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Tab l e of Conte nts A Vis u alLitu rgy: A n Inte rvie w w ith Pau lSou pis e t

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Trinity A s D octrine and Confe s s ion

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Th e Je s u s Cre e d & Th e Ch u rch 's Se l f-A b s orption

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Re tu rn to M arriage A s Sacram e nt

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W h y M u s t H ol y Pl ace s Be D ark Pl ace s ?

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M oth e r M aria and a "Ne w M onas ticis m "

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A Re vie w : A Com m u nity Cal l e d A tone m e nt

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A Re vie w : W h at W ou l d Je s u s D e cons tru ct?

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FinalTh ou gh ts : W h y O u r God Is D iffe re nt

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Su b m is s ion Gu ide l ine s

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Th e Eve ry d ay Journal : Note s on Th e ol ogicalLiving

Fe b ruary 20 0 8 W el com e to th e inaugurale dition of Th e Eve ry d ay Journal : Note s on Th e ol ogicalLiving. Th is issue se rve s as a catal ystfor th e e xciting w riting to com e in th e fol l ow ing issue s, giving b re ath and space to th e ide as and conce pts m ul l ing around in our b rains, h e arts and soul s. From an inte rvie w w ith Paul Soupise tto a discussion of Til lW e H ave Face s, and from ne w m onasticism to de construction, th e inte re sts fun w ide , ye tth e ce nte r re m ains th ate ve ryth ing w e "th ink "ne e ds to appl y to h ow w e l ive . As th e re vie w of W h atW oul d Je sus De construct?h igh l igh ts, w e ne e d to b e gin to l ive our l ive s in th e inte rpre tation of th e k ingdom of God.


A VisualLiturgy AN INTER VIEW

W ITH

PAULSO UPISET

By Th om as Turne r PaulSoupise tis an artist, m usician, w orsh ip and l iturgy l e ad e r, graph ic d e signe r, e d itor, ty poph il e and arm ch air th e ol ogian. Pauland h is w ife Am y h ave four b e autifulk id s. H e w as b orn in 19 69 in San Antonio, te n m inute s b e fore h is tw in b roth e r, M ark . Curre ntl y a graph ic d e signe r in San Antonio, Paulh as se rve d as th e cre ative d ire ctor and l e ad d e signe r atTool b ox Stud ios since its ince ption in 19 9 6. Soupise t’s d e sign w ork h as b e e n fe ature d in th e page s ofCom m unication Arts, Graph is, Print M agazine , H ow M agazine , Ste p M agazine and Cre ativity d e sign annual s. H is d e sign aw ard s al so incl ud e an IABC Inte rnationalGol d Quil l , nod s from th e CASSA Gol d e n Jal ape ños, and a CD d e sign nom ination in Nash vil l e ’s annualDove Aw ard s. Soupise th as re ce ive d re cognition from jurie d com pe titions across th e state ofTe xas, incl ud ing Th e Dal l as Sh ow and Austin’s South b y South w e st(sxsw ) inte ractive com pe tition. H is d e sign w ork h as b e e n re cognize d in l e ad ing nationald e sign com pe titions and h is w ork h as re ce ive d l ocal , re gionaland nationalADDY aw ard s, incl ud ing a l ocalBe stofSh ow . In 19 9 1, Soupise tgrad uate d Bay l or Unive rsity w ith a d e gre e in journal ism and stud io art. H is pe rsonalw ork al so incl ud e s songw riting, poe try , and ph otograph y . Paulb l ogs atsoupab l og.com .

EL: H ow did you firs tth ink of cre ating a graph ic s u ppl e m e ntto th e Le ctionary?


EL: W h e n you are draw ing or de s igning, do you th ink of you r cre ativity as w ors h ip? PS: De finite l y. I se e e ve ry cre ative actas w orsh ip — participation in th e Im ago De i — as l ong as I am b e ing pre se ntto th e cre ative action ath and, and b e ing th ank fulto and aw are of God during th e proce ss, w orsh ip h appe ns. Th e am azing th ing w ith m ostof th e arts is th atth e re ’s sacre dne ss in th e conce ption, th e n sacre dne ss in th e cre ative action or e xe cution or pe rform ance , and th e n, q uite apartfrom th e artist, th e re ’s th is re curring sacre dne ss de al ing w ith th e artifactitse l f. W h e n a m el ody com e s into m y h e ad, I can praise God for th e giftof song;afte r practice and re fine m e nt, w h e n I pe rform th e com position, th e re ’s th is se cond tim e th atw orsh ip h appe ns, th e n a th ird m om e ntof w orsh ip if th atsong is re cal l e d b y som e one th e ne xtday w h il e th e y w ork — or if som e jazz pianistcom e s al ong and q uote s th e m e l ody in a ne w com position, or if th e l yrics spark th e ide a for a painting. W h e n I am draw ing, sk e tch ing, painting on m y ow n tim e , for m y ow n purpose s, atm y ow n spe e d, I am usual l y aw are of th is and use th e tim e as a k ind of praye r- rh yth m . H ow e ve r, w h e n I am draw ing or de signing or artdire cting and it’s noton m y ow n tim e , l ik e up atth e studio, it’s usual l y notuntil th e e nd productth atI’m ab l e to l ook b ack and se e som e th ing th atm ay gl orify God.

Soupise tsk e tch e s in a m ol e sk ine journald uring h is "fre e tim e ."

EL: As a w e b de s igne r you w ork in a digitale nvironm e nt, and do notne ce s s aril y e ve r h ave to m e e tpe opl e face to face . In th is ne w type of digitalb u s ine s s w orl d, h ow are you a w itne s s to you r non-Ch ris tian cl ie nte l e PS: In th e h undre d of cl ie nts I’ve h ad, th e re h ave b e e n prob ab l y fe w e r th an a doze n th atI h ave n’t m e tface - to- face . So, al th ough th e finale xe cution of m uch of m y w ork is digital , th e vastm ajority of m y cre ative w ork - l ife invol ve s th e m e ssine ss of re alpe opl e and face - to- face m e e tings and spil l ed coffe e and cough s and sne e ze s and co- w ork e rs dropping in to ve ntand al lth atstuff. I’m notve ry cl oiste re d atal lduring m y 40 - h our- a- w e e k care e r as a graph ic de signe r, and w ith four k ids, m y w ife and I are notve ry cl oiste re d during th e re stof th e h ours of th e w e e k , e ith e r. I gue ss for th ose re asons I te nd to rom anticize th e m onastic l ife . You can al so se e w h y I fe e lth e ne e d to ste alaw ay al m oste ve ry l unch , and try to sk e tch . Butb ack to your q ue stion: I fe e lth atas a Ch rist- fol l ow e r, I’m cal l e d to sim pl y b e a w itne ss, to l et m y w ork b e anoth e r w itne ss, and th e n to b ack off and l e tth atw itne ss b e w h atitis, tatte re d and torn and b ruise d and fal te ring as itis. Th e n in strange w ays th e k ingdom of God b re ak s- in and you ge tto participate — in th atse nse th e w itne ss is usual l y conve rsation- and story- ce ntric, and l e ss ofte n de sign- ce ntric. Th ose k ingdom storie s usual l y ce nte r around co- w ork e rs and associate s and sum m e r inte rns and job appl icants and ve ndors and th e fol k s th atm ak e m y coffe e ne xtdoor prob ab l y m ore th an itdoe s m y cl ie nte l e , or atl e astin m ore visib l e w ays.


EL: Anyone w h o vis its you r b l og w il ls e e ve ry q u ick l y th atyou h ave you r h and in m any diffe re ntcre ative arts . You are cre ating th e graph ic artl e ctionary, you h ave art for s al e , you h ave m ol e s k ine draw ings , you are invol ve d in ch u rch m u s ic---do th e s e diffe re ntarts inte ractw ith e ach oth e r in you r m ind?D o you r draw ings b e com e paintings , ch ords b e com e draw ings , artw ork b e com e a m u s icale xpre s s ion? PS: I w ish I w e re th atinte grate d! Sure , som e tim e s a pe ncilsk e tch h as grow n into a painting, or a h aik u give s w ay to a poe m — w h ich th e n give s w ay to a song l yric, b utI th ink m ostof th e tim e it’s m ore of a case of cross- pol l ination of m otifs. Th e re are l ittl e th e m e s th atcom e outagain and again justb e cause of w h o I am and th e pl ace s I’ve trave l e d or th e b ook s th atI’ve re ad — m y m usic and m y sk e tch e s b oth contain vague l ite rary re fe re nce s, th e y e l e vate w ordpl ay, th e y fre q ue ntl y invok e ange l s and saints, coffe e and w ate r, w ine and b re ad, pe rform ative sym b ol s, as th e l ate Bob W e b b e r w oul d’ve said, th attrade in de e pe r m e anings. O ne e xce ption is a poe m I w rote te n or tw e l ve ye ars ago, Appre ciating Your Ch icago: th e w ords h ave re surface d as a song, as a painting, and as a re sul tantph otograph .

PS: I th ink th atcritics, l ik e m any of us, are tire d of Ch ristians sitting distance d and dise ngage d from cul ture , th e n cre ating art- as- propaganda and com pl aining w h e n it doe sn’tfind curre ncy in th e art discourse . So, m uch of th e ir critiq ue is val id. Ve ry fe w artists h ave l e arne d h ow to auth e ntical l y inte grate th e ir faith e xpre ssion and th e ze itge ist. M r. Fujim ura h as ob viousl y found a vocab ul ary for b oth , as h ave oth e rs — M ary M cCl e ary and th e ir cadre atCIVA and IAM com e s to m ind. O nce th e artist’s auth e ntic vocab ul ary is in use , artce ase s to b e com e pe dantic or pre scriptive .

EL: M ak oto Fu jim u ra, th e incre as ingl y popu l ar ab s tract artis t, once s aid of artcritics th at, "Th e y don'tk now w h ats h e l f to cate gorize m y w ork s on. Th e y do s e e th e ob viou s re l igiou s dim e ns ion, b u t, e ve n if th e y l ik e it, itis ou tof th e ir s e m antics as conte m porary critics ." D o you find th atin th e cre ative arts critics and artis ts no l onge r can e ngage w ith re l igiou s e xpre s s ion or m e taph or?


EL: W h e n cre ating you r l itu rgicals k e tch e s , do you h ave a pal e tte for e ach s e as on of th e Ch u rch cal e ndar?D o you e m ph as ize th e col ors of e ach s e as on in th e corre s ponding s k e tch e s ?O r is you r w ork m ore ab s tractth an th at? PS: I don’tpre pare spe cific pal e tte s for e ach se ason, b utstay aw are of l iturgicalcol ors and pay h om age to th e m from tim e to tim e in m y sk e tch e s. For LiturgicalSk e tch ing, I’ve b e e n m ore inte ntionalab outth is th an usual , and find m yse l f going b ack and tw e ak ing w ork s once th e y’ve b e e n digitize d to h ave a col or fl ow from page to page . Unre l ate d, I w as ab l e to cre ate a l iturgicalcol or pal e tte for a Pre sb yte rian ch urch in Austin, Te xas, and I re al l y e njoye d th e proce ss;th e y re ce ntl y cam e b ack to m e and ask e d m e to add a ne w l igh tb l ue for th e ir Adve ntusage .

EL: Graph ic arth as b e e n m u ch m al igne d as infe rior to th e nove lor nonfiction w ork s . Graph ic nove l s , s ave for th e w ork s of Frank M il l e r or ArtSpie ge l m an, are tre ate d as s e cond cl as s citize ns in th e l ite rary w orl d. H ave you th ou gh of any w ays to rid th e w orl d of th is dich otom y?D o you h ave to argu e agains tit, or is th e b e s tw ay to l e tth e arts pe ak for its e l f? PS: I th ink tim e w il lsh iftth e e m ph asis. I am one w h o b e l ie ve s th atas w e m ove outof th e Enl igh te nm e ntproje ct, w e sh e d our re l iance upon l anguage and its ce rtitude s. Th e l asth al f- ce ntury w e ’ve b e e n e asing into a l ong post- discursive e ra w h e re in sym b olw il lre ign supre m e ove r w ords. Th ose w h o w oul d pounce atSpie ge l m an w il le ve ntual l y sk itte r off into th e distance or die off. EL: W h atdo you cou ntas artis tic infl u e nce s ? PS: Urb an de cay, found ob je cts, Faul k ne r, Byzantine iconograph e rs, th e journal s of Dan El don, Von Gl itsch k a, da Vinci’s journal s, l e tte rpre ss m ak e - re adie s, l ong l unch e s in sm al loff- th e - b e ate npath cafés, Sigur R os vide os, Sh ak e spe are , M arl o Ch ase , Ne ilFinn, Ste ve Erspam e r, H atch Sh ow Print, R ob e rtTatum , Patricia Soupise t’s scul pture , w ate rcol or, painting, b atik , and staine d gl ass w ork ;th e w rite rs of th e Psal m s, Fauré, Erik Spie k e rm ann, Tob ias Fre re - Jone s and Jonath an H oe fl e r.


EL: In particu l ar, in you r l itu rgicals k e tch e s , do you s e e k ou tarts u ch as Eas te rn O rth odox ik ons or th e artw ork of th e e arl y ch u rch to find l itu rgicalins piration?Any oth e r Ch ris tian infl u e nce s ? PS: I typical l y go to th e te xts first, and th e n sk e tch . If I ch oose to q uote from an e arl ie r ik on, I m ay go re se arch and e m ul ate . I pre tty w il l ingl y th row m yse l f into th e gre atstre am of tradition w e h ave in pre - m ode rn Ch ristian art— b oth W e ste rn and Easte rn. I m ay b e as inspire d b y a Ce l tic grave stone as I am b y a b ook b inde r’s gol dl e af tool ing on th e e dge s of an Angl ican Dail y O ffice . Both are l ittl e visualartifacts th atadd to a grand vocab ul ary. Butm y infl ue nce s and inspirations are m yriad. I’m w ork ing on a scul pturalse rie s th atm ay tak e m e anoth e r ye ar, it’s th e Stations of th e Cross, and m y visualinfl ue nce s on th atparticul ar pie ce are onl y m ode rn and se cul ar in nature . EL: O nce th e Ye ar B l itu rgical s k e tch e s are final l y finis h e d, w h at is th e gam e pl an from th e re ?


R e sponsib l e Ch ristian th e ol ogy spe ak s of God on th e b asis of th e particul ar acts of God atte ste d in Scripture . Th e b ib l icalb asis for th e tri- unity of God is found in th e patte rn of th e re ve l atory acts of God th rough outth e b ib l icalnarrative . Inde e d th e trinitarian ide a e m e rge d form al l y in th e e arl y ce nturie s of th e ch urch as an e xpl anation for th e Ch ristian b e l ie f in th e one God w h o h ad al so b e e n re ve al e d in th e pe rson of Je sus and w h o w as e xpe rie nce d th rough th e m inistry of th e Spirit. Th e b asic pre m ise of Trinitarian th e ol ogy is sum m arize d b y Danie lM igl iore : If God is e xpre sse d to us in th re e distinctpe rsonalw ays, th e n th e re is a b asis of th is structure of divine l ove in God's ow n im m ane nt, e te rnalb e ing. God's ow n l ife cannotcontradictw h atGod is in re l ation to th e w orl d. In God's ow n l ife th e re is an activity of m utualse l f- giving, a com m unity of sh aring, a "socie ty of l ove "(Augustine ) th atis th e b asis of God's h istory of l ove for th e w orl d 1 narrate d in Scripture . In th is se nse , th e m e ssage of th e gospe lis th e assurance th atGod's ide ntity is th e sam e as w as m anife ste d b y th e Son - God is l ove . Ne gative l y, th e dange r of al lh e re sy l ie s in so m isconstruing th e ide ntity of God th atth e gospe lis inval idate d. In orde r to m ak e se nse of th e h istory of God's re ve l atory acts Ch ristians h ad to de ve l op a conce ptof God - and th e conce ptth atis coh e re ntw ith H is acts is, distinctl y, Trinity. To th is e nd, "Th e l ogic of Trinitarian th e ol ogy m ove s from th e diffe re ntiate d l ove of Fath e r, Son, and H ol y Spiritin th e e conom y of sal vation (th e e conom ic Trinity) to th e ul tim ate ground of th is th re e fol dl ove in th e 2 de pth s of th e divine b e ing (th e im m ane ntTrinity)." In oth e r w ords, re sponsib l e Trinitarian th ink ing m ove s from confe ssion to doctrine , from th e re ve l atory acts of God to th e e sse ntialb e ing of God. H istorical l y, th e form aldoctrine of th e Trinity e m e rge d in th e m idstof se ve ralcontrove rsie s ove r th e conce ptof God. In th e th ird ce ntury, de fe nding itse l f againstArianism , th e ch urch w as conce rne d w ith asse rting th e ide ntical- rath e r th an m e re l y ge ne ric - unity of th e e sse nce of God. Fifty ye ars l ate r, th e e m ph asis on one e sse nce e ncounte re d th e th re atof Sab e l l ianism , so th e atte ntion of th e ch urch turne d to th e distinctions w ith in th e one e sse nce .3 Th e firstissue w as

1 Danie lM igl iore , Faith Se e k ing Unde rstanding: An Introduction to Ch ristian Th e ol ogy (Grand R apids: Ee rdm ans, 19 9 1), 61. 2 M igl iore , Faith Se e k ing Unde rstanding, 62. 3 T.R . M artl and, "A Study of Cappadocian and Augustinian M e th odol ogy"Angl ican Th e ol ogicalR e vie w 47 (J1 19 65), 253.


se ttl e d atth e Councilof Nice a. Afte r th e sh iftof conce rns, th e Cappadocian fath e rs - Basilth e Gre at, Gre gory of Nyssa, and Gre gory of Nazianus - b rough tth e de ve l opm e nts of th e ide a of God to th e ir cl im ax atth e re affirm ation of th e Nice ne cre e d, and th e inauguration of th e com pl e te doctrine 4 of Trinity, atth e Councilof Constantinopl e in 381. Th e now - cre e dalform ul ations of Trinity gre w up th rough th e th e ol ogicalre m ol ding of ph il osoph icalte rm s (and, im portantl y, notth e oth e r w ay around). In de fe nse of th e sub stantial unity of God, Ath anasius posite d h om oousios (‘of sam e sub stance ') ove r againsth om oiousios (‘of l ik e sub stance ') ove r and againstArianism . Th e angl e of approach for th e Cappadocians w as diffe re ntfrom Ath anasius in th atth e y m ade th e th re e h ypostase s (Pe rsons) th e ir starting point. In th is w ay, th e e aste rn atte m pts to w ork outan unde rstanding of God ste m from th e atte m ptto m ak e se nse of th e pl urale xpe rie nce of God in th e conte xtof th e b e l ie f th atGod is one . Th e Cappadocians' gre atach ie ve m e nt, ph il osoph ical l y, w as th e e l e vation of h ypostasis as th e ul tim ate ontol ogical 5 cate gory, rath e r th an sub stance . Th e y did th is b y de fining th e distincth ypostase s in te nsion w ith com m on ousia in th e conte xtof com m union.6 Th atth e Godh e ad can e xist"undivide d...in divide d Pe rsons"7 is m ade possib l e b y th e doctrine of th e co- inh e re nce , or th e pe rich ore sis, of th e divine Pe rsons. Th e im portance of th is affirm ation th at God e xists in com m union is th at"e ve ry se l f- com m unication pre suppose s th e capacity for se l f8 diffe re ntiation... an individual ity cannotcom m unicate itse l f." Th e im portance of th is cannotb e ove rstate d, since th e ab il ity of th e Trinity to b e com pl e te l y se l f- com m unicate d in e ach of th e Pe rsons is k e y to e xpl aining th e th re e ce nte rs of divine activity in th e h istory of God's re ve l atory acts. In th is w ay, Trinity re de scrib e s God in l igh tof th e e ve ntof Je sus Ch ristand th e outpouring of th e Spirit. Th e doctrine of th e Trinity re ach e d b y th e Cappadocians de m onstrate s th at"God is se l f9 e xpe nding, oth e r- affirm ing, com m unity- b uil ding l ove ." God is w h ath e says and doe s in th e gospe l . Th e tw e ntie th ce ntury re naissance of Trinitarian th e ol ogy h as incl ude d se ve ralth e ol ogians sh ow ing inte re stin th is e aste rn approach to th e Trinity. Tw o of th e se e aste rn- l e aning sch ol ars are Jurge n M ol tm ann and T.R . M artl and. In Th e Trinity and th e Kingdom of God, M ol tm ann e xpl ains th atfor Augustine and Aq uinas th e "one , com m on, divine sub stance counte d as b e ing th e foundation of th e trinitarian Pe rsons and w as h e nce l ogical l y prim ary in com parison."10 H e sugge sts th attak ing th e ph il osoph icalcl aim as th e starting pointl e ads to se rious conse q ue nce s, nam e l y an unfortunate distinction b e tw e e n ‘th e God one ' and ‘th e God m any.' H e says: Th e re sul tis th atth e firstunity force s outth e se cond. Conse q ue ntl y, notonl y is th e re undue stre ss on th e unity of th e triune God, b utth e re is al so a re duction of th e tri- unity to th e O ne God. Th e re pre se ntation of th e trinitarian Pe rsons in a h om oge nous divine 4 J.N.D. Ke l l y, Earl y Ch ristian Doctine s (London: Adam and Ch arl e s Bl ack , 19 58), 263. 5 R oss H astings, "God Th re e and God O ne : Th e Cappadocians and Trinitarian Th e ol ogy"(unpub l ish e d l e cture ). 6 se e Ke l l y, Earl y Ch ristian, 263- 269 . 7 Gre gory of Nazius, cite d in Ke l l y, Earl y Ch ristian, 264. 8 Jurge n M ol tm ann, Th e Trinity and th e Kingdom , (M inne apol is: Fortre ss Pre ss, 19 9 3), 57. 9 M igl iore , Faith Se e k ing Unde rstanding, 63. 10 M ol tm ann, Th e Trinity, 16.


sub stance , pre suppose d and re cognizab l e from th e cosm os, l e ads uninte ntional l y b ut ine scapab l y to th e disintigration of th e doctrine of th e Trinity in ab stractm onoth e ism .11 In an articl e ab outth e m e th odol ogy of Augustine and th e Cappadocians, M artl and is e ve n m ore incisive in h is accusations of Augustine : Th e doctrine w h ich th e Cappadocians unde rstood to b e an e xpl anation for th e pre se nce of th e e ncounte re d de ity in h istory, b e cause of th e Augustinian e m ph asis upon th e ph il osoph icalpre m ise of divine unity, now b e com e s a dogm a w ith no re ason for its acce ptance oth e r th an its b e ing a m ark of orth odoxy.12 Both agre e , in te rm s of l ogic, th at"itse e m s to m ak e m ore se nse th e ol ogical l y to startfrom th e b ib l icalh istory, and th e re fore to m ak e th e unity of th e th re e divine Pe rsons th e prob l e m , rath e r th an...to startfrom th e ph il osoph icalpostul ate of ab sol ute unity, in orde r th e n to find th e prob l em 13 in th e b ib l icalte stim ony." Itfol l ow s th atth e conce ptof God's unity m ustb e pe rce ive d in th e com m union of th e divine Pe rsons in orde r to de m onstrate a consonance b e tw e e n God's l ife and th e b ib l icalte stim ony of God's l ove e nacte d in th e Son b y th e Spirit. Th e pointb e ars re pe ating th ata re l iab l e and m e aningfulunde rstanding of th e Trinity b e gins w ith confe ssion of God's re ve l atory acts and onl y th e n m ove s to asse rta doctrine of h is e sse ntialb e ing. R igh tl y unde rstood, th e doctrine of th e Trinity de m onstrate s th atGod is w h ath e says and doe s in th e gospe l . To th ate nd, th e Cappadocian Fath e rs w e re righ tto startfrom th e b ib l icalh istory of God re pre se nte d in th re e distinctPe rsons and th e n se e k to unde rstand H is unity in a w ay th at affirm e d th e inte grity of H is re de m ptive acts w ith h is ow n Be ing. And th e conte m porary e m ph asis on e aste rn th ough tin Trinitarian th e ol ogy is good, in th atite m e rge s outof sim il ar conce rns - for a confe ssion of th e triune God th atre m ains firm l y roote d in Scripture and a doctrine th atcontrib ute s to m e aningfulorth odoxy. 11 Ib id., 16- 17. 12 M artl and, "Cappadocian and Augustinian,"257. For oth e r argum e nts for th e e aste rn pe rspe ctive , se e Col in Gunton, "Be ing and Pe rson: T.F. Torre nce 's Doctrine of God,"Th e Prom ise of Trinitarian Th e ol ogy (Ne w York : R ow m an and Littl e fie l d, 20 0 1), 115- 135. Brad Gre e n, ‘Th e Protom ode rn Augustine ? Col in Gunton and th e Fail ure of Augustine ,' Inte rnationalJournalof Syste m atic Th e ol ogy 9 (No. 3), Jul y 20 0 7. Corne l ius Pl antinga, Jr., "SocialTrinity and Trith e ism ,"Trinity, Incarnation, and Atone m e nt(Notre Dam e , IN: Unive rsity of Notre Dam e Pre ss, 19 89 ), 21- 47. 13 M ol tm ann, Th e Trinity, 149 .

Bib l iograph y Gre e n, Brad. "Th e Protom ode rn Augustine ? Col in Gunton and th e Fail ure of Augustine ,"Inte rnationalJournalof Syste m atic Th e ol ogy 9 (Jul y 20 0 7). Gunton, Col in. "Be ing and Pe rson: T.F. Torre nce 's Doctrine of God"Th e Prom ise of Trinitarian Th e ol ogy. Ne w York : R ow m an and Littl e fie l d, 20 0 1: 115- 135. H astings, R oss. "God Th re e and God O ne : Th e Cappadocians and Trinitarian Th e ol ogy"unpub l ish e d l e cture , 20 0 7. Ke l l y, J.N.D. Earl y Ch ristian Doctine s. London: Adam and Ch arl e s Bl ack , 19 58. M artl and, T.R . "A Study of Cappadocian and Augustinian M e th odol ogy"Angl ican Th e ol ogicalR e vie w 47 (J1 19 65): 252263. M igl iore , Danie l . Faith Se e k ing Unde rstanding: An Introduction to Ch ristian Th e ol ogy. Grand R apids: Ee rdm ans, 19 9 1. M ol tm ann, Jurge n. Th e Trinity and th e Kingdom . M inne apol is: Fortre ss Pre ss, 19 9 3. Pl antinga, Corne l ius, Jr. "SocialTrinity and Trith e ism ,"Trinity, Incarnation, and Atone m e nt.Notre Dam e , IN: Unive rsity of Notre Dam e Pre ss, 19 89 : 21- 47.


ScotM cKnigh t's Je sus Cre e d is an e xce l l e ntb ook . Itb e gins b e autiful l y and I im agine Scot's m ain m e ssage of l oving God and oth e rs w il lre sonate w ith m ostre ade rs as I found it im pacting. Th e Sh e m a in De ute ronom y 6:4- 9 "... Love th e Lord your God w ith al lyour h e artand w ith al lyour souland w ith al lyour stre ngth ..."and Le viticus 19 :18, "Love your ne igh b or as yourse l f"com b ine toge th e r in M ark 12:30 - 31 form M cKnigh t's "Je sus Cre e d". For too m any b e l ie ve rs, th is passage is l ostin th e gospe l narrative s b e tw e e n parab l e s, argum e nts, and proph e cy. M any cl ing inste ad to th e Be atitude s and th e R e surre ction and l e ave th is "Gre ate stCom m and"outside . M cKnigh taids th e Ch urch b y b ringing th is truth to h is re ade rs. Th is is e sse ntialto al l spiritualform ation of al lb e l ie ve rs. As th e b ook continue d to de ve l op w ith insigh ts on Je w ish tradition (pp16- 17), w ord studie s (p. 15), ane cdote s (pp. 7576), and various tool s for re inforcing th e ne e d to l ove God and l ove oth e rs, I coul d noth e l p b utb e convicte d on sh ow ing m ore m e rcy and sym path y to th e ne gl e cte d and th e "difficul tto l ove ". Atth e sam e tim e , I re se nte d th e oppone nts of Je sus e ve n m ore . Bitte rne ss rose tow ards th e Ph arise e s and th e l e gal ists th e n, and th e Ch urch l e ade rs, th e fundam e ntal ist, and al lth ose th at"don'tge tit". (I found m yse l f in th e l ast cate gory se ve raltim e s). Th is b irth e d th e th ough tof w h y and h ow did w e ge th e re as a ch urch . W h y do w e h e ar so m any se rm ons on th e Parab l e of th e Tal e nts in M atth e w 25 b utnoton "se rving th e l e astof th e se "in M atth e w 26:31- 43? O nl y one ch apte r se parate s th e se tw o im portantte ach ings b ut in too m any pul pits w e are stre ssing our ow n pe rsonal"tal e nts", our pe rsonale nrich m e nt, our pe rsonal"q uie ttim e s"rath e r th e n se rving som e one e l se 's pe rsonalne e ds. Pe rh aps w e coul d se e k to com pl im e ntth e e xpl anation of th e "tal e nts"b y com pl e ting itw ith th e ide a of se rving th e outcast. Butth e b ottom l ine in m any of our ch urch e s is th is - Je sus th e re ce ive r of your h e avy b urde ns is an e asie r Sunday M orning se l lth e n Je sus th e se nde r of you to h e l p al l e viate oth e r's b urde ns. Th e q ue stion de m ands to b e answ e re d h ow did w e ge th e re ? H ow did so m any th e ol ogians, profe ssors, com m e ntators, pastors, and so m any oth e r ch urch l e ade rs, al l ow us as a ch urch to ge t h e re ? H e re b e ing an age of $10 m il l ion sanctuarie s, Ch ristian ce l e b ritie s, and a m ul ti- m il l ion dol l ar Ch ristian b ook /m usic/Scripture m agne tindustry. No e xpl anation is found b utM cKnigh toffe rs


a sol ution b y l iving outth e gre ate stcom m andm e nt. Th is is an e asy b ook to l ove and a difficul tone to notre com m e nd to anyone w h o de sire s to appl y th e Gospe lm e ssage in h is/h e r l ife e spe cial l y w ith such a pow e rfule nding w ith th e ch apte rs on th e LastSuppe r, Th e Crucifixion and th e R e surre ction. I h e sitate to offe r any criticism . (Furth e r b e ing a Bib l icalSe m inary stude nt, I l ook forw ard to m e e ting h im one of th e se days and te l lh im h ow b ig a fan I am of h is b l og). Th atb e ing said, one issue th atl e ftm e unse ttl e d as I continue d re ading w as th atM cKnigh tove rsim pl ifie s th e m e ssage and th e pe rson of Je sus. In sh ort, H e said and did a tre m e ndous am ountin th re e sh ortye ars and de pe nding on pe rspe ctive , som e of itw as justas controve rsialas itw as l ife ch anging. As I am w riting th is, I find m yse l f in th e aw k w ard position in notw anting to b e sym path e tic to th e Ph arise e s, h ow e ve r, w h e n w e e xam ine som e of th e confrontations, Je sus w as notth e e asie stguy to figure outfrom th e ir pe rspe ctive . Th is is true m any tim e s from our pe rspe ctive as w e l l . W h il e M cKnigh tgive s an ofte n h e ard e xpl anation of th e m e aning and conte xtb e h ind th e Parab l e of th e Good Sam aritan in Luk e 10 (pg. 53) and de scrib e s "th e w al l s"w ith th e b l e e ding w om an or th e l e pe r (pp. 156- 159 ), h e doe s notoffe r h is w isdom on som e of th e m ore difficul tsayings of Je sus l ik e "I did notcom e in pe ace b utw ith a sw ord"(M atth e w 10 :34) or som e of th e h arsh e r w ords found in various confrontations w ith th e Ph arise e s e ve n cal l ing th e m a "b rood of vipe rs". H arsh w ords from a m an pre ach ing l ove . An appropriate pl ace coul d h ave b e e n Part5 l ik e "In th e Jordan w ith Je sus"or w riting a ne w one l ik e "In th e Te m pl e w ith Je sus"or atth e "De b ate Tab l e w ith Je sus". It w oul d h ave se e m e d to b e an appropriate pl ace for som e of th e "h arde r te ach ings"of Je sus, w h ich w e re am ong th e com b ine d ob stacl e s for h is e ne m ie s in acce pting h im . To avoid a m isunde rstanding, itis notm y inte ntion to de fe nd th e se sam e pe opl e w h o w oul d ata m om e nt's notice stone m e for actions I tak e for grante d today. Je sus k ne w th e ir h e arts (as H e k now s m ine ), th e y k ne w th e proph e cie s, and m any of th e m w e re de spe rate l y consum e d b y th e ir ow n pow e r. H ow e ve r, th e re are m any tim e s Je sus did notspe ak to th e m in th e sam e k indne ss as w h e n h e forgive s th e w om an caugh tin adul te ry or M ary or th e b l ind m an or countl e ss oth e r face s in th e Gospe l . W h ate ve r our sove re ign Lord's inte ntion is, I am conte ntw ith itb utth e pointre m ains, Je sus w as notal w ays "M r. Nice - Guy"or M cKnigh ts's ve ry e nde aring Je sus. Dal l as W il l ard's de piction of Je sus in Th e Divine Conspiracy se e m s to b e a l ittl e m ore accurate as h e navigate s th rough th e m isunde rstandings b rough ton b y th e Be atitude s . Pe rh aps th e tw o can col l ab orate on a ne w b ook , Th e Divine Dogm a. In any case , M cKnigh tgive s e ach Ch ristfol l ow e r and th e Ch urch com m unity a b e autifulb l e ssing in th e Je sus Cre e d. Frank l y, it's ne arl y im possib l e to disagre e w ith M cKnigh t's th e sis of l oving God and l oving oth e rs. Afte r al l ,I am fairl y ce rtain th atdisagre e ing w ith th is truth puts th e individualin th e uncom fortab l e position of notagre e ing w ith th e Gospe l . Inde e d, if w e l ive d m ore b y th e Je sus Cre e d, our l ive s w oul d be m ore l oving, m ore sacrificial ,l e ss se l f- ab sorb e d or as w e l ik e to now say, m ore m issional . Doing so w oul d b e ful fil l ing th e m ission of th e Kingdom .


M arriage is a h ottopic w ith in th e Am e rican ch urch and our nation atl arge . Citize ns are b om b arde d w ith m e ssage s ab outm arriage th rough th e m e dia and th e b ody pol itik - - - Lou Dob b s, Jam e s Dob son, Ch ris Dodd and Ch ris Daugh try al lh ave m e ssage s ab outth e im portance of m arriage and l ove , and our cul ture is b e ing b rough t(b y of l arge m ove m e nts of m one y, ph il osoph y, re l igion and propaganda) tow ard a cul m inating de finition of m arriage in Am e rica. Candidate s running for pre side ntare spe ak ing care ful l y and w al k ing th e dotte d l ine as th e y courtre l igious citize ns to vote for th e m on b oth R e pub l ican and De m ocratic side s. De m ocratic candidate s h ave said th e y support gay m arriage atl arge b utdo notsupportitpe rsonal l y, and R e pub l icans are e ve n m ore divide d- - som e saying itis a state issue , one supporting it, and oth e rs againstitin varie s w ays and sch e m e s. Th e ch urch , b oth th e R e l igious Le ftand R e l igious R igh th ave spe ntm il l ions of dol l ars figh ting for th e de finition of m arriage in th e pol iticalsph e re . M arriage is ab stractand h ypoth e ticalon th e nationalstage , w ith m any diffe re ntsce narios pl aye d outin th e m e dia to tug atth e h e artstrings of com m on fol k to pul lth e m th is w ay and th aton issue s re garding m arriage . M arriage is a cul turalinstitution, b utfirstand fore m ostitis a com m unity of tw o pe opl e de dicate d to b uil ding and supporting a fam il y. In Ede n, God gave M an and W om an to one anoth e r th atth e y b e one fl e sh , and fil lth e e arth w ith th e ir procre ation. So w h e n w e h e ar storie s such as tw o pe opl e notb e ing ab l e to m arry b e cause of SocialSe curity issue s, w e b e gin to q ue stion th e de finition of m arriage , and if b ol d e nough , try to ch ange th e de finition of m arriage w ith in th e gove rnm e nt. Upon h e aring storie s of pe opl e re m aining singl e for h e al th or financialre asons, I agre e w ith th e sym path y for frie nds w h o can notm arry l e stth e y l ose th e ir SocialSe curity b e ne fits. Th e m ore I th ough tab outit, th e m ore itb e cam e appare ntth atth is situation ne e d notb e , th atth e y sh oul d m arry and sh oul d k e e p th e ir SocialSe curity b e ne fits as w e l l . Spe cifical l y, w h y doe s a Ch ristian coupl e ne e d a ce rtificate from a gove rnm e nte ntity to b e m arrie d in th e e ye s of God? Sh oul d notth e Ch urch b e th e arb ite r of such th ings? Th e figh ting ove r th e de finition of m arriage h as b e e n (pre dom inantl y) h appe ning in th e w rong sph e re , th e sph e re of pol itics and notth e sph e re of re l igion. For th e Ch ristian, m arriage is a Godordaine d institution, and th us do w e ne e d th e gove rnm e ntto say if w e are m arrie d or not? Th e Ch urch sh oul d prote ctth e sanctity of m arriage firstand fore m ostb y re cove ring th e re l igious duty and de votion found in th e sacram e ntalvie w of m arriage .


M arriage in Am e rica is void of spiritualsignificance - - - itis a contractualagre e m e ntb e tw e e n tw o pe opl e for tax, insurance , h e al th , l e galand fam il y re asons. O nl y w h e n b rough tunde r th e auspice s of th e ch urch doe s m arriage gain any spiritualsignificance in our cul ture . For a l ong tim e m arriage w as conve nie ntl y vie w e d b y th e b road Am e rican cul ture th e sam e w ay as orth odox Ch ristianity, b ut no l onge r so. Th is h as m e antth atm any conse rvative w atch dogs advocate pol iticalm e ans of re cove ring th e sub stance of m arriage , b utth e y h ave sough tsub stance in th e gove rnm e nt, and th e ir w ork is in vain. Th e sub stance of m arriage w as l ostw h e n th e Ch urch gave ove r th e pronounce m e nt of m arriage to th e Am e rican gove rnm e ntw h e n itsh oul d b e unde r th e w ings of th e Ch urch . In Ch ristianity, m arriage is th e ol ogical , a crucialde scription th atm e ans noth ing to ave rage Am e rican. To re gain th e sanctity of m arriage , th e institution m ustb e e m pow e re d b y th e Ch urch and give n sub stance and val ue w ith in th e Ch ristian com m unity- - - m arriage m ustb e am putate d from th e cl e nch ing grip of th e Am e rican gove rnm e ntw h ich use s th e de finition for e conom icaland pol iticalm e ans of l e galcontrol . M arriage , in th e gove rnm e nt's e ye , is a l e galcontract, noth ing m ore , and for Ch ristians to atte m ptto w rite a Ch ristian de finition of m arriage into l aw w h e n th e Am e rican cul ture as a w h ol e h as re je cte d itis a w rong approach . W h e ne ve r various spok e sm e n for th e R e l igious R igh th ave atte m pte d to sol ve th e Am e rican pe opl e 's m arriage traum a th rough l e gisl ation, th is h as form e d a l ong ch ain of th orough l y un- Ch ristian re sponse s, for itis th e pre ach ing of l aw (l ite ral l y) and notth e gospe lof l ove . Itis tim e for th e Am e rican ch urch to b e gin procl aim ing th e gospe lof l ove th rough Ch ristian m arriage , notse cul ar m arriage give n Ch ristian rul e s b utl ack ing sub stance , nam e l y Ch ristas th e ce nte r of m arriage . Th e Ch urch m usttak e th e torch of m arriage aw ay from th e gove rnm e ntand re turn itto its prope r pl ace - - - a sacram e ntof th e Ch urch th atis w itne ss to th e Ch rist. Vie w e d as a sacram e nt, th e Ch urch pl ace s spiritual ity atth e ce nte r of a coupl e 's m arriage , for it b e com e s a w itne ss of th e gospe l ;itis good ne w s to th e w orl d, w h ich h as re je cte d Ch ristian m arriage for idol s and h ol l ow variations of it. Divorce , unde r gove rnm e ntall aw s, is pe rsonal l y h urtful , b utin th e b ig sch e m e of th ings noth ing m ore th an th e dissol ution of a contract. Unde r Ch ristian m arriage , a sacram e ntde dicate d to th e spiritualnourish m e ntof th e coupl e , divorce fal l s m uch m ore e asil y unde r th e Paul ine paradigm s se tforth in th e Ne w Te stam e nt. M arriage is practical th e ol ogy- - - itis nottal k and dogm a ab outCh rist's re l ationsh ip w ith h is Bride - - - itis th at re l ationsh ip pl aye d outb e fore ne igh b ors, co- w ork e rs, and th e l ocalcom m unity. W h e n pe opl e se e a Ch ristian m arriage , th e y sh oul d se e Ch rist, notth e auspice s of th e Gre atState of W h ate ve r. And th is is th e m ostcrucialpointof al l , th atl e gisl ating Ch ristian m arriage is l ik e giving com m union to an unb e l ie ve r- - - itis void of any m e aning, h ol l ow of any sanctification, a sh adow of de e p truth . M arriage , w ith in th e Ch ristian com m unity, is a b e autifuland w ondrous sacram e nt, an e ve ntth atpl ants th e gospe lin th e fe rtil e ground of a fam il y...and to b e l ie ve for one se cond th atth e gove rnm e ntcan e ve r transl ate th atprofound th e ol ogy into non- Ch ristian, Am e rican fam il ie s is sim pl y to th row pe arl s b e fore sw ine .


"W h y m usth ol y pl ace s b e dark pl ace s?"Th is is th e b itte r q ue stion th ate pitom ize s O rual 's com pl aintagainstth e gods in C.S. Le w is's Til lW e H ave Face s, a re te l l ing of th e m yth of Cupid and Psych e . W ritte n from th e pointof vie w of Psych e 's siste r, th e b ook is O rual 's accusation againstth e god of th e Gre y M ountain for h is crue l ty in tak ing aw ay one of th e fe w pe opl e sh e e ve r l ove d: Psych e . Ye te ve n m ore h e inous th an th atis th e gods' crim e of ve il ing th e m se l ve s. O rualspe ak s of th e gods' injustice : "I say th e gods de alve ry unrigh tl y w ith us. For th e y w il lne ith e r (w h ich w oul d b e b e stof al l ) go aw ay and l e ave us to l ive our ow n sh ortdays to ourse l ve s, nor w il lth e y sh ow th e m se l ve s ope nl y and te l lus w h atth e y w oul d h ave us do. For th attoo w oul d b e e ndurab l e . Butto h intand h ove r, to draw ne ar us in dre am s and oracl e s, or in a w ak ing vision th atvanish e s as soon as se e n, to b e de ad sil e nt w h e n w e q ue stion th e m and th e n gl ide b ack and w h ispe r (w ords w e cannotunde rstand) in our e ars w h e n w e m ostw ish to b e fre e of th e m , and to sh ow one w h atth e y h ide from anoth e r;w h atis al l th is b utcat- and- m ouse pl ay, b l indm an's b uff, and m e re juggl e ry?W h y m usth ol y pl ace s b e dark pl ace s?"(ch . 21) A Gre atO ffe ring m ustb e m ade to th is god of th e Gre y M ountain, th e son of Ungit, in orde r to purge th e l and and m ak e itfl ourish once again. "In th e Gre atO ffe ring, th e victim m ustb e pe rfe ct. For, in h ol yl anguage , a m an so offe re d is said to b e Ungit's h usb and, and a w om an is said to b e th e b ride of Ungit's son,"says th e prie stof Ungit(ch . 5). Psych e is ch ose n as th is offe ring and is b ound to a tre e on th e m ountain. Late r, O rualgoe s to th e tre e to b ury Psych e 's re m ains (sh e suspe cts th atPsych e h as b e e n de voure d b y a b e ast) and is astonish e d to find Psych e h e rse l f. Psych e te l l s O rualth ath e r h usb and is th e god of th e Gre y M ountain and th ath e is a good, l oving god. H e h as b uil ta b e autifulpal ace for Psych e and provide s for h e r e ve ry ne e d. Ye th e com e s to h e r onl y atnigh tin th e cl oak of dark ne ss;Psych e h as ne ve r se e n h is face . O rualre fuse s to b e l ie ve th is and attrib ute s Psych e 's w ords to m adne ss. Th e pal ace th atPsych e se e s so cl e arl y re m ains invisib l e to O rual . Ye tafte r Psych e l e ave s and O rualpre pare s to h e ad b ack to Gl om e , sh e faintl y se e s th e god's pal ace th rough th e m ist. Sh e k now s th atPsych e spe ak s th e truth , b utpush e s th e th ough taside b e cause sh e doe s notw antto b e l ie ve . Sh e is ange re d th atPsych e l ove s th is god of th e m ountain;th atsh e is conte ntin th e l ove of h e r m yste rious h usb and and w ish e s to b e w ith h im rath e r th an re turn to O rual . Ne ar th e e nd of th e b ook , O rualis give n th e opportunity to stand as a w itne ss and m ak e h e r com pl aintagainstth e gods. Itis notuntilO rualcom e s to grips w ith h e r ow n crue l ty and se l fish l ove th atsh e is ab l e to se e th atsh e h as b e e n w rong ab outth e ch aracte r of th e gods. In truth , sh e h as


fash ione d th e gods afte r h e r ow n im age . Th e se l f- ce nte re d, de vouring "l ove "sh e accuse s to gods of displ aying is th e sam e sortof "l ove "sh e h as h ad for Psych e . Lik e th e god of th e Gre y M ountain, God is a m yste ry. O ftitse e m s th atth e cl ose r w e draw to God, th e de e pe r th e m yste ry b e com e s b e cause w e re al ize th atso m any of our th ough ts ab outth e nature of God are w rong. Justas O rualis k e ptfrom b e l ie ving in th e goodne ss of th e gods b e cause of th e suffe ring in h e r ow n l ife , so w e struggl e w ith unb e l ie f w h e n w e se e so m uch suffe ring in th e w orl d th atse e m s inconsiste ntw ith th e ch aracte r of a l oving God. W h e n O rualm ak e s h e r com pl aint againstth e gods, al lth e judge says to h e r is, "Are you answ e re d?""Ye s,"sh e re pl ie s. In e sse nce , th e answ e r from th e gods is in th e answ e rl e ssne ss. O rualre al ize s th atth e de ficie ncy l ie s w ith h e r and h e r inab il ity to unde rstand. Th e onl y answ e r is to trustth e gods. Th is is sim il ar to th e answ e r to h um an suffe ring give n in th e b ook of Job . Job ne ve r re ce ive s an e xpl anation for h is suffe ring. Job l ose s h is fam il y, h is m ate rialprospe rity and h is h e al th , ye tGod ne ve r te l l s h im th ath e w as b e ing te ste d b y th e Satan, nor is th e re ade r tol d w h y God e ve n w ants Job to e ndure such te sting. For m uch of th e b ook , Job is l e ftw ith outany tangib l e re sponse from God. W h e n God doe s sh ow up, H e e sse ntial l y te l l s Job th ath e doe s notunde rstand, b utH e is good and sove re ign. God answ e rs notb y ch anging Job 's situation righ taw ay, b utb y sh ow ing Job th ath e h as notb e e n ab andone d. In th e e nd, Job doe s re ce ive a doub l e portion of b l e ssing, h is h e al th is re store d and h e h as m ore ch il dre n. Ye t, e ve n th ough th is story h as a "good e nding"of sorts b e cause Job is bl e sse d for k e e ping h is inte grity b y re fusing to curse God, itl e ave s th e re ade r unse ttl e d. Job doe s notre ce ive h is ch il dre n b ack . Job is ne ve r give n an answ e r from God e xce ptan, