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Do a happiness audit.  Do it!

Write down a list of all the things that you do during the course of a week and put them in categories according to the level of Joy they cause in your life.

That, I suspect (well, actually know), will make you part of the solution.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’ve been giving a great deal of thought about the difference between doing what you say, and what you actually do.

I wonder about the correlation between the fisherman’s “whopper” tale and people that drive around town with images of fish on their vehicles. I’m not picking on Christians (I might want to be one myself, at some point). I am pointing at them, however. I feel communication leads to alignment, and then accountability. Those are fuel for beacons of light, if you will, that expose the vital differences (and, many are fine) between good and evil.

This will, eventually, bring me back to the dialogue I’ve been driving here in Alpharetta, and surrounding communities, around living an authentic life.

Meanwhile, here’s a thought that isn’t new; it just is:

“Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.” George Horace Lorimer

It’s relevant to my thinking, here. Because, it’s often, more than not, easy to talk than accomplish, or promise than follow through.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters

Brian Patrick Cork

There has been some good activity at the Comments level around Charles Darwin (he may be “dead” – but not forgotten indeed) on this Blog the past few weeks.

While SOME homeschool children are taught by their parents (we Home school Haley Anne until next year) about Darwin, they don’t usually get lectures about how his theory of natural selection can be considered one (as in alternative) reasonable foundation of modern biology.

Nope… They (well… many) are taught something much different.

For example, Mr. Doug Phillips is the President of Vision Forum Ministries, a popular fundamentalist Christian organization that appears to advocate patriarchy, creationism, and homeschooling. He has eight children – and, encourages couples to breed like Kentucky trailer trash have as many children as God might give them. He apparently thinks birth control is a sin (see “quiverfull“).

NOTE: I need to make it clear that I am not on their mailing list. This information was shared with me by a local Pastor wanting my thoughts for an upcoming sermon.

forging ahead…

In a recent newsletter, Phillips tells his readers what he teaches his children about Darwin:

  1. Darwin was bitter.
  2. Darwin worshipped a false god (materialism).
  3. Darwin was sloppy and he was not a scientist.
  4. Darwin trained his children to hate the God of the Bible.
  5. Darwin trained others to be hateful toward their fellow man.
  6. Darwin’s legacy could be the legacy of anyone who worships the creature more than the Creator.

Aside from the (documented) absurdity of most of these claims, what concerns me is the potential for brain washing misunderstanding. When you are raised in a family like this and are surrounded by people who think similarly, it is very difficult to break free from this kind of downward spiral.

It also has the potential to feed the negative perception of Home Schooling (and, I suppose Christians – who are, often enough, viewed as a determined and assertive lot, to be sure).

For the record, Haley Anne is developing a broad view of the world that includes travel, tolerance, open-mindedness, curiosity, abstract thought, the classics and logic (and, she happens to be a rather formidable Defender on her Shockers soccer team [despite her coach]).

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

nick, brian v., aaron, george and drew…

What do you BELIEVE?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Apologista?

Did I create a new word? Or, am I further evidencing the depth and breadth of my ignorance?

I love being a flawed human bean. /1

So…  Have you drawn swords (or cappucino /2) with an “Apologist”?

NOTE:  I don’t really have a problem with Christians.  I might like to be one myself.

See EvidenceGod, Logic and Discernment, If there were no obscurity, Image (one of my favorites), and, Christian Ambiguity Part II (apparently one of your favorites).

Maybe not.  I am just open-minded and open-hearted. /3

…but, are Christians?          

In my experience, these amateur (oft wounded) champions go out of their way looking for trouble, and consider their academic arguments regarding the placement of the colon in 23:43 and its relation to purgatory a sacred duty.

They are Serious Christians, and they hang out on debate boards (and Starbucks) having the same eleven arguments again and again and again. Disproportionately converts, many have serious intellectual acumen and a respect and discipline regarding the Scriptures culled from years of being Scripture-toting Evangelicals. But, in their enthusiasm for their faith (sometimes newfound) often lose sight of the goal of the Church – which, I believe, is to help form her people in the image of God.

By all means correct me if I am wrong.

This is almost precisely what happened to me. Early in my faith (and, I was a table bagin’ Believer [in the sophomoric sense /4]), I was endlessly passionate. However, I had no real hopes of convincing anyone, and I could not honestly, and with the deepest conviction (see – that is the Heterodox in me) say that I believed everything (or even most of the things) that I was arguing.

But then, somewhere along the way, it started to click. As C.S. Lewis has said (among others, to be sure):

“…one of the better ways of changing your outlook on things is by changing your behaviour.”

