Things have been fairly quiet around here lately, unfortunately. However, I have been producing regular videos/podcasts over on my other blog. One of the things that I have been hoping to do is to produce transcriptions of all of my videos, so that people without the time to watch a video or listen to a podcast can read a transcript.
A number of supporters and listeners have voluntarily transcribed videos for me over the last few months. You can see a complete list of my videos/podcasts here, with those which have been transcribed highlighted.
Several people have expressed interest in transcripts to me, but transcription takes a great deal of time, time which I do not have to spare right now. I would love to provide transcripts for every one of my videos, but people will either have to volunteer to transcribe videos for me, or help me to pay for the services of someone who is able to do so.
Recently, a professional transcriber contacted me and offered her services on a trial basis. I have been very impressed with the quality and consistency of her work and would like to be able to pay her appropriately in the future.
If you are at all interested in making this possible, please consider supporting or donating using my Patreon or PayPal accounts. New sponsorship and donations are being earmarked for this specific purpose.
I am also still looking for anyone who would like to volunteer to transcribe a particular video, or to transcribe on a more occasional or regular basis.
I would also like to thank my existing supporters, who have really made it possible for me both to do what I do, and to consider expanding in various ways. None of this would be happening without them. I am also really appreciative of any feedback, particularly constructive feedback, critical or otherwise, that will help me to improve things in the future. Please keep the suggestions coming!
I’ve written a post over on the Theopolis blog, in response to a piece by Dr David Field, in which he discusses some of the issues he will be exploring in his forthcoming Theopolis intensive course. Within it, I consider how we should approach the task of learning wisdom from non-Christians.
Christian counselling is an area where many of the tensions between different Christian epistemologies have played out. Dr Field’s position appears quite different from that of the nouthetic or biblical counselling movement, for instance, which has emphasized a radical antithesis between Bible-based counselling and unbelieving psychology, the former grounded firmly upon Scripture and the latter deriving and fundamentally compromised by antichristian presuppositions. In contrast, Dr Field’s approach seems to be more integrationist, testing, weighing, and critically appropriating aspects of non-Christian psychology within an approach fundamentally committed to Christian truth, yet not entirely derived from Scripture. This may not promise the same security as the quarantine chamber of a system exhaustively derived from Scripture, but it may enable us to engage with a far more extensive reality. While his approach is not exhaustively derived from it, what Dr Field most definitely is not offering, however, is a vision of psychology essentially untethered from Christian truth.
Where psychology and counselling have been pursued from a confidence in biblical authorization and the tidiness of a neat biblicist system, yet without the extensive experience and skill that wisdom requires, the result has often proved very damaging. Dr Field’s approach, by immediately bringing us into contact with serpents like Freudianism and Zen Buddhism, provokes a sense of profound danger and trepidation. This sense is a very healthy one: psychology and counselling are dealing with dark, dangerous, and deceitful realities and, unless we approach it with care and caution, our actions can prove destructive. Wisdom moves us beyond the enclosed and domesticated realm of the garden and into the wider world, where we must deal with dangerous and untamed beasts with shrewdness and skill, not merely with the more binary categories of the Law that are most prominent in our childhood.
Read the whole piece here.
Leave your questions here, and Peter Leithart and I will try to answer them in forthcoming podcast episodes!
The delayed third instalment of my series on justice in the Internet Age has been posted over on the Davenant Institute’s blog (see the first two parts here and here).
Abstraction affords us a way of relating our particular contexts, experiences, and identities to something that transcends them. As the virtual realm becomes increasingly determinative of our identities, it also offers a way of relating to our concrete contexts, regarding them ideologically, in terms of more abstract ideas and categories.
The ability to abstract from the particularity of experience is by no means a bad thing per se. Through abstraction, at the temporary expense of some resolution, we can often more easily discern patterns and connections between things. However, where the resolution that enables us to perceive particularity is not just temporarily sacrificed, but is more permanently lost, abstraction can become a much more vicious process. Rich realities are reduced to threadbare and colourless ideas, or mere instantiations of generic entities. People are reduced to homogeneous groups and types.
And, beyond the de-particularization encouraged by media where we must represent ourselves in terms of generic categories and templates, there is an intensified social pull towards abstraction. Abstraction offers the potential for connection, to render your reality and experience in terms that highlight commonality. Whereas in our local contexts commonality and connection are often found precisely in particularity, in the non-local context of the Internet, these things more frequently present themselves to be sought through abstraction.
Read the whole thing here.
Over the last few days in Monroe, Louisiana, I’ve enjoyed a discussion on the subject of classical theism with Peter Leithart and Jeff Meyers, hosted by Church of the Redeemer. We’ve had some great and challenging debate. You can see the whole series over on YouTube. Here are my talks and the group discussions:
I’ve been enjoying a stimulating engagement with the classical theist understanding of God in conversation and dispute with Peter Leithart and Jeff Meyers at Church of the Redeemer in Monroe, Louisiana. You can listen in here. You can get a flavour of some of our disagreements, shared commitments, and differing concerns in the first question and answer session from this morning.
Over the Christmas period, I made a series of videos/podcasts on the subject of echoes and symmetries in the narratives of the nativity and infancy of Christ. You can watch them all here.