That's the punch line to the old joke set up by asking what an optimist says after having fallen off the top of a sky scraper, notes he has plummeted about half the distance to the ground.
I'm very optimistic about this new year. After more than half of a century of trying to work out a spirituality that can provide human life with profound meaning and which is in harmony with what we know and experience of the cosmos in which we exist, I am satisfied that I have accomplished my objective. Now it is a matter of working out the details of the model and living it out in the most authentic way possible. The Opthe website is a key part of doing that.
On a more academic level, it has become something of a mission for me to do all I can to expand and broaden the common understanding of the discipline of theology. I do theology as a science in the same way that fields like psychology, sociology, and anthropology are sciences.
While meaning is as important to human survival as are air and water, meaning must be subject to the same rigorous rational examination and testing as any other area of human knowledge if it is to be able to withstand the stresses and crises that confront us in life.
In the middle ages, theology was considered the queen of sciences and I deem it to be so today. Whatever meaning we make of our existence, if it is be sound and durable, it must be built upon and tested against a solid understanding of all the other arts and sciences; the fund of human knowledge and experience. Its thinking must be done with the same intellectual rigor and discipline as physics and philosophy. Theological thinking cannot be limited to the definitions or doctrines of any particular brand of faith. Moreover, it cannot be excused from testing through appeals to magic or the supernatural.
With the foregoing in mind, and as a part of Opthe, I am setting up a colloquy for innovative and systematic theological discussion. It's my hope that it will attract professional and amateur theologians who are willing to participate in the dialogue necessary to expand theology as a discipline. It is my view that this is critical for human survival because we live in a time when our spiritual models have failed and we have nothing to replace them.
Today is the 70th New Year of my life... the first day of 2015.
So far, so good.