I Believe that I Believe

“The only truth revealed to us by Scripture, the one that can never be demythologized in the course of time – since it is not an experimental, logical, or metaphysical statement but a call to practice – is the truth of love, of charity.  In contemporary postmetaphysical philosophy … the proximity of truth to chairity is anything but an extravagant idea.  … no experience of truth can exist without some kind of participation in a community, and not necessarily the closed community (parish, province, or family) of the communitarians.”

The Age of Interpretation, The Future of Religion, pp. 90-91

– Gianni Vattimo

“A community is not simply a group of people who love each other. It is a current of life, a heart, a soul, a spirit.

We shouldn’t seek the ideal community. It is a question of loving those whom God has set beside us today. They are signs from God. We might have chosen different people, people who were more cheerful or intelligent. But these are the ones God has given us, the ones He has chosen for us. It is with them that we are called to create unity and live in covenant.

It is difficult to make people understand that the ideal community doesn’t exist and that the equilibrium and harmony they imagine possible are things that come only after years of struggle, and that even then come only as flashes of grace and peace.”
– Jean Vanier

Today, I just finished an amazing book, The Future of Religion by Richard Rorty and Gianni Vattimo and edited by Santiago Zabala. A Catholic philosopher (Vattimo) and an “Anti-Clerical” philosopher (Rorty) discuss the future of Western religion. I Corinthians 13 is representative of the core of Christianity according to Vattimo and Rorty. Love and charity are divine.  I seek to read more of Vattimo’s texts including BeliefChristianity, Truth, and Weak Faith, and After Christianity as a start.

I Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

I love deconstruction, science, and reason as they promote peace in the world by weakening claims to absolute truth. Thereby promoting tolerance and mutual respect between people on earth. It is fun to think about what a Post-Modern Christian will be. A hippie from Berkeley who believes in “Free Divine Love – Agape (not Eros)” perhaps. We can look to our culture’s sacred texts like the Bible in new and relevant ways with the aid of a well rounded education.

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About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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