Sunday, June 13, 2010

Journal - June 14 2010

Woke up real early, watched the Socceroos get pumped by Germany, went back to bed. That's all I really want to say about today. Of course I wont just say that only, I can't stop talking and typing and talking aren't that far apart. The thing I am missing right now is the discipline of learning. It hasn't even been a week and I am missing the Liberal Christian Arts College I go to. I have a book on the dialogue between Hans Urs von Balthasar and Karl Barth. I was reading it two days straight when I was in the air of college and now I am at home for four days straight I haven't opened it at all.

I like this book, I like the things in it. The push and pull of ideas between Barth and Balthasar over the correct use or misuse of the analogy of being is stunning. The fact that even after Barth has explained his reasons for not accepting the analogy of being (that creation mirrors the creator) Balthasar still continues to find a way to reconcile Barth to the use of it.

Its kind of interesting seeing Balthasar trying to win a Catholic convert in Barth. Its interesting because of the next bit of the Gospel of Mark that I will be speaking on. Its Mark 2:23- 3:6. Okay how does Jesus correcting the Pharisees about their legalistic views on the sabbath? Well it does in the fact that like the Pharisees and pretty much every religion Barth has found a sticking point between himself and the Catholic overuse of the analogy of being. The use of analogy of being was huge it was considered essential to the faith. To Barth it was a horrible thing and he couldn't stand for it to be given such a high regard. Such use of the analogy of being stopped Barth ever seeing himself ever becoming Catholic. A similar point could be made of Luther, Wesley and every other leader who started his own church because others did not hold to the same articles of faith, or ways of mission, or gifts of the spirit.

Its like an episode of The Big Bang Theory with Sheldon being Barth and Leonard being Balthasar (don't ask me who Penny is). Its like when as a six year old I decided that Beatrix Potter was wrong in calling Peter Rabbit's third sister Cottontail. I was adamant that Beatrix Potter had broken the rules of rhyme and it must be - Flopsy, Mopsy and Bopsy. So adamant was I that I named my dog Bopsy.

So adamant were the Pharisees that the sabbath was sacred and holy that the Disciples should not have taken wheat to eat. So holy was the sabbath that Jesus healing a man's withered hand was an absolute outrage. So adamant was Luther that he broke from the Catholic church, the same for Wesley in his split from the Church of England.

So adamant we are when the patterns of our lives are disturbed in ways that are not wrong except that they are not what we see as the right way of doing things. God rested on the sabbath, why? Because he done all he wanted to do, not because it was the sabbath and according to the doctrine of the almighty he had to. Being humans we see patterns and some of these appear regular, solid, dependable, constants. The sun rises and sets, people live and die. But then there are others that we can take as constants. Whose ever had to drive on the other side of the road? That's gotta be disturbing you've driven on the left side of the road all your life and now you have to drive on the other side of the car AND the other side of the road. All of the sudden the pattern is changed what you thought was the way to drive is now something different. Its still driving but it is driving in a whole new way.

Now how are we going to act when God tells us like Jesus did to the Pharisees that we need to change how we live our life with him. That our way of thinking about God is too stiff and rigid that it needs to expand and grow. That our idea of what church is supposed to be is too rigid and we don't see the way he does. That life as a follower of Jesus is not the prosperity you had been promised but that when Jesus says "Take up your cross and follow me" he meant it.

The Pharisees got a shock that day and they responded in anger and fury. How will you respond? With anger, apathy, indifference, defiance. Or will you say to God "Fair Cop" you're right I have been doing this the wrong way. Change is hard and its even harder when we resist please don't resist submit. Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up.


Bobby said...

Hi Phil, This is a great post, but that shouldn't suprise me and for that matter you.You are a thinker in a world of 'non' thinkers this is both a challenge and the endless source of frustration.

We have become more and more myopic, and I think your observations support this. Part of the problem, and you have touched on this beautifully, is this preoccupation with absolutes.

Its a landscape that is not only far too safe, imagine Christopher Columbus thinking like this, but its one where God cannot be found, but if he is its because he makes himself found anywhere, the danger is this; we think that becuase we can find God that this 'same place' where we have found him therefore must also be sanctioned and endourced. I think its a good reminder; God blesses us and touches 'inspite of' not 'becuase of' our great theology and wonderul thinking (does this make any sense?.This, I suspect, is why God kept on moving in the wilderness for fourty years, just when they were thinking that God could be "tied down" he moved on.

Please keep on talking those who think you talk too much have not taken the time to listen, ah! this is another problem equally as bad as the first....the sacred art of both listening and then being heard, once again this is part of the landscape of absolutes eg: if you have the truth why would you need to listen to anyone else

bombom said...

Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail actually flow better :)