If you find yourself having trouble developing an intuitive sense of virtue, begin instead by simply pretending to be virtuous. That is, do what you think a virtuous person would do, and eventually it will start to make sense and become a sort of instinct. This is also true of the body, the mind, and the soul; because we are, by our nature, a mixture of the three, changing the attitudes of one will necessarily have some effect upon the others – thus kneeling may instill focus and reverence when none is initially felt (for example). In the same manner, the more one argues in favour of a proposition, and does the research necessary to make those defenses deeper and more plausible, the less and less easy it becomes to simply divorce the idea from the action.

What may have started as something I was doing because it was fun became something I was doing because I felt it right and necessary.

This is where I think Reflecting and Representing become important more so than dogmatic structure. I direct you, once again to Image.

Of course, this brought with it all sorts of other problems. The trouble is that the value of extensive and deeply-researched apologetics is minimal when it comes to simply living the Christian life and interacting with The Man In The Street.

Few who aren’t already heavily invested in such things will get much out of painstaking debates on what pistos really means or on the implications of diverging genealogical tables. Mistaking such subjects for the heart and soul of the faith can be deadly, and is all too easy.

I spent more time arguing about churches than going to them; and, more time defending the legitimacy of Scripture than reading it. Worst of all, I spent so much time insisting that God existed that it would be hard to say that I ever actually lived as though that were the case.

And so the trouble with apologetics is revealed to be the larger trouble with pretty much everything – be it debate, or liturgy, or architecture, or individual persons, or even religion itself.

God is enormous, and our approach to Him may come from many directions – and, may use many tools. But, as real and necessary as those directions and tools are, they are not themselves God, and we fall short of what is necessary when we begin to confuse them.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork
______________________________________________
1/ I spelled it right. I am a “Human Bean”.

2/ I don’t care if I mispelled this…  I have never tasted coffee in my life.

3/ As a refresher, I don’t have an issue with God.  What would be the point?  I am convinced he is bigger than me.

4/ soph⋅o⋅mor⋅ic – adjective of or pertaining to a sophomore. Suggestive of or resembling the traditional sophomore; intellectually pretentious, overconfident, conceited, etc., but immature: sophomoric questions.

Dr. Nick Pappas at Radford University patiently reminded us (and often) that sophomore means “wise fool”.

I hauled off and “picked-up” a truck yesterday.

I need it for my new dog and soccer. Read “brian’s new Buddy” from January 26.

Seriously.

Big, black and sportin’ loads of attitude.

Just like me except I am not particularly big; and won’t be mistaken for black.

Emma Jo likes the truck.  In fact, she thinks it’s “really cool”. We ran some errands and she was in her car seat grinning from ear-to-ear (and drawing with colored pencils). She has big plans for “Daddy’s Truck” later today playing “forts and stuff” with her buddy (BFF actually) Claire.

I have a sudden desire to revisit Home Depot and haul something.

I think I need a winch. … and, a “bull bar” – what ever the hell that is.

I will always be a Porsche Guy. But, if it makes Emma Jo happy, I am a truck guy now as well.

Just for fun let’s listen to Rascal Flatts and “Fast Cars and Freedom”. And, of course, “Take Me There” if you are with me.

The only issue I MIGHT have with the video is girls surfing in bikinis is not Righteous. I would not teach my girls to surf that way.

By the way…  I will be cycling and running long and hard today.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

door-handle.jpgBet you thought I had gotten Charles Darwin out of my system – right? /1

Ha!

For my money, Darwin is one of the most important thinkers the human species has ever produced.

What if I said that Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection is:

“arguably the most powerful idea ever” /2

because:

“it assumes little to explain much.”

You probably wouldn’t hate me.

I am thinking that Twenty-first century evolutionary science, if Darwin could return to see it, would enthrall, excite, and amaze him.

However, he would recognize it as his own. We are just coloring in the details.

Darwin raises our consciousness to the sinewy power of science to explain the large and complex in terms of the small and simple. In biology we were fooled for centuries into thinking that extravagant complexity in nature needs an extravagantly complex explanation. Darwin triumphantly dispelled that illusion.

There remain big questions, in physics and cosmology, that await their own Darwins.

Why are the laws of physics the way they are?

Why are there laws at all?

Why is there a universe at all?

Once again, the lure of “design” is tempting, but we have the cautionary tale of Darwin before us.

We’ve been through all that before. Darwin raised our consciousness, and we are emboldened to seek true explanations of genuine power.

Why a door handle?  It’s Monday. I always keep my promises.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_____________________

1/ Just for fun, see my dissertation on “Social Darwinism”. But, my thoughts on Darwin’s Natural Selection are proliferated throughout this Blog history.

2/ Don’t get to worked up around Faith and the Christ elements.  They are tied to – and, transcend an idea. There is more to it than that. Also, Faith is likely a state of being.

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.