Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Notebook (and things worth writing down)

I have a small notebook (5" X 7") which I like to carry with me to lectures and meetings because of its convenient and unobtrusive size. Today I had an appointment to discuss a project so I grabbed my little notebook on the way out the door. I found myself waiting alone in a small waiting area prior to the meeting, so I decided to thumb through the notes I had taken in past meetings and lectures. Here are some highlights:

From Daniel Sulmasy on medical ethics:

Spirituality is not ethics – they are distinct disciplines, though intimately related. They are often conflated in discussions about spirituality. Ethics is not solely based on religion/spirituality. There is the philosophical concept of ethics, and ethics can also be founded upon reason.

In a secular/pluralistic environment, religions can “fit in” when talking about ethics (war and peace, justice, medical ethics). Spiritual concepts of healthcare cannot be supplanted by bioethics. Hospitals are not happy places – relief is often the best one can hope for. Suffering and shadows prevail. Ethics alone makes no sense of suffering.

From Martin Marty on what goes wrong in church:

The huddle – you know an important conversation is taking place, but all you can see are the behinds.

From Wayne Flynt on mega churches:

They are “country clubs for the sanctified;” “Wal-Marts for selling Jesus-lite.”
Many twenty-somethings are leaving church because they are more tolerant and environmentally conscious than their church.

From Bishop John Shelby Spong on God and the church:

How to envision God: (1) as the source of life calling us to live fully, (2) as the source of love calling us to love wastefully, (3) as being – calling us to be our authentic self.

The job of the church is to free human beings so they can be fully human – not to rescue you from your sins, but to empower you to be you.

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Some days it is good to go back to catch up and reflect upon things we once found important enough to write down.


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