MY BRIEF TESTIMONY

BRIEF 5 min. PERSONAL TESTIMONY - BARRY BALLARD

On a warm summer day in Washington D.C., I sat in a small movie theater listening to a re-broadcast of a Billy graham crusade that had been previously given elsewhere. I was attending with a Christian group who ministered on the air force based where I was stationed, "Andrews Air Force Base". At the conclusion of the presentation, there was an invitation given to receive Christ and counselors were standing up front to pray with those who came forward. The house lights went up and I went forward and prayed to receive Jesus Christ into my life. This was not the moment of my true conversion, this was "preparation-of-heart", part one.

On a humid pitch-black night in 1969, my plane touched down on the Saigon airfield that was currently under rocket attack. Black-out conditions were in effect and we were rushed to trucks and then transported to our barracks and its inclusive bunker for protection. I was assigned an m16 rifle, two clips of ammo, and given a helmet and flack-vest. I spent my first night in Saigon standing in the bunker, wondering "why?" I was even here. I understood none of it, except that supposedly it had to do with communism and we were protecting democracy. But, I just felt abandoned to the most bizarre and remote assignment I could imagine. I worked "support", so I do not want to give the false impression that I was "combat"; but I did serve some time in the jungle. Only one man died in our group during the year I was there; and he told me beforehand that he wanted to die and never return home. He had received his divorce papers in the mail about a week before my arrival. He was shot down in a helicopter "one" day before he was to return home. My one year in Saigon was a lesson in the deterioration of the human spirit and soul. Eventually, I also learned to hate myself and "living" and could care less about what might lie ahead. I was returning to the states with a crushed human soul, devoid of all optimism. This was "preparation-of-heart", part two.

On a humid gray-dusk-like-evening, I found myself, in 1970, driving through the main gate of Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. I soon settled into my tasks of working in the 7th bomb wing headquarters, in support roles again as usual. I also served on the honor guard for special occasions for fallen veterans funerals, or award ceremonies. Even though my personal psyche was "wasted“; I was considered an admirable employee and respected for my abilities. My inner life however was an absolute disaster that I did not "share" with anyone. Strangely enough; I was visited by representatives of the "Navigators"; the same Christian organization that had approached me in Washington D.C. I began attending bible studies two nights a week and felt a little better about life by receiving this follow-up. I'll call this "preparation-of-heart", part three.

During my term of service at Carswell, I met my wife to be, Beverly, who invited me to her church in River Oaks, "Trinity Baptist Church". They had a young pastor, John Hatch, who was just finishing his doctorate at Southwestern and the atmosphere attracted me. It was in 1973, “4” years after that initial "preparation-of-heart"; that I made an honest commitment to Jesus Christ and immediately followed that with baptism.

From there, the road did not get any smoother, but my “soul” began a healing process that eventually went from healing to true "Wonder and Discovery". The first thing that was revealed to me was my spiritual gift, which is "Teaching". While at Trinity, I ended up writing three commentaries: James, Colossians, and Philippians. All three helped me grow in my commitment to Jesus Christ.

True conversion was preceded by three moments of "preparation-of-the-heart" in my case. Over a four year stretch of time, God never gave up on me. I think the strength of my testimony must be given to the strength of God's loving patience; to lead me along the final path that would secure my faith. Thank You.

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lectures on jurgen moltmann

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

DELEUZE: REAL TRANSCENDENCE

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After a long list of postmodern neo-Marxist Hegelians, we finally come across the first postmodern thinker to posit real "transcendence", which he calls "difference". I've read Crockett before and he is more than adequate in taking up the challenge of presenting this difficult position of Deleuze. It is a difficult text and Crockett assumes some familiarity with deleuze already. This is not an intro summary. He digs into the depth of the position and the process is demanding to the reader. I had to do some additional research on wiki so that I stayed even with the text and didn't get left behind. And I feel I have a fairly good grasp of the new left philosophy. There is a realm in the external world called the "spatium". This spiritual dimension is that realm where the interplay between the corporeal and the incorporeal takes place; on the "border of sense". After the self is driven back into the unconscious and becomes the dissolved self or elastic-self; then the process can begin for "inscribing" this intensity of meaning into the extensity of external bodily reality. In this way situation is transformed into horizon-event.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

PSYCHOLOGY OF REPRESENTATION

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Hartley is language-oriented, because of his English background ; and he insists on respecting the original meanings of Hegel's German text. But he obviously has a substantial background in philosophy as well. Hartley is wearing Zizek sunglasses when he presents his Hegelian position. That's ok; these are postmodern times and he is addressing representation from a postmodern perspective. And he gets it right! Zizek told us during his conference at Indiana university on St. Paul that his thought is situated in Hegel's psychology! Hartley takes zizek at his word and adopts this presupposition for his analysis of Hegel's doctrine of representation.


In doing this; Hartley announces the upcoming break or displacement that necessarily results: "Representation" isn't going to look the same; things are going to shift in their location, including a few tweaks to content . I didn't know what to make of this, but after digging in; I found that considering representation within the context of psychology really does change things and it also brings some interesting points to light, where you find yourself puzzled and saying: "hey, I thought I had already mastered all of this".

A major initial point to be recognized says Hartley is that "vorstellung" and "darstellung" cannot be dissolved by translating them as the same. They are different moments of the same representation-process and deserve precise translation and articulation. Another huge step in methodology is the positing of the notion as a "stepping-out" of the representation-circuit in order to establish the real.

Yes; you will have to know Hegel ahead of time, so you can understand these changes he proposes and their consequences. Construction work-spaces in subjectivity shift around. And the birth of the proposition gets articulation here as an emergence beyond , or on the far end of the realm of ideation.

Hartley has gifted insight into something we all thought was "settled" . It is not settled. He just opened it up again; and I'm glad he did.  How many stars do you give to entirely new thought? "5"

Monday, March 25, 2013

ABEYSEKARA SAYS "UN-INHERIT"

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A B E Y S E K A R A : this book is part of the Insurrection series from Columbia, which has established a very high standard of excellence. This book shares that excellence. The key to understanding Abeysekara's position is to be aware of the fact that the concepts of "democracy" and "Christianity" have reached an intersection-point of inconsistency; where they cannot proceed forward. This inconsistency is labeled an "Aporia". When we arrive at this critical point of impossible synthesis; we must entertain the possibility of actually un-inheriting, or abandoning the failing concepts; abandoning even the "name". Therefore, for the first time, we find a thinker who views postmodern "reconstruction" as part of the problem; a desperate determination to cling to these inconsistent names. In this way, the author is one of the first postmoderns to actually posit a complete "break" in the self, falling all the way back to the "abyss", not just the explored unconscious. As a example of an internal positing of an aporia in the explored unconscious; he articulates a 7-step process for 9/11 which was informative. Positing employs a triad consisting of "responsibility-community-democracy" and this triad is posited after the birth of the "free-self". When discussing the mediation of conscience, he uses the example of Tibet. This is an interesting approach. Integrating 9/11 and Tibet into the task of postmodern thinking really drove home the issues that are at stake.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

BRETON INTERPRETS THE CROSS:

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Breton's most famous work was "A radical philosophy of saint Paul", published in 2011 when his refined postmodern position was put forward. This work from 9 years prior reveals to the reader the pre-formative emergence of that postmodern thought. One of the big differences we see is the presentation of the existential emotive base to his thinking that was missing in 2011. Bultmann fills this position here and lends to additional work in the areas of articulating the feeling-percepts of the paradox of the logos of the cross; which then contribute to defining the motivational set of standing-purposes in the unconscious. Basically he says the cross calls for two judgments and two reversals to form our motivation. He even goes on to propose four standing-purposes of his own. Then transferring into consciousness leads to triad-presentations of the unity of community as: "word-spirit-purpose"; and the triad for the logos of the cross as: "being-thought-life". He presents the logic of the cross in an 8-step process to define positing. What you will find is an emerging process headed towards the neo-left stance that isn't quite "radical" yet. This book, therefore, will even satisfy conservatives. At times, he sounds like a professor at a Christian college instead of a postmodern philosopher.

Monday, March 18, 2013

GLOBAL TERRORISM SOLVED IN 30 MIN.

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SLOTERDIJK TAKES ON "RAGE" AS THE GREEK "thymos": I am approaching this work from a philosopher's perspective and not that of a political theorist. As part of Columbia'a "Insurrection" series, it addresses the postmodern neo-left wing Hegelians and their almost exclusive presentation within subjective spirit. Sloterdijk truly offers something "new"; and you should not skip this book in the series. I like his approach of taking the Greek word "thymos" and using it for the manifestation, on the side, of those victimized; and then using the same word again for that which is required on the side of those who want to posit the "true". First, please understand; if you are an American, you are "hated" - resentment towards the united states is a global problem. So this book by a well-known German philosopher , although for all Westerners, strongly applies to Americans. Victims have passed through three stages: victimization, internalization, and transformation. Transformation has passed through seven stages of its own. If you want to help and make a difference; you'll have to build a new self-model first - clean your own house first. Then you can participate in re-constructing a social-model.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ZIZEK: 1,000 PAGES IN 30 MINUTES.

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ARE YOU READY TO BRING THE KNIFE DOWN? Zizek is being tortured! He's upset about that. The language-game of philosophical discourse has been thrust upon him and it has been his tortured enclosure. He is an artist, a poet, a movie-goer, an attender of plays. His response therefore, is to torture this philosophy- language "back". He does this with the torsion-drive of a generic concept of "aesthetics". And he asks you to take your offspring of conceptual language (code-name Isaac) and put it on the altar before proceeding with his manuscript. Take the knife in your hand and prepare to sacrifice. Zizek is not difficult to understand. He is brilliant and accessible. But, he is a "slow-slow-slow-slow" read. That's to the 4th power. This 1,000 page book could have probably been reduced to 100 pages of conceptual presentation if you subtracted out the 900 pages of representative "thought-pictures" from the area of aesthetics he uses for illustration. You must (mandatory) have read and understood Badiou's "Being and Event"(2005) before taking on this manuscript. Zizek and Badiou have many similarities and mutually respect each other. Zizek lists his specific differences in the last section, but, by taking up Badiou's point of view, I felt these objections didn't hold much strength. Personally, I agree almost entirely with Zizek's position, so I just gained a lot of reinforcement a good part of the time. But I'm a "conceptual" kind of thinker; just "give me the facts";

Sunday, March 10, 2013

BADIOU EXPLAINS SET THEORY:

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BADIOU: SOMEONE LIKE PLATO OR HEGEL AMONG US.


Now I understand why Zizek holds Badiou in such high regard. It is because of this book from 2005; most assuredly. I have read approximately "8" postmodern thinkers from France and Italy thus far; and all of them begin with a fundamental presupposition: the announce that they will presume "set-theory". This preface does qualify any writer at least in the realms of externality and the unconscious. Only during re-construction do we see the differences emerge. Now I realize that Badiou Is the foundational source of all neo-left postmodern philosophy. This book is already being hailed as a Masterpiece; and a turning-point in European philosophy. I can see why. I've studied Badiou before, but this manuscript has much more logical and in-depth presentation. This manuscript presents Badiou's "set-theory", from alpha to omega. It takes set-theory to its eventual conclusions in every area of subjectivity and objectivity. Nothing is excluded. He uses triads for a few of the more difficult areas, which is helpful . You will finally understand the finer points of postmodern thought that others only touched on. This is the adventure - actually "seeing", for the first time, the thought behind the postmodern movement in France


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

VATTIMO - unique postmodern theology

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We might ask: if we already understand the neo-left post-modern position; why is another source acceptable or necessary. The answer: only if it  offers genuine new content!! Vattimo does just that and should not be ignored or simply integrated into a summarized stance on postmodern thought. He is the first to address the unexplored unconscious and offer the correct emotional undertones of the postmodern movement: Freud’s understanding of the unconscious; Hegel’s overwhelming influence in offering the incarnation as god’s self-emptying process (yes, finally, a postmodern admits that it is Hegel in the background all along. Of course; they don’t like his ontology, but vattimo admits his significant influence. And the 3rd emotive contribution is the disintegration of the colonized nations dominated by a Christian influence (the Zeitgeist thing). All of these three set up an emotional unconscious base. In deconstruction; we are to deconstruct literal interpretation of the bible and deconstruct violence. His reconstruction finally addresses what other postmoderns have assumed but not articulated: the language triad of sign-concept-metaphor.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

THE POSTMODERN "RIGHT"

if you want a balanced perspective concerning theology today ; you must also examine the postmodern "right", represented by milbank in 2009.  40 min.

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http://www.mediafire.com/?q77cew4tjdtkk4c