Chris Schreiner, who is both brave and smart, has started a new blog on how to get theists and atheists to talk with one another sanely and productively. I say that Chris is brave because every time I have tried to start such a conversation, I find myself standing in the middle of two warring camps who are hurling things at each other. Chris is also really smart: he’s a minister, psychotherapist, and author of five books, including Bridging the God Gap: Finding Common Ground Among Believers, Atheists and Agnostics; beyond that, when you sit and talk with him, you quickly discover that he is kind, perceptive, well-read, and articulate.
So what are you waiting for? — go read his new blog, Theists and Atheists, Communication and Common Ground.
Finally, after years of cudgeling my brains, I’ve managed to track down a quote by Gary Snyder on the relationship between creativity and maintenance. It comes from a 1973 interview, which was then reprinted in Lookout: A Selection of Writings:
I like to sharpen my chain saw. I like to keep all my knives sharp. I like to change the oil in my truck.
Creativity and maintenance go hand in hand. And in a mature ecosystem as much energy goes to maintenance as goes to creativity. Maturity, sanity, and diversity go together, and with that goes stability. I would wish that we could in time emerge from traumatized social situations and have six or seven hundred years of relative stability and peace. Then look at the kind of poetry we could write! Creativity is not at its best when it’s a by-product of turbulence.
The concept in this quote, as you can see, could be applied to the current state of the U.S. economy, or to the adoption of new media by creative persons and by religious groups. But I think I’m going to use the concept in this quote for tomorrow’s sermon on spirituality and work.