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Deconstruction And Reconstruction


GeorgeW
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This is a followup to Joseph's essay about deconstruction and reconstruction. I thought I would add a couple of thoughts in an appropriate thread.

 

Recently, in discussions about Bain Captial (Mitt Romney's old venture capital company), the term 'creative destruction' has been used. As I understand it, the idea is that sometimes destruction is needed in order for there to be 'creative reconstruction.' Without debating the merits of this as an economic process, the idea might be relevant to Joseph's proposal. Sometimes, it is necessary to destruct before one can creatively construct.

 

I think one of the dangers in deconstruction is getting stuck in the deconstructed phase. One can be left with nothing in place except negative attitudes about the previous structure. I am not sure this is healthy for the person or society. Isn't this where the prominent anti-theists are?

 

I would also say that the building metaphor may not be perfect as we can complete the reconstruction of a physical building, but should we ever complete the reconstruction of a theology? Is it desirable to arrive at stasis? Wouldn't this lead to a mind closed to other possibilities? Isn't this the idea of Evolutionary Christianity?

 

George

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George,

 

When it comes to the thinking mind, it seems obvious to me we will never complete the building. (metaphorically speaking of course) It does seem to me that answers to questions only raise more questions. In my experience, one answers raises two or more questions so that theology would appear to me to never be complete and if we pretended it was, perhaps it would be because, as you raise the question, of a "mind closed to other possibilities".

 

What i have found though is that in theology eventually one comes up against a stone wall so to speak whereby one can go no further. The answers are beyond our current human capabilities or limits and the questions cannot even be accurately asked. The only honest answer available, in my view, at that time is "I don't know". It seems to me that "I don't know" is not confusion unless it is followed by "but i should know" or "but i need to know". If one can let go of the 'but' and cease looking to thought, confusion disappears and if one can fully accept "I don't know" , one enters a state of peace and clarity that to me is closer to the answer you are seeking than any limiting thought. could ever do.

 

In one sense it is like a giving up and realizing that there is nothing you can do or think that will get you any further. In my experience, it is at that point that one transcends thinking and enters a state where the answers need no words and all questions disappear. In essence we are not building a 'building', we are that building. And the construction is not with man's hands.

 

Perhaps i have gone too far and no longer addressing your real question? Anyway in short, i don't think we, as in "i" ever will complete the reconstruction of a theology. If by stasis you mean it in a sense of a balance where we can go no further because all forces are equal, yes it is to me desirable but not in the sense of a closed mind but rather a mind that fully accepts "it doesn't know" and is then able to be transcended because thoughts and actions have reached their limits and conceptually there is no where to go with concepts.

 

Joseph

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If by stasis you mean it in a sense of a balance where we can go no further because all forces are equal, yes it is to me desirable but not in the sense of a closed mind but rather a mind that fully accepts "it doesn't know" and is then able to be transcended because thoughts and actions have reached their limits and conceptually there is no where to go with concepts.

 

Actually, I was thinking of stasis in terms of reaching a stable, unchanging view. But, you make a good point about arriving at a point from which a human mind cannot progress.

 

George

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I think one of the dangers in deconstruction is getting stuck in the deconstructed phase. One can be left with nothing in place except negative attitudes about the previous structure. I am not sure this is healthy for the person or society. Isn't this where the prominent anti-theists are?

George

 

I'm not sure that acurately portrays where the prominent-anti-theists are. Whilst they may not have replaced their deconstruction with a theology, I would argue they have replaced it with their current beliefs all the same. Certainly negative attitudes aren't neccessarily healthy, but I don't think blaming the deconstruction process is neccessarily the right answer. It is what it is - really if there wasn't a need to deconstruct such false theologies, then there wouldn't be an issue about such negative attitudes and possible ill-health, so to speak. But again, it is what it is and there's no point in 'blaming' anyone for it being what it is.

 

The other thing concerning this analogy is that reconstruction does not neccessarily have to follow deconstruction. The 'reconstruction' so to speak, can simply be 'nothingness' - e.g. a building is destroyed to allow the environment to return to its natural state - without any intervention or deliberate reconstruction. There is no need to reconstruct something in its place - the natural state will simply do its work.

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The other thing concerning this analogy is that reconstruction does not neccessarily have to follow deconstruction. The 'reconstruction' so to speak, can simply be 'nothingness' - e.g. a building is destroyed to allow the environment to return to its natural state - without any intervention or deliberate reconstruction. There is no need to reconstruct something in its place - the natural state will simply do its work.

 

It seems to me, there is something very profound pointed to in those statements.

Joseph

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a followup to Joseph's essay about deconstruction and reconstruction. I thought I would add a couple of thoughts in an appropriate thread.

 

Recently, in discussions about Bain Captial (Mitt Romney's old venture capital company), the term 'creative destruction' has been used...I think one of the dangers in deconstruction is getting stuck in the deconstructed phase. One can be left with nothing in place except negative attitudes about the previous structure. I am not sure this is healthy for the person or society. Isn't this where the prominent anti-theists are?... Is it desirable to arrive at stasis? Wouldn't this lead to a mind closed to other possibilities? Isn't this the idea of Evolutionary Christianity?

 

George

 

I'm not sure I would use venture capitalism as an apt comparison to anti-theist progression. Venture capitalism ala Romney is deconstruction with the intent of maximizing profits - damn the consequences.

 

In progressive theology, the consequences are the point. Building something of holistic value is the goal.

 

For example, Spong's series on Think Different - Accept Uncertainty makes what I think is good progress toward a workable, non-theistic Christian worldview. Part of this process necessarily involves deconstruction - but, with a positive goal as the desired outcome.

 

NORM

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