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June 25, 2012

Reflection for the Week- June 25th, 2012

Proof-texting – taking a verse here and there from the Bible – can be a dangerous enterprise when it comes to understanding God, self, other, and world. Random reading leaves too much to chance. No doubt sometimes God can use his word in this very selective sort of way, but most of the time if we want to understand better, we need to be informed about the historical, theological, and literary context of a passage before assuming that it is speaking directly to and for us. Surely, this more careful approach is part of what it means to hold a high view of Scripture and to honor God and his revelation.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

June 18, 2012

Reflection for the Week- June 18th, 2012

There are at least two ways a crisis of hope may express itself. First, pessimism: cynicism overtakes us and we decide to take matters into our own hands. Second, optimism: naïve idealism saturates us and we decide that God will resolve it all for us. Neither of these false options has much to do with Living Spirituality and both will leave us empty. Yet we may tend to spend significant amounts of time and energy floating from pessimism to optimism and back, attempting to solidify and barricade ourselves in one unlivable perspective or the other. Life with God is never this simple, as it will challenge these tendencies and in so doing refigure the false options into growing opportunities for a realistic hope, engaging in community with God, others, and the world.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

June 11, 2012

Reflection for the Week- June 11th, 2012

A crucial theological question is central to spirituality. Is anyone there? Our concern here is not with something that we merely feel or experience as “beyond” or “transcendent,” but with the issue of who is speaking and acting, who is calling, and who is addressing us. Of course, impersonal entities neither speak nor act, and if we have little or no accurate information about the referent of our spirituality, we should have some serious reservations concerning its viability. A real and genuine spiritual connection to the One who is there, through the redemptive work of the crucified and risen Christ, gives access to the personal God who is actually there beyond me. This union results in a release from sin, a changed heart, and a transformed mind—life amidst divine community, towards the other, and in the world. From my book Living Spirituality: Illuminating the Path.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

June 04, 2012

Reflection for the Week- June 4th, 2012

The desperate search for who I am often appears to lead to a dead end. Faced with no future, the failure of the past, and the suspicion of the present, selfhood is a question without an answer. When the self-centered ultimate authority self or the self-decentered entrapped reduced self collapse, drifting begins to emerge as our only option. The supposed inaccessibility to knowledge and truth, portrayed today as merely subjective forays in the dark, plays into this and tends to leave us without a place to be. Selfhood is stranded, seeking someone or something to be with and belong to. But God’s love generates the possibility of welcome and embrace, inviting us into community; a space to be in and with, which is deeply connected to the power to forgo the self-centered and decentered selves and to be caught up in being recentered, through redemption and the gift of a new self.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery