In fighting gay ‘marriage’ some have said it will open the door to polygamy too. To me that should be a no-brainer. If you have any doubts that there are people out there who will push for it, doubt no more:
What can I say about the latest beheading of an American? I saw the pictures on the Al Queda website and the sheer brutality of it all unsettled me. Sort of the feeling I had or have when pondering what it must have been like in the Twin Towers to be trapped on a floor with insane heat from fires and looking out windows to a drop that boggles the mind. I guess it’s the pondering of any awful death that makes us feel queasy. How would we face it?
But besides that is the fact that the men who do this believe themselves to be pleasing God in the act. I would condemn that outright but then I considered Phineas impaling his fellow Israelite; or the warriors under Joshua destroying women, children, and livestock. Violence in the service of God is not something the church has been called to but is part of the working of God in history. And I also read Revelation this morning; whatever your view of eschatology there are some serious horrors occurring in that book to mankind. It’s easy to glide over them while reading and not consider what they actually mean–like not comprehending what crucifixion is truly like unless we see it (the Passion) or at least a re-creation of it. I don’t know if it’s because we’re a visual people or if it’s just a coping mechanism or what. When I see footage of the planes on 9/11 hitting the Towers it still makes my adrenaline flow but it’s not the same sense of horror and shock that it was on the day it happened. So reading about putting cities to the sword or demon-locust torturing people for five months so badly that they want to die but can’t can all be an intellectual exercise unless we see the movie.
But we have to consider that our God is just and his wrath when it is poured out is a terrible thing to behold–yet entirely just. And knowing that such terrible justice can only be dealt at the hand of God enables us to condemn the people committing these atrocities in our day. Of course to the secularist this is all so much circular reasoning but we know from God’s revelation that it is not our job to be putting villages to the sword. And we can rightly condemn the savagery of those who serve an idolatrous caricature of the Triune God, namely Allah.
A really good article in the New Yorker about writer’s block.
I was excited to get Being As Communion by John Zizioulas in the mail today. I was referred to this book by an article by Peter Leithart in the Westminster Theological Journal called “Framing Sacramental Theology” which referred to the Zizioulas book. I haven’t delved into the book just yet but this quote from Leithart summarizing Zizioulas gives an indication of what the book is about:
“It follows that a person’s unique identity is not somehow hidden behind his external social interactions. Zizioulas’s tinitarian account of personhood challenges the Cartesian dualist conception of the “ego” as a ghost in a machine, as well as the ancient notion of an inviolable soul lurking behind the various social roles and masks that we take on. He urges instead that we actually are what we are-in-relationship. I have a particular connection with a certain (rather large) group of children; I am their father. It is not the case that the real me is an underlying someone that can be isolated from that particular role, that the real me is not a father. Nor, obviously, is it the case that I am a father whether or not I have children. I am a father because of my relation to my children, and that relation-defined role is one among many that constitutes my identity. The same point applies to other roles and relations, whether constituted by biology or by covenant. I fulfill the role of son, brother, husband, neighbor, teacher, church member, theologian, friend, and the real me is at least the sum of these roles and relationships. To be sure, there is a surplus beyond these roles since the fundamental relation that constitutes my identity is my relation with God. But even my relation with God is mediated through a relation with others—with Adam and the incarnate Son, with the apostles and prophets who announced the gospel and wrote the Scriptures, and with the community of the church in which I first heard the gospel. The inner and outer me cannot be separated into the “real me” and the “social self.” The “real me” is my social self as much as my inner self.”
When I first read that it helped me to realize that I was living a lie. I might get mad at my wife or kids but the “real me” was a nice guy who was just reacting badly to outer circumstances. Reading the Leithart article I realized that who I am in relation to others IS me, not some secret person inside. That was a revolution to me. So I’m looking forward to this book immensely.