not of this world

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

concerning the pascal kiss of agape and eros

Filed under: — Not of this World @
The term agape, which appears many times in the New Testament, indicates the self-giving love of one who looks exclusively for the good of the other. The word eros, on the other hand, denotes the love of one who desires to possess what he or she lacks and yearns for union with the beloved. The love with which God surrounds us is undoubtedly agape. Indeed, can man give to God some good that He does not already possess? All that the human creature is and has is divine gift. It is the creature then, who is in need of God in everything. But God’s love is also eros. In the Old Testament, the Creator of the universe manifests toward the people whom He has chosen as His own a predilection that transcends every human motivation. The prophet Hosea expresses this divine passion with daring images such as the love of a man for an adulterous woman (cf. 3:1-3). For his part, Ezekiel, speaking of God’s relationship with the people of Israel, is not afraid to use strong and passionate language (cf. 16:1-22). These biblical texts indicate that eros is part of God’s very heart: the Almighty awaits the “yes” of His creatures as a young bridegroom that of his bride. Unfortunately, from its very origins, mankind, seduced by the lies of the Evil One, rejected God’s love in the illusion of a self-sufficiency that is impossible (cf. Gn 3:1-7). Turning in on himself, Adam withdrew from that source of life who is God Himself, and became the first of “those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage” (Heb 2:15). God, however, did not give up. On the contrary, man’s “no” was the decisive impulse that moved Him to manifest His love in all of its redeeming strength.

keep reading Pope Benedict’s 2007 Lenten address

Friday, February 16, 2007

s-a-t-u-r-d-a-y- night!

Filed under: , — Not of this World @

not sure how many of my fellow students will think this is a wild and crazy alluring way to spend a valentine’s day weekend night, but will be screening the film and sounding the alarm nonetheless…

sausage, politics and Scripture

Filed under: — Not of this World @

we’ve been doing some initial dabbling into new testament textual/source criticism methods this week.
the thought came today that to the whole ‘people who love sausage and politics shouldn’t watch either being made’ should be added people who love Scripture, with of course the slight alteration that they shouldn’t watch the attempt to reconstruct how it was made.

i know it has to/will be done, (unlike the koran we don’t foreswear by fatwah critical textual scrutiny) but woe to those who have to be the ones to wade thoroughly through the maelstrom of hypotheses and charts and 6000 fragments theorizing. (okay, not woe woe, but woe-don’t-think-i-could-do-it-woe) the bare bones 2 source theory (Mark and a missing Q ’sayings’ text being the sources for Matthew and Luke) is helpful to account for textual variances (as is a consideration of human author/audience narrative intentions), and while the author we’ve been reading has analogized the process to setting a workable model to account for light behavior apart from actually understanding what the heck the nature of light consists in, seems to me that the best that can be said about the best of these theories is that it’s a simpler ptolemaic account for the synoptic problem appearances than the rest. but then we’ve just begun, and a little knowledge is dangerous etc.

when you have documents professed by faith to be written 100% by diverse human authors and 100% by divine inspiration, you’re in a strange realm where scrutiny behavior is reasonably proper but precise scientific exactitude like one wants with the results just isn’t. if only God had just dictated straight out like he did with mohammed (pbuh), then we could just call it a day (facing east of course) and behead anyone who insists on asking too many bothersome questions.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

eternity of the world, not so much

Filed under: , — Not of this World @
Furthermore, if the world existed from eternity, then an infinite number of days have preceded this day. An infinite number of things, however, cannot be gone through. Therefore, it would never have been possible to arrive at this [present] day. But that is false. Therefore, etc.

-Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard
Book 2, Distinction 1, Question 1, Article 5

every once in a while Thomas’ arguments drive me to scribble a very unacademic smiley face in the margins of my text.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

the pedagogy of fear

Filed under: , — Not of this World @

it’s the proximity again that strikes me:

I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell;
yes, I tell you, fear him!
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows…
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12:5-7, 32

in our reading through the gospels we recently discussed the hyperbole that Jesus often employs (ie the cutting off the eye or hand that offends rather than being thrown whole into the fires of gehenna), and what we came to seems to fit here as well.
often we will express frustration that Jesus was not more ‘plain spoken’ — you know, the ol’ “why doesn’t he just tell us more clearly, more exactly, what the h-e-double hockey sticks he’s talking about? the dos and don’ts approach was tried in the Torah, and the biblical narratives show how well that went for the many, though a remnant managed to get the point. Christ’s words are often shocking and frought with paradox, but paradox has an important purpose. it gets our attention, it (hopefully) challenges us and makes us wrestle with the deeper meaning of what we perhaps would have just yawned and passed over (or formulaically complied with) if we had been told it plainly. deeper, deeper, God is always patiently, seemingly teasingly, beckoning the one who would go deeper, who would tarry awhile, who would sit at His feet and really listen, really be humble enough to learn something the worth of which is without price, so as to give up all for its possession.

Scripture teaches that fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10), that the whole of the law is contained in loving the Lord you God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:29-31), and that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

fear is a natural pedagogical step that gets our attention, children that we are even after we no longer look like children and have lost all the best characteristics of what it is to be a child.

and sort of an aside (if you’ve come this far), loved learning that root, the greek paidagogos, which was a slave whose sole job was to lead a child to school.
fear leads the child of faith to the school of divine love which will eventually make way for the dismissing of the slave.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Filed under: — Not of this World @

Thursday, February 8, 2007

patient midwife

Filed under: — Not of this World @

intangible, gracious, tangibility
paint drying
tulips emerging
while out running errands
gaze cast to the ground
vespered skies
offering their
golden, dusk hushed hand
ever new

see here!
I AM doing something
every moment
that passes through
a clouded gaze

Filed under: — Not of this World @

never realized how much abc gum is lying about until trogdor recently picked up the habit of relentlessly seeking out each and every discarded piece, chewing them with great (and yes, amusing) relish, until i cruelly shake it out of his grubby little wolf jowls…

Saturday, February 3, 2007

paro, parare, paravi, paratum

Filed under: , — Not of this World @

to prepare, provide; get, obtain

from this root has come, among other english cognates, parachute, separate and repair.

been thinking about this in the context of creation, that the account given in scripture is one narrated in terms of separation, the light from the dark, the waters above from those below, the created natures each from one another. Being Itself diffusively condescended to gift the participation of what was not so participated prior to Its command, and could not be, without Its act of provisional separation from all that was previously not so differentiated, not so separately autonomous, though an eternal glimmer of the divine eye and dependent upon the divine will.

[Eve proudly exclaims at the birth of Seth, "I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord!"]

and further that while the account of creation appears to have consisted in distinction of originate being, preparation and provision, the return consideration and contemplation of differentiated being is such as to be drawn into it, to approach through distinctions, which themselves tend necessarily towards the recongition of the metaphysical source and fulfillment of what it is to be, a getting and obtaining, a realizing reditus naturally following upon the realized exitus.

the most enjoyable thing about studying languages again is the reconsideration of words and signification and all that we most of the time assume we are signifying by, but forget to really consider given the familiarity with which are accustomed to throwing it all around.

Powered by WordPress