Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some interesting things elsewhere (Februari 2015)


glycymerisAs we approach the end of the month, it’s time to post the new list with ‘some interesting things elsewhere’.  The picture is indeed from ‘elsewhere’ (my offline life even) and is a fossil Glycymeris-shell I found when I was walking along the river Nete here in Lier, Belgium. Most likely a Pliocene Glycymeris varabilis if my determination attempts are correct.

Let’s go from the Pliocene to pre-Christian paganism, or at leeast the reconstructed forms of it: Last month I posted about the New Norse temple in Iceland, the first in 1000 years. If you want to know more about the reconstructed paganism, here is an interview that the ‘highpriest’ Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson in 3 parts: part 1, part 2, part 3. And I also found an older article a new beginning for Greek Paganism too. It seems that our myth of secularisation and linear evolutionary views of religion need some serious reconsidering…

There are certain blogs I will tell you to read every time I get the chance. Lana Hope with Confirmation Bias, Worldview Bias, and Arguments for and Against God’s Existence. Eric from the Jawbone of an ass with The Gods By Any Other Names.  Some criticism of our modern economic views on Holy Spirit activism in The Economy of Need and the Economy of Greed.

Sarah Moon with 16 Things That Happened When I Went to The Creation Museum. Seems to be quite a weird place if you ask me….

Some myth-busting about the middle ages. (I don’t know why it is mostly a certain kind of atheists that like to perpetuate this kind of ahistorical lies, but it can be very annoying and I frankly do expect more from people whose highest ideal is ‘reason’)

David Wilkersons book ‘the cross and the Switchblade’, about how he as a country preacher went to the street gangs of NY in the fifties to bring the good news of Jesus, and did some quite spectacular things was very important for me as a teenager. So reading this on the Wartburg Watch about the organisation he started saddens me a lot: Is Teen Challenge an Abusive Rehab Program?
The Quaker Testimony of… Truthiness? by Micah Bales. How seriously do we take ‘let your yes be yes and your no be no’?

If you want to join the secret society of the Illuminati, please visit their site. And oh, download their printable black’n white folder in  PDF. If I were the most mighty secret society on Earth I’d definitely have a printable black’n white folder in PDF on my website…

Carl McColman with Seven hopes for the Christian (and church) of the future. Based in Karl Rahner’s saying that ‘the Christian of the future will be a mystic or will not exist at all’, a sentiment which I echo…

New Aaron Strumpel record: Bright Star

(And oh, if you missed my re-release of a very obscure Bram Cools CD-R from my ‘Contemporary Christian Muzak’ period last month and you like obscure Christian lo-fi; go here: CCM II: psalms and prayers in lo-fi)

Twitter bio generator: “Twitter advocate. Devoted coffee evangelist. Wannabe food maven. Amateur travel fan.” Not me, but there are probably a lot of people on twitter to whom it would apply…

Bill Kinnon on Narcissistic and/or Psychopathic Church Leadership.  It seems to me that narcissists in leadership are always dangerous, but are also very common. It might cost us our planet one day…

Christian supernatural author Laura Cowan with Coming out psychic. Raises some interesting questions… Coming out with this kind of abilities doesn’t fare well in either conservative Christian (evil demon-possessed occultist!)vor certain atheist circles (such things are not real because Science™, please let them cure you and don’t  disturb our materialist worldview…)

 What did you see that was interesting this month?

Bram

Fleabites, or looking at the crusades from another angle (Philip Jenkins)


Since people are talking about the crusades a lot lately on FB, which seems to have to do with something the American president has said on some breakfast prayer thing, I thought it might be a good idea to bring some balance and  some historical perspective with a quote from Philip Jenkins, from his very interesting but challenging book ‘the lost history of Christianity’

