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February 25, 2013

Reflection for the Week- February 25th, 2013

Like razor wire slashing through flesh, many Christians and churches leave people spiritually lacerated. There seems to be no limits to the piercing levels of impoverishment, as Christianity slides towards dehumanization, theological irrelevance, and cultural isolation. Hidden comfortable idolatry vilifies integrity and credibility, and outright indifference to truth and reality shreds hearts and minds. When fine sounding soothing rhetoric and clever speech take charge, God’s place of radical dispute and testimony has been tarnished and stained. Reversal, with God’s help, has to start by dismantling the razor wire. Generating humanness, mercy, compassion, redemption, and love will be vital and significant steps towards severing that which kills, and bringing healing to the deep wounds that cut people off from life.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

February 18, 2013

Reflection for the Week- February 18th, 2013

To follow after Jesus is to first deny oneself. Self denial then is a denying of a particular self – a self centered self, a self sufficient self, a messiah making self, a selfish self: = a false self. This does not mean to become nothing, but it means to put one’s counterfeit self interests aside, especially with regard to messianic ideology, and to embrace the Other, namely God and then the things of God. Bogus imaginary constructs and unrealistic hopes can often turn us into our own messiah makers. Messiah making is a risky and dangerous enterprise and something that we can all tend to do in one way or the other. Better to discover and explore the steps of the Crucified and Risen One, which has the explosive potential of leading us in the direction of being true selves.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

February 11, 2013

Reflection for the Week- February 11th, 2013

From my forthcoming book: Living Imagination. J-P. Sartre’s Nausea captures and exposes crucial issues concerning the real and the empty seduction of the unreal. Antoine, the book’s narrator, is left with a severe and devastating case of nausea – and nausea – and more nausea. Life is like that, but in his eyes at least it’s real. This bleak and haunting novel should cause us to reflect seriously on reality, the status of image, the notion of the real and unreal, and who we are in relation to both. The radical division, in Sartre’s view, between the real as perception and the unreal as imagination forces imagination to become more and more isolated and wholly beyond the real. As Antoine, who was left with the choice between living or telling, so also Sartre leaves us with the choice between real or imaginary nothing. According to Sartre, to enter into the imaginary is to de-realize oneself, while to enter the real is to realize oneself. Yet, we may question whether human experience, one of Sartre’s major interests, is ever so pristinely distinct, without at some point also being related. Perhaps, a more adequate view would be to see imagination and perception as related and distinct, with neither having, nor offering exclusive claims to the real, which is dependent on far more than what we imagine or perceive.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

February 04, 2013

Reflection for the Week- February 4th, 2013

Eyes burning and seared by the present views and circumstances of life blurs a passion for the possible of a different future, yet God has promised to renew the world and we must trust and act on his ability to do so. Learning to perceive the imprint of the future on the present is no easy task. We sometimes stray from the visionary and realistic, blindly immersed in the apparent unchanging status quo that only recycles everything into the same. Imaginary orientations rooted in God’s manifestations of hope, by contrast, open up and broaden our horizons toward change, and help us to look and see again.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery