Links and Notes for April 10 2012

Marriage Advice

Don Elium, a marriage counselor in Walnut Creek writes some helpful blog posts. He’s following some of the authors I’ve found very helpful for marital issues: John Gottman and David Schnarch. Here’s one where he follows Schnarch on stealing your partner’s choice.

Random language I want to keep:

Facebook debates are like fresh baked bread. They’re hot when the come out of the oven, cool quickly, and in a day or two can get stale and over time might even get moldy.

I’ll also make a comment about this kind of dialogue because I think perspectives on belief are in order. I believe that worldview commitments are only partially volitional. To a large degree we don’t actually choose what to believe, we simpy believe things about the world. Why we believe what we believe is an enormously complex and subtle thing. Lots of factors feed into it: who raised us, how we were raised, what influenced us, culture, society, friends.

One of the blindsides of our culture is that we tend to think of ourselves as automomous, independent free agents, masters of our own destinies and charting our own courses.

In my experience this is largely self-deception. The irony is that even if we regard ourselves as such, we usually assume that others are products of their environments and pier groups more than we are. I find human beings to be ardent first person exceptionalists.

Counseling 101

Dr. Chuck de Groat’s blog is a must follow. Today he posts a really wonderful primer on what is counseling, where does it fit and where it must lead.

An interesting “What if I stand before the Christian God” Video. I hope to write up a comment on this later.

This is a very clever video by an obviously very bright guy and a lot of what he has to say I can agree with. I hope to write a longer blog post on this little monologue later because there is much to be said for it. What this video is about is this person’s view of their self, all within the light of the life that he has led in the context in which he has led it. He clearly finds himself moral, smart, honest and as with all of the children of Lake Wobegon “above average”. I have no reason to doubt any of these findings he has made of himself. What is, however, not addressed in any of this, is in fact his view of his “self” and the question of how one sees their “self”.

To drop a hint on where I’m going with this, one of the most startlingly true things I read this year in a book by a secular sex therapist is “your first self is a reflected self”. As human beings we can’t see our “self” except though the eyes first of our parents, and later of our peers, friends, bosses, children, lovers, spouses and in many respects our god or gods, whether they be metaphysical or composed of the things we value in our brief lives. Let’s imagine this sharp young man stood before a hero in his world, someone of real brilliance and stature such as perhaps Bertrand Russell. How would the presence of someone of power, wit, fame, etc. change this person’s view of their “self”? How would it change the person’s evaluation of their “self” and how would it change the desirability of the company that such a person would like to keep? More later I hope. pvk

Patrol Blog Continues to Work Through Sullivan’s Crisis

Jonathan Fitzgerald’s “The Real Crisis of Christianity”  On a fun note “Christian Reformed” makes the church tree! 🙂

Kenneth Shepherd offers a reading list for Andrew Sullivan.

And David Sessions weighs in again on the myth of nonpartisan. 

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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