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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
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Entries in time (2)

Tuesday
Jun072016

Travel, time and achievement

This VLOG was filmed in Cape Town and Johannesburg. We talk about our efforts and God's time and gaining some perspective as we bring these two into conversation with one another.

 

What happens if I don’t achieve the things I want to in life? Must I give up if it seems like I  may not reach a certain goal? Or, must we live within God’s time, doing our best, but realising that God holds time within God’s economy?
For me the struggle is frequently between wanting to see the 'fruit' of my efforts, yet having to understand that achievement is not the intended goal of Christian effort - faithfulness to God is the end of our good, faithful, creative, and courageous work. Since our work is directed towards God, and not ourselves, it means that God has the right to decide how and when to achieve what God wishes to achieve. My peace, and even joy, should come from knowing that I can serve a purpose (even a history) that is larger than myself.
I also talk about Theological Education by Extension College, see http://www.tee.co.za and read this great article on theological education and justice!
Kinsler, F.R. 1978. Theological Education by Extension: Service or Subversion? Missiology: An International Review, 6(2):181–196.
I also mention the following book:
Jürgen Moltmann ‘Theology of Hope’ 
Remember, it's not a lecture, just a thought…
I’d love you hear your feedback, comments, questions and ideas!

 

Friday
Jan012010

A new neuroscience blog, and the concept of time (does time exist?)

A friend of mine, Philip Collier, has just launched a new neuroscience website at http://www.brainsparks.co.za

Phil and I are cycling buddies, but we also share an interest in the brain - Phil graduated with a Masters in research psychology at the University of Port Elizabeth.  He and I often spend our rides up the Helderberg mountain talking about how the mind functions!

Please do check out his new website - it looks set for great things!

I read one of his first posts with great interest.  I would encourage you to have a look at the post here - where are you now.  What struck me as I read it was the question about the nature of time (and how a poor understanding of the nature of time can hamper a person from truly living in the present moment).  I once read a wonderful quote that said, 'we crucify ourselves between two thieves, the regret of yesterday and the fear of tomorrow'.  I'm not sure who said it, so help me with a reference if you know!  However, what I can say is that I have a much more positive view of the concept of the present - 'the now'.  I believe that there is great spiritual value in learning to live in the present moment.

Once you've read Phil's post you may like to consider my response to him (I have copied it below).  This gives some insight into how I view the concept of time.

All that being said, happy new year!  May the next decade be truly blessed for you!

 

Hi Philip,
Congratulations on the launch of your new site! It looks fantastic.  I look forward to great content and many wonderful interactions in the years to come.
The notion of time has been one that has occupied my mind as well - I have read Tolle's 'The Power of Now' (in fact it is one of the books we use in our conscious leadership programme with the senior management of our company).  I found it a most stimulating and helpful book.  I do think that his intention is much more focussed upon awareness of the moment than on the actual concept of time.
However, your question raises some very interesting thoughts indeed!  The ancient Greek philosophers spoke of two kinds of time, chronos (from which we get our English word 'Chronology' - this is a linear, historical, concept of time).  Then they spoke of kairos, this is the kind of time that has to do with moments of rightness, instead of marking sequential events.  It has often been described as 'pregnant' time: when a child is to be born and gestation is complete, or there is some form of trauma, then kairos comes to the fore, it is the 'right' time, or the 'selected' moment.
The sages of many of the world's mystical religious and spiritual traditions (Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish mystics to name but a few) have long emphasized the incredible value of being 'present to the moment'.
Some years ago when I was doing some research on 'the new science' (particularly the work of David Bohm the quantum physicist) I came to realise just how 'the lived moment' is hardwired into all of the cosmos.  The constant implication and explication of matter in and out of the source of reality (what Bohm called 'active mind') is only perceivable in the moment of realisation.  Of course this concept was discovered much earlier by Einstein, Rosen and Podoslky (also called the EPR or tunneling effect).  You can read about it in one of my books (download a PDF copy here).  See pages 38 forward, but particularly from page 40.
One final note about the philosophy of time, as I have come to understand it, is that time is a construct (like mass or speed).  Time is not an aspect of the ontological nature of reality - rather, it is something that we have created in order to make sense of the sequence of experience and events that we process in our conscious minds.
Consciousness, however, is an ontological necessity!  Becoming conscious of the present moment, and the power of the present moment, is the key to finding blessing and peace in life.  However, history is equally important (since our consciousness of our past and the past of others gives us a sense of perspective on the present, and hopefully it makes us wise enough to act with intention and courage).  Moreover, a conscious aspiration is also a helpful thing (however, not to the extent that it draws us out of the present moment so that we miss the joy and opportunity of 'the now').
Well, those are a few of my thoughts.
Regards,
Dion