Friday, February 24, 2017

"Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances, ... and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do what we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, lest the unbeliever see only ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn." - Saint Augustine.

Friday, November 11, 2016

De-Mythologizing Man

"Man as such, the whole man, is called in question by God.  Man stands under that question mark, whether he knows it or not. His moral transgressions are not his fundamental sin...Man's fundamental sin is his will to justify himself as man, for thereby he makes himself God.  When man becomes aware of this, the whole world is taken off its hinges; for man then puts himself under the judgment of God.  The whole world - which was man's world - is annihilated; nothing in it any longer has meaning and value, for everything had received this from man.  But to know this judgment is also to know it as grace, since it is really liberation.  Man becomes free from himself.  And for man to become free from himself is redemption.  Man then knows that the question is also the answer; for it is only God who can so question him.  And he knows that the answer is primary.  A question so radical cannot originate from man, from the world.  But if the question is asked by God,
then it originates from the claim of God on man.  Man is called." 

 - Rudolf Bultmann.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The stalker (My attempt at haiku)

Ricochet foot steps,
Creeping Shadows flickering,
The stranger is me.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Toward a Truly Christian Economic World View

"In pre-capitalistic economy the rich man showed his riches in glorious living: he built castles or mansions, or patrician houses - -and we still enjoy building houses today. But that is not the way in which Calvinism tried to show the people how to use their wealth. It should be partly used for endowments; as it is in this country, in which practically all culture is rooted (I. e. , through endowment) and partly for new investments. And this indeed is one of the best ways of supporting the capitalistic form of economy, namely to make the profits into investments, i. e., means for new production, etc., instead of wasting them, as the Calvinists would say, in glorious living."

- Paul Tillich, from "A History of Christian Thought".

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fragments of Life

"Man is a fragment and a riddle to himself. The more he experiences and knows that fact, the more he is really man. Paul experienced the breakdown of a system of life and thought which he believed to be a whole, a perfect truth without riddle or gaps. He then found himself buried under the pieces of his knowledge and his morals. But Paul never tried again to build up a new, comfortable house out of the pieces. He dwelt with the pieces. He realized always that fragments remain fragments. even if one attempts to reorganize them. The unity to which they belong lies beyond them; it s grasped through hope, but not face to face.

"How could Paul endure life, as it lay in fragments? He endured it because the fragments bore a new meaning to him. The pictures in the mirror pointed to something new for him: they anticipated the perfect, the reality of love. Through the pieces of his knowledge and morality, love appeared to him. And the power of love transformed the tormenting riddles into symbols of truth, the tragic fragments into symbols of the whole.  "

- Paul Tillich, from "The Shaking of the Foundations", Chapter 13:  "Knowledge Through Love".

The Son is Greater

"Yet the prophet does not represent the highest stage. We can think of a third, yet higher, beyond him, a stage of revelation as underivable from that of the prophet as was his from that of common men. We can look, beyond the prophet, to one in whom is found the Spirit in all its plenitude, and who at the same time in his person and in his performance is become most completely the object of divination, in whom Holiness is recognized apparent. Such a one is more than Prophet. He is the Son."
- Ralph Otto, from "The Idea of the Holy".

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Victory Over the Past

"Only he who has fought bravely and been victorious in the struggle against the spurious security and strength and attraction of the past can attain to the firm and blissful experiential certainty that the more we lose all foothold in the darkness and instability of the future, the more deeply we penetrate into God." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, from "Hymn of the Universe".