“The story of the Crusades is well known, but less celebrated is the much more acute challenge to Muslim power caused by Christian attempts to create an Eastern Front against Islam. During the thirteenth century, the Muslim states suddenly found lost historythemselves under attack from a lethal enemy whose activities made the Western Crusades look like fleabites. The Mongol assault on the Islamic world began in 1219 when the forces of Genghis Khan attacked the Khwarezmid Empire of central Asia, taking such great cities as Bukhara and Samarkand. Over the next forty years, Mongol power extended over most of western Asia, through a series of campaigns in which they devastated ancient cities. When Merv fell in 1221, the
Mongols slaughtered virtually every man, woman, and child in the city, not to mention many thousands of refugees from surrounding areas. Contemporary accounts claim that the dead ran into the hundreds of thousands, or even millions. Ani in Armenia never recovered from the sack of 1236, while Mongol devastation ended the golden age of the Christian kingdom of Georgia. In 1258, the Mongols under Hulegu, Genghis’s grandson, perpetrated a historic massacre in Baghdad itself, ending the caliphate and conceivably killing eight hundred thousand residents. Over the next century, Hulegu’s successors ruled the Ukhanate, one of the Mongol successor states, a vast empire stretching from the boundaries of India to western Anatolia. When modern-day Iraqis denounce American occupiers as the New Mongols, they are invoking memories of the direst moment of their history. The Mongol threat remained acute until 1303, when Egyptian forces decisively defeated them in Syria.” (p120-121)

Yes, thinking of the crusades as very important to the history of Islamic empires in the middle-East is quite Eurocentric and not very realistic in that it forgets much more powerful and important players, Philips even says the crusades were like fleabites compared to the Mongol powers, who did end the mighty Abbasid caliphate of Baghdad in 1258, the third caliphate to  sucdeed prophet Muhammed himself. (As a sidenote: there were parallel caliphates in this age, but afterwards the caliphate has never been resurrected in the same way, even though two rogue groups did proclaim a new caliphate in 2014, the IS in Iraq and Boko Haram in Nigeria!)

Some more historical notes:

1. The Mongols did have several state religions, afterwards they converted to Islam and they were part of the erasure most of Asian Christianity between the Middle-East and China, often without a trace.

2. the crusades did harm other Christians too, and more than fleabites actually: the fourth crusade, which didn’t even reach Jerusalem did bring a much greater split between the Catholics and the Orthodox than the great schism itself did: when they conquered Constantinople in 1204 and did a lot of evil and very unchristian things there. It was the final break-up between Western and Eastern Christianity!
(Not to mention the later Albigensian Crusade which did erase the heretic Albingensians and  most of the Waldensians from Europe… They just had the wrong religion…)

3. We should not think of the Europeans as being more powerful colonisers and conquerors than the Muslim empires all the time. If we go back and forward in time from the crusades we see that there are other times when a Muslim conquest of Europe wasn’t as unthinkable as it is to us now. Charles Martel had stopped the early Arab conquests into Europe at the Battle of Tours in 732, which might have meant the end of Western Christianity in the heart of Europe (at a moment where Eastern Christianity in the form of the East-roman empire was quite strong btw).
The Ottoman empire after overtaking the Byzantine (East-Roman) empire  by conquering constantinopole in 1453 was a formidable power that, again, could have succeeded in taking over much of Europe. Emperor Philips II of Spain managed to drive them back (a turning point was the battle of Lepanto in 1571)
But don’t forget that parts of Spain (yes, the mighty mighty European Power that not only did send the inquisition and the army of Duke Alva here to the Netherlands long ago but colonised much of South and Middle America) was in hands of Islamic powers between 711–1492. The year the Americas were discovered was the year Europe was freed of Muslim powers, and then they could go on colonising themselves…
By the way: f Philips II wouldn’t have to fight the Turks he probably would have had the power to fight the protestants in the North, and have erased protestantism not just from the Southern Netherlands (He did that very thoroughly, Flanders  and the Southern part of the current Netherlands were quite universally catholic after the fall of Antwerp in 1585 and remained so until the dechristianisatoion of the 20th century…)

(Someone of facebook told me this week that Americans associate Spanish with poor illegal immigrants. We in this part of Europe see the Spanish as a powerful aggressive invading power who brought the inquisition here to rid us from heresies like protestantism. And I do think the Inca and Aztec people would have even stronger opinions about them…)

