, in that the legitimate questions people are asking are not being addressed, nor are these folk being provided with a place to dwell, which has more to do with spirituality, than merely a geographical home. Rich and diverse gospel centered communities are essential to renew and redo the faith in what appears to be the demise of what has been known as church for all too long.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

September 12, 2011

Reflection for the Week- September 12th, 2011

Promising is one thing, but being obligated to keep our promises brings the sincerity of action into light. A theoretical promise without compelling force and lacking application does not do anything. Of course, on the action level of doing our promises, we will run into conflicts and obstacles that challenge our fidelity to the other. Yet, being committed to engage in dialogue with the other raises the stakes of our personal integrity, as well as underscoring that broken promises do violence to justice and the other, to whom we are to be available for. In times like ours, where false and broken promises are front page news, from pulpit and pew to politics and economics, fidelity and commitment to promises for the sake of self and other should be two hallmarks that identify followers of the Crucified and Risen One, as a testimony to the church and the world.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

September 05, 2011

Reflection for the Week- September 5th, 2011

One of the most impressive features of human thought is that we are capable of creating and configuring symbols in an effort to express meaning. Recognizing this relationship between language acquisition and symbolic thought provides the opportunity for a phenomenology with theological clout. God’s speech acts give rise to revelation in language and symbol. This interlacing of conceptual fields effectively expanded the function of symbols so that they were seen to reveal God and being in the world in polyphonic ways. At the same time, being human was envisioned as uniquely connected to language, and language to reflection, and reflection to hermeneutics. Thus, God’s speaking embedded in Scripture by symbol and thought finds its connection through the hermeneutical nature of being in the world.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery