Monday, December 15, 2008
Um, any theology that isn't 'revisionist' ...
Focus on the Family, in today's mail-out, retreads last week's farmed-out response to Newsweek's clarion call on gay marriage.
Now, srsly. God's not dead (as the Singin' Ledbetters declared back when I was a little bitty ER). Why should theology be dead? Or even static??
One, humankind's comprehension of God changes constantly.
Two, God is still speaking.
Apparently, what they mean, though, is "revision to something we don't like", or something.
Hell, Jesus "revised" Judaism. Otherwise there would be no Christianity.
If you want to go that way, the Dobson types are the most revisionist of all--as substitutionary atonement (Jesus suffering in place of us) was formulated by Anselm in the 11th century. It hadn't been heard of before then. Heretics, the lot of them!
Hmmm... Actually that's not a good comparison since Batman and Robin are both cool and effective. They're the Aquaman and Aqua-lad of the anti-gay crowd.
Anyway, if you get a chance to read the first page or so of Gagnon's 800 page response, it good for a laugh. Basically he's completely cheesed off that Newsweek did an entire story and didn't mention him once -- even though he's written "thousands of pages" on the topic. He's also the tool who loves the word "homosexualist." (Interestingly enough, a word also loved by Gore Vidal.)
Heh. Thousands of pages. Wow. I'm no psychologist, but ...
Anyway, as for "revisionism" I can only respond, "Semper Reformanda!" Which is, I believe, Latin for "Bite me."
Anyway, these folks neither know nor care about theology, the church, or people. All they care about is power. I think that's why they have been, for the most part, ineffective in altering public policy (they have managed, at most, to stand across social progress in re gay rights in this country and scream "Halt!" with some effectiveness. For now) and are now more and more pushed to the sidelines in public policy debates. It's a kind of Divine intervention.
Plus, they tend to be dumber than most Americans, and most Americans recognize they shouldn't be taking advice from people who still use a chart to put their shoes on in the morning.
As I mentioned a few months ago the Buddha Quan Yin (Kwan Yin)may have grown out of the Christian Nestorian/ Buddhist Tibetan interactions in the 600-800 C.E. time frame. Kwan Yin change the age old Buddhist theology by deciding that she would forgo her own personal "enlightenment" and stand in the open portal to Nirvana and would keep it from closing so she could reach down to common men with her thousand arms and by her love/grace bring them to enlightenment.
Jesus by any other name......
To melt the two is to respect the teleology of neither and inclusivity need not be a fondue. But judgment, fear, anxiety, phobia, incuriosity killed the noble cat.
Clearly, lobojo is a noble cat.
The distinction is in danger of sounding vaguely anti-Catholic. "Jesus is my personal friend; Christ is that bloody statue with the heart on the outside of his chest that people make these weird gestures toward."
I add that I am not RC, though.
Can you help me read his title better, ER?
Exactly, no respect for either teleology, being I don't believe in what passes for a teleolgy, saying maybe one leans towards the mystical, or in the position that known and defined teleologies are not probably correct anyway.
Teleology by any other name is siloism, or perhaps predestinational siloism.
As for the name of "Jesus" whatever it is, every soul knows the correct name, though few men can actually utter it.
As for reality, every breath is a revision.
So it need not describe as an arrival at a place or a final state of being or final definition. Some forms of mysticism has a teleology: a state of mind that reorients our relationship with realities (either notional or material) that may not find an arrival, but it is "what it is all for." Buddhism has a teleology of dispersal into the cosmically Real that is not our reality (which is nothing), doesn't it?
I don't think anything is without teleology. Except perhaps anarchic nihilism. And even then, an aimless end in nothingness still has an "end," in other words, a teleology. Maybe mental illness could be described as having an intent but no teleology - by those who kind some kind of function or signal in it.
Re, "I noticed your pastor's deprecation of the name 'Christ' and preference for 'Jesus' in his book's title. I don't understand this kind of thinking."
It's more than a preference over what name to use. Jesus of Nazareth, Galilean sage, walked the dusty earth and was a rabbi, a teacher. Christ is the super hero from outer space who swooped in and saved the day. Preacherman also ain't much for blood atonement.
Re, "It is the risen Christ as the living, divinized 'Jesus' whom I understand to be the addressee of Christian prayer."
I pray to God, the Father-Mother, as Jesus hisself is said to have advised.
Re, "(I am not arguing with the cosmic cloud of unknowing, only questioning if the 'Jesus' sentiment isn't bringing him down again pre-eschatologically.)"
From what he has said about it, the book will argue that Christ, for lack of a better way to put it, should be taken down a notch -- in the imagination -- to get people thinking more of following Jesus's teachings rather than participating in some kind of esoteric "worship" of the super hero.
And, I don't see any anti-Catholicness in the idea.
Here's a musty post where I first talked about the ideas of following Jesus versus worshiping the Christ:
That Jesus died, rose, and ascended as the incarnate deity is not seen as a blood atonement to an angry God, rather as the way in which our createdness by God (all that we are as bodies and minds and communities) is made sure. In the risen Christ, we are divinized already and can live into our likeness of God together, healing the effects of the fall and sin, battling the forces of evil with an expectation that the battle will be won. The risen Christ incarnates God to us, insuring our being one with God now. As we cooperate with the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us, we participate in the divine nature as 2 Peter 1:4 says.
When continually fortified by prayer and the eucharistic community, we incarnate the world to God, we are made one with the world sacramentally, since the sacraments themselves are worldly things made holy by our hands and the presence of God the Holy Sprit.
Being so fortified and made Holy anew, we act with confidence every day to raise up those you mentioned in your 2005 post. Not just following Jesus, but now having God within, we go of our own choosing and sense of love "to those unsavory places he went, eating with outsiders and outcasts, banqueting with the halt, lame, and blind, lepers and prostitutes" because they are us, made in the image of God and can move ever further toward the likeness of God all of us together with us.
The love of the Trinity in perfect communion is our destiny as well, here and now imperfectly, then and there perfectly.
God became incarnate as Jesus in order to be like us. Christ ascended into heaven in order that we can be like God, all of us. The body of Christ becomes our body. The blood of Christ becomes our blood.
The man Jesus can accomplish none of this for us if he is not also the risen Christ.
As for the Father/Mother, Eastern writers in the first few centuries wrote of God as Mother. Medieval mystics wrote of Jesus as Mother.
Oklahoma is the reddest of red states for many reason.
If you were in Nazareth a few weeks before Jesus started his ministry and went around asking for "Jesus" would you find him?
2. Does knowing Jesus mean knowing the word J-E-S-U-S, or the supposed history or theology of such?
3. When the little green men land, will they call Jesus, Jesus?
In Mitherism those who could not afford a Bull bathed in the blood of a lamb.