Month: December 2016

Christianity, Philosophy, Spiritual Life

The Bible and Self-Knowledge

The Socratic ideal of self-knowledge is hard to come by, but it can be done. We are often apt to give up when we find unpleasing information about ourselves or we can deceive ourselves. The Bible gives some philosophical tools to help you find this rare form of knowledge.  Here are five resources from the Bible …

Mindset

The Three Value Systems and Their Mindsets

Here is a rough sketch of three value systems and the three mindsets that seem to correlate with them. These value sets aren’t meant to be seen as ideological. But rather, values observed in practice. So they don’t necessarily go with specific ethical conclusions like “abortion is good” or “polluting is bad.” These are the …

Mindset, Philosophy

N.N. Taleb on Inequality and Skin in the Game

N.N. Taleb writes: Again, on that account, the detractors of Donald Trump, when he was a candidate, failed to realize that, by advertising his episode of bankruptcy and his personal losses of close to a billion dollars, they removed the resentment (the second type of inequality) one may have towards him. There is something respectable …

Christian Mindset, Book-Review, Christianity, Spiritual Life

Book Review: The Mountain of Silence by K. Markides

Kyriacos C Markides, The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality (New York: Doubleday, 2001). Kyriacos Markides, a professor of sociology, spent several years studying mysticism and shamanistic practices in several monastic type communities. He’s written several books on these topics, this particular book is about his experiences with Father Maximos on Mt. Athos. …

Christianity, Spiritual Life

On the power and perils of free-will

You probably have a lot of excuses. I do. Sometimes science gives evidence to support them. Especially when it allegedly contradicts free will. But you do have free-will. This means that your character is your fault and you have to deal with it. Origen, an ancient theologian, thought that since God had offered the grace …

Spiritual Life

Guard Your Heart: How?

Pro 4:23 Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. What does it mean to guard your heart? In your Bible, ‘heart’ tends to mean the seat of reason or the human will.[1] In our world we’re so influenced by the romantic nature poetry of the 1800s, it’s easy …

Christian Mindset, Christianity, Spiritual Life

Growth in Grace: Transformation of the Feelings

Introduction Over time, our response to God’s grace will lead to a transformation of our feelings and emotions. This is evident from two perspectives. First, from observation, we know that part of a long-term diet plan includes learning to like different foods. If this change does not take place, then evidence shows that people tend to end …

Book-Review, Christianity, Spiritual Life

Book Review Pt 1: The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

This is part one of a multi-part review of The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. The Four Loves: Introduction Lewis, Clive Staples. The Four Loves. London: Fontana, 1964. In Lewis’ book on the kinds and nature of love he starts the book by distinguishing between Need-love (like a small child for its mother) and Gift-love (like a …

Christianity, Spiritual Life

The Christian Life: Positional and Progressive Elements

Intro In kinesiology class back in college, I had a professor tell me that since the triceps muscles functioned to extend the forearm, one only needed to do bicep curls to exercise the whole arm. Her reasoning was that lowering the weight extended the forearm, and therefore exercised the triceps. She had taken a basic fact …

Mindset

Overcoming Self-Defeating Ideas

When you narrate your life, how do you write yourself? Personally, I have a long history of narrating myself as a loser, failure, or unfortunate person. If this is your struggle I found a helpful tool for you. The reason that your self-narration is so important is that it affects your emotions, decisions, and ultimately …