4. If we’re talking about the Europeans as colonisers we should not forget that the powerful European powers who colonised other continents were often oppressing other Europeans closer by. And the great colonising wave in the last 500 years is only unique in that Europeans did cross great distances. Empires in Eurasia, inculding the Mongols, Arabs and the Ottomans named already and earlier the Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Huns and Greeks have been conquering big parts of the Eurasian continent at least since Alexander the Great.  The crusades against Muslims were not that spectacular at all in this big picture., let alone successful.
The big difference with the European colonisation wave in the last 500 years is the superior technology, not only when it comes to weaponry but also far-distance travel, which made it possible to colonise places far away over the ocean. Something that hadn’t happened before in the history of the planet. The Arabs and Ottomans had conquered a vast empire for example in West-Asia and North-Africa, but only in places they could reach by land or from a short distance over sea… (This includes the crusades.)
The only parallel with  what Europeans colonisers did in the last 500 years might be the Polynesians who did colonise a lot of Oceania and even very remote places as Hawai, Easter Island and New Zealand, but they generally didn’t steal countries from other people with much violence as the modern Europeans did, they colonised mostly uninhabited places. (where they ravaged ecosystems and brought extinctions, but that’s outside of the scope of this post)

Last Note: Islam and Christianity are very diverse religions, and can never be seen as one ‘power’. If I speak about an ‘Islamic power’ or empire, I mean an empire that has the Islamic religion as core part of their identity. But there have always been more different Islamic countries, some of which did fight each other. Lumping all Muslims together is the same as thinking that the Byzantine empire of the 1400s and contemporary America or Mexico are the same thing, because they all are Christian…

Peace

Bram

Some interesting things elsewere (Jan 2015)


noodle

I used to have a series called ‘Some interesting things elsewhere’  that disappeared when my time got absorbed by other things very different than blogging. I was planning to resurrect those series, and make one list of interesting reads that I encountered each month at the end of said month, but suddenly it’s February already, not January anymore, and my list isn’t that long yet and I still haven’t posted the first one… But I still think it’s not a bad idea to resurrect this series so here is the first edition nonetheless…

So what did I read recently that stood out?

Lana hope with ‘an instrumental view of language and Christianity: a critique‘. Just read it!

Two interesting reactions to the whole Charlie Hebdo thing from Khanya in South-Africa and Vinoth Ramachandra in Sri Lanka.

Heather Goodman with some critique of a more fringe Charismatic theory that relates contemporary studies of epigenetics with the supposedly biblical idea of ‘generational curses’.

This Orthodox text would make a lot of sense if it wouldn’t have the exclusivisionist part in the end: the spiritual person is not  moral!

An older article from the ‘Anglican pentecostal’ that explores the idea of being ‘slain in the Spirit’ with the Orthodox idea of the ‘energies of God. Very interesting line of thought!

Magickal blogger Peregrin Wildoak makes a lot of sense here in his analysis of the word ‘love’ in the works of Aleister Crowley. Although not a Christian himself when he speaks from a Christian paradigm he seems to understand Christianity better and make more sense than a lot of Christians for some reason…

If Jesus talked about loving our enemies, he meant it, and he also meant our real enemies, not just people we vaguely don’t like. Good piece on formerly fundie.

Morgan Guyton is having a very interesting series called ‘radical Jesus ‘101’ on his blog. In the first issue about who and what is God he compares the trinity to ‘a polyamorous  love triangle’ (it even makes sense and is quite orthodox…)  Be also sure to read the second part called  is humanity good or evil.

And this just came in: Eric at the Jawbone of an ass with identifying religions to species. And when we’re in the category ‘other faiths': Iceland to build first temple to Norse Gods in 1000 years. (I decidedly like neo-paganism more than materialist atheism and logical positivism, so in today’s world I find this good news…)

so what did you read?

