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


Tuesday, March 11, 2014


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We all know that Husserl radically mentored Heidegger’s thought and caused Heidegger’s radical reading of Hegel. But for Heidegger, the overwhelming drive to stay centered in the unconscious and sensate existence, goes to Scheler. Scheler proposed that the existential hermeneutical range of “exchange, transformation, and metamorphosis” all can be understood by examining “lower-being” as it, itself climbs up through “higher-being”. And not the other way around where higher-teleology influences lower-being. There is no teleology for Scheler. Heidegger adopted this in full force.
Therefore, since Heidegger has almost been universally adopted by post-modern thinkers (especially in France); it is imperative to understand Heidegger’s own emergence. That means understanding SCHELER.
Scheler moves through the unconscious in moments of “ecstatic-impulsion” that display “force-centers” like expression, instinct, and association. This leads to an evolving “world-open-self” as a proto-subjectivity. “Spirit” makes its first appearance here. The existential-self engages in transforming environment for the first time; by forming a spirit-centered thought=picture where feeling-percepts are arranged in a first-value-order.
Scheler next moves to the dokounta-threshold of “a-priori-insight” and “turning”. We turn away from the sensate world and toward intersubjectivity. “essential-aspects” of the first thought-picture” are refined, by referring to a-priori essential ideas that we already carry, in our being “human”.
When Scheler copies the dokounta-image to the axis-threshold, he announces the triad of negation, conversion, and ingathering. In “negation”, the existential- self unveils the essential categories of value in the current model which seeks conceptualization and positing. In conversion, the partitioned concepts are constrained and concentrated to create the “ascetic-ideal”. In “ingathering”, spirit becomes “manifest”; the “notion-of-the-true” is ingathered within the self’s realm of ideation; ready for positing. But this “notion” is a “subjective-steering”, not an “objective-teleology”.
Welcome to the self’s work of cognition:
“Positing” is “posited-steering”; where value-structure is posited in front of the sensate “life-of-drives”
“logos” is equated with “sublimation”; a temporal “gestalt-pattern” of emerging spirit makes itself known in subjective phantasmic-vision. Vision is coupled with “steering” and positing is directed toward this entrance-node in the emerging-event. The result is the presence of an “idea-conditioned” drive-driven-tendency”. Or LOGOS
“absolute-turn of metamorphosis” is the spirit-centeredness when drive-driven-tendencies are enchained into a greater whole. Sensate-world “turns” to service of “structure-of-life”.
This was written in 1928, toward the end of Scheler’s life. A Brief departing monograph of “brilliance”.

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