Bram

Bram Cools music electronic re-release: CCM II: psalms and prayers in lo-fi


(This is an update about the strange music of Bram Cools) Years ago I had a band called the Contemporary Christian Muzak collective (or CCMC). We tried to play some kind of experimental Christian music that did both try to connect to God and make some interesting sounds that hadn’t been used 100 times before already. Most of it was some kind of rough folky indierock, although we had some very weird free-from noise and experimental impro-parts as well… We only did a few concerts but we did have a lot of fun, and I really miss those days! But time passes and things change, and the bandmembers had families and other bands and other stuff going on, so it all sort of fell apart. We never did any studio-recordings as a band, and no real CD-worthy live recordings have been made. So all that’s left is my own home-recorded multitrack-versions with mostly myself on a lot of instruments. (And Bram Beels on didgeridoo sometimes) I still need to finish some of those songs, but the plan is still to have all the CCM songs available one day. But because that day will not be tomorrow, I will make some of that music available in another way:

So today we announce the bandcamp re-release of:

CCM II – psalms and prayers in lo-fi CCMIItracklist: 1. onzevader (intro) 02:30 2. dead end streets 03:17 3. the hippie song 04:28 4. not a tame lion (MiniDisk version) 03:46 5. Elvis has left the building (lo-fi mix) 03:59 6. Father I am tired (MiniDisk version) 02:38 7. stones cry out 04:13 8. last words to the first church (lo-fi mix) 03:52 9. Yeshua (MiniDisk mix) 04:28 10. qualities 05:47 11. feelings say nothing (reduction mix) 06:22 12. dood aan de graankorrel* 03:13 (* originally a hidden bonus track)

It’s very rare Bram Cools demo CD-R (on 15 copies originally) that was available only on one concert of the CCM (Contemporary Christian Muzak) collective in 2006. (Which was actually the last time we played under that name if I remember well) It does contain some classics in standard versions, and other songs in completely different incarnations, but it has most of the songs that we did play live with CCMC in one version or another. Some of those were recorded solo on MiniDisk, others were arranged very sketchily in primitive lo-fi manner…

Find more Bram Cools music for download at bandcamp.com. Or check out this older overview here on this blog.

(All music is currently ‘choose your price’) enjoy (if you’re into that kind of music…)

peace

Bram

2015: Looking forward, looking back..


This blog haJANUSs been a space to can write out my thoughts and process my spiritual journey in recent years. My readership has never been very big although I’ve sometimes had very interesting comments on my writings (here and elsewhere) from bloggers whom I repsect enormously as thinkers so I don’t think what I’m doing is completely worthless.  I’m writing in the first place because no-one else says what I want to say anyway. The thing is that need to not forget this, an that jumping on bandwagons and writing about ‘canonical’ blog subjects ould probably give me a bigger readership, but it’s not what I’m writing fir.
At certain moments in the past I’ve been influenced here a lot by the international (read: mostly American) Christian blogosphere, but 2014 has seen me finally letting go more and more of any attempt to fit in anywhere in that world. Only by not being chained to the same old consensus as the rest (often in the form of petrified false dichotomies) I can really have something to say about them on the occasion that I stumble across them…

But what did happen here in the last year? You can see it here and here if you want a summary.

2014 might not have been my most productive year but it surely was an interesting one, a year of picking up the pieces and reconstructing what’s left to have something to start over with again after all the things I’ve let go. What started as a year of demodernisation (and more de-Americanisation) got me had me investigating a lot of stuff that doesn’t seem to exist for neither Evangelicals nor academics, and plunging into more occult and esoteric terrain that is completely not taken serious by most people. which is a pity.
I do think the late great ’emerging church’ discussion could have learned a lot about postmodernity, religion and paradigm shifting by studying the principles behind chaos magic for example instead of sticking to the contemporary academic canon.  We can and should go much further out of the box if we want to find our way back in my opinion…

All of this doesn’t mean at all that I’m letting go of my faith in Christ. To use a Pagan term, I’m oathed to Christ and it’s not likely that I would ever let go of Him… He is more real to me than anything I’ve encountered yet, although it’s hard sometimes to make sense of anything at all. In fact I might even be sliding a bit back in the ‘conservative’ direction on the spectrum (which still is as far away from fundamentalism as it is fom liberal theology), towards some basic Christian middle-orthodoxy that I’ve alwayw been seeking… Quoting more C.S. Lewis her might have been a sign of that. I’m also in a new way going back to my more Charismatic roots, including the stuff no academic Christian will talk about, and also with and openness to Truth anywhere.

And yes, I’m eucumenical  as a Christian and go far into dialogue with other religions and traditions, but you’ll see me stay away from any form of enlightenment materialism for a while. I’ve had more of it lately than can every be spiritually healthy for anyone… Letting consciously go of it was big relief

I also need to just be still and know God is God.

God is too big for any of our systems. If we think we’ve completely got him in our system, we’ve only created an idol… God just is, and our thoughts about Him are not that relevant actually. Living in connection with Him, through Christ led by the Spirit is what matters. Loving all of His Creation including all of our fellow humans more than our systems of thought is what it is about.

Listening to everybody (especially those not listened to) might not be a bad idea though. And asking the Spirit for discernemt. The majority can be wrong, as has happened so many times.

2015 will probably be a year of slowing down, re-evaluation what I’ve found, deepening, and throwing out some clutter that I’ve been collecting for years… Learning to ignore the big noise and the cathedrals of wind that have kept me distracted for way too long and held me from developing what’s been waiting to be discovered more from the beginning on. And listening to new voices, Christian or Pagan, Muslim or Atheist or whatever, that have been unheard, and also to a Voice that I’ve been ignoring in all the noise regularly.

Or it could be something completely different…

We’ll see..

I hope to see all of you readers back for this new chapter…

peace

Bram

This post is part of the January 2015 Synchroblog – Looking Back, Looking Forward.

Here are the other participants:

My own top-15 of favourite posts here in 2014


DSCF0083After my list of the 5 most-read posts here in 2014 I now give my own list of favourite posts, with a short description and sometimes the reason why the  posts are important to me, or how they describe a part of my journey this year.

My own 15 favorite posts of 2014  here:

1. So why is there no ‘occult-mergent’?

This post was ironically, among other things, probably my farewell to the whole ’emergent’ thing. I have learned a lot from the whole ’emerging church’ dialogue in its days, as I am both incurably postmodern and a Christian looking out for new ways, but I don’t have too much interest in a lot of things that go under the name ’emergent’ nowadays, and it seems that a lot of people did emerge outside of Christianity anyway. I did miss any intelligent discourse on the supernatural from the beginning in the while ’emerging’ thing, and when the whole thing went closer to naturalist materialism in some corners while never even coming closer to any non-Christian supernatural tradition I summoned ‘occultmergent’ from the realm of non-existence… I still am of the unpopular opinion that Christianity can learn a lot more from neo-pagans and certain ‘occultists’ than from scientism and modern atheism if we want to transition from the modernist clutter we’ve accredited…

 2.Why are asexuals the most ignored sexual minority?
From my usual choice of subjects, you probably already gathered that I don’t like to just jump on the popular subjects, but instead try to address the things that no-one speaks about but that need to be talked about nonetheless. That’s why I do think that awareness of asxuality as a sexual orientation is very important, especially since it seems that a lot of advocates for sexual minorities are good in ignoring it as much as the rest of us does. Obsession with sex and having sex as a part of our identity is quite all-pervasive in our culture, and so the idea of asexuality alone is a threat to some people… At least 2 people from my FB-list outed themselves to me as asexual after this post and thanked me for bringing the subject to the light, so I don’t think writing posts like this one are in vain…

 3.Abundance is the enemy of capitalism…
The title speaks for itself: The basic idea is that our modern economical systems that are built about the idea of ‘scarcity’ are completely incompatible with the biblical idea of abundance as a part of shalom…. Should not be a controversial idea at all…

4.No, the ‘Islamic State’ isn’t medieval.. (it’s even worse: it’s modern!)
Probably partly inspired by my attempts to demodernise myself and look at my own culture as a stranger would: People keep on using the word ‘medieval’ to insult groups with barbaric behavior like the ‘Islamic State’, but they are not at all rooted in modern ideologies but have a very strong basis in modernity. Like the word ‘State’ already hints at the Islamic State is much closer to the guillotines of the French revolution with ‘reason and progress’ replaced by ‘Islam’ than to most medieval wars.

5.On basic human dignity and ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’…
The saying in the title is completely abused out of context when used in discussions about homosexuality, and therefore quite impopular among a lot of people. I do think it is a very important principle though, even though we might to adjust some of our ideas about what sin is…

6.Some thoughts on thoughtform-creation
Even though I coined the word as a joke and for thee sake of protesting, occultmergent became a project of investigating the ideas behind modern ‘occultism’ as some call it, which provided me with a whole new world of ideas that I had never heard. In this post I explored and evaluated the idea of ‘thoughtforms’, entities that come into being from human thoughts. From the tulpas created by an individual as some kind of more-than-just-imaginary friend to the egregores arising of groupthought, I found the subject fascinating, although I remain sceptical about a lot of things, it might explain certain things.(And it can be helpful when writing scifi…)

 7.A Christian reaction to porn that doesn’t dehumanise the objectified further?
Back to my writings about sexuality from a Christian viewpoint, I do think the title speaks for itself here. The bodies portrayed in porn are human beings created in Gods image, and should not be treated as only an evil temptation! That approach is equally dehumanising as reducing them to lust-objects…

8.The power found in the True Language of the Universe…
A more philosophical post that explores an idea that is fundamental to both a lot of magical traditions (real and fictional) and modern science: if you know the language in which the world is written, you do not only understand it fully, but you can also control it.

 9.We’re one, but we’re not the same… (or how different identity doesn’t have to mean violence!)
A reaction to a meme with a Krishnamurti quote that says that every identity we assume for ourselves is a form of violence because it means that we do separate us from the others who are different. I completely disagree…

10.Some postmodern paradigm-shifting: from C.S. Lewis to chaos magic and back…
I never had heard from Chaos magic until I started my inter-religious dialogue with pagans and real occultists (and found out that they were completely not what I expected.), and as someone with an interest in the intersection of religion and postmodernity the philosophy behind it it is completely fascinating… Paradigm-shifting was a word I knew from the emerging church dialogue, but I never imagined that people would use it pragmatically! I do balance it here with good old C.S. Lewis and some pictures from Narnia though…

11.10 old traditional and/or biblical Christian ideas that are sometimes mistakenly seen as ‘progressive’…
A post on the last day of 2014, and not an unimportant one. If the original
‘occultmergent’ post was a parting of ways with all things ’emergent’, this one is a bit of a distancing myself from what goes for ‘progressive Christianity’ these days. In the post I list 10 things that are claimed to be progressive while they actually are not new at all, and have biblical and/or traditional roots in historical Christian orthodoxy. On the other hand this also implies that there’s nothing ‘conservative’ (in the sense of Christian conservativeness that is, American conservatism has some roots far away from Christianity!) let alone ‘orthodox’ about opposing those things…

12.On the magic of willpower and exercising strong faith
With faith you can move a mountain… But does our faith lie in God or do we just use faith as a tool to get what we want (like happens in some magical traditions). I sometimes wish some of my Charismatic fellow Christians would be able to see the difference more clearly…

13.Charles Fort as the ultimate free thinker…
A book by Charles Fort, father of paranormal studies and very original thinker, made me wonder what a real ‘free thinker’ is. My conclusion is that Charles Fort is much more of a ‘free thinker’ than the self-proclaimed modern atheists who use that word can ever be. And it is the question if there’s much merit in just being a ‘free thinker’, nothing guarantees that a free thinker will be more right than the traditions he rejects…

14.On magic, miracles, and the differences between them.
Investigating the thought of people who claim to do ‘magick’ like I did in more posts of my ‘occultmergent’ series will lead to questions about the nature of miracles, and the difference between human magic and miracles. I try to find the difference between both in this post…

 15.Atheism, the supernatural, gaslighting and modernity…
People whose worldview is based around the non-existence of the supernatural can get quite difficult if you talk about experiences with the supernatural. This can lead to them completely denying any validity to your experiences, which might end up as a form of gaslighting. (“Your experiences are not true, and if you insist they are you are probably crazy”) That’s more or less what this post is about…

Apart from these 15 posts I do want to mention a few more posts, starting with 2 of the posts that I excluded because they already were in my top-five list. Our nonmagical modern world as the biggest magical trick ever… is one of my favorite thought-experiments ever, and Some thoughts on the myth that ‘men are visual’ talks about stuff that I’ve written before but that is quite important nonetheless.

To complete my list of farewells, I must add that I not only implicitly parted ways with ’emergent’ and whatever the internet calls ‘progressive Christianity’, but also explicitly wrote a post called  farewell, online American Christianity… which was kind of serious.

The last thing I want to draw attention to because they never had much readers even though it’s very important stuff is my not yet finished series of meditations on 1 Corinthians 13:
part I
part II

part III
part IV
part V

I might evaluate my writings and spiritual journey in 2014 more, but I do think that this is more than enough for one post…

peace

Bram

The top-5 of most-read posts here in 2014


DSCF0083A new year, a new beginning… And a time to reflect on what I’m doing in different areas of my life.

When it comes to this blog 2014 probably wasn’t my most productive year because a lot of other things took more time and energy. I did still manage to write 40 posts on a lot of subjects, including a series of meditations on 1 Corinthians 13 that isn’t finished yet.

I had planned 2014 to be a year in which I would lessen the influence of American Evangelicalism on my faith, and try to demodernise myself a bit while trying to find my way back as a human being, as a thinker and as a believer. All of that is just work in progress and I’m only still scratching the surface of trying to get somewhere, but I do suppose that I did take some steps and explored some new directions.
The most unexpected new direction (which might have cost me some readers) is probably that in letting go of the influence of modernist naturalism I explored the supernatural in new ways and ended up in new and unconventional ‘occult’ territory. I never believed in materialist scienctism anyway as a Charismatic Christian, but I have let it influence me way too much in the past years, which wasn’t very healthy for my faith. The exploration of the supernatural in different ways and interreligous dialogue with modern pagans that I had elsewhere on the internet led to my invention of the word ‘occultmergent‘ (first as a joke), which even turned into a Fb-group. And it may have made me be the first evangelical blogger to mention chaos magic

So let’s have a look now at the top-5 of most-read posts on Brambonius in English in 2014:

My top-five of most-viewed posts in 2014:

1.  on Ishtar, myopic Anglocentrism and sloppy ‘scepticism’…
My first post ever that went semi-viral and thus my most-viewed post in 2014 was a reaction a very sloppy meme that originated from the Richard Dawkins society. I do expect more from ‘sceptics’ than this kind of rubbish…

2. A prayer in C to an absent God (Lilly Wood and the Prick)
Pop culture does seem to get me a lot of readers too, so my second-most viewed post this year was my analysis of the song ‘prayer in C’ by Lilly wood and the Prick, which is one of the big hits of this fall (in a dance remix). The lyrics can be seen a dark prayer to a powerless God who doesn’t do anything to keep this world from ending and will not be able to forgive itself when everything  has ended.

3. Our nonmagical modern world as the biggest magical trick ever…
For the third post we go to my weird theoretical explorations of the supernatural far outside the usual box, with an exploration of the idea that the world is much more magical than we moderns want it to be, but that this wish for a non-supernatural world itself s what gave us this current world devoid of a magic as we know it.

4. Stop being influenced by America?
The only older post in the top-five, from 2013. I have no clue why so much people were interested in my reasons to shake off the influence of the US on my faith, but maybe it’s jest because the map I used to illustrate this post was quite high-ranked in google pictures searches for a while…

 5. Some thoughts on the myth that ‘men are visual’
And with this fourth post we’re back in one of my more usual territories on this blog: combatting sexism from a Christian viewpoint…

If I had to chose my best posts of 2014 the list would’ve been completely different, but that’s for another time

Which ones did you like best?

peace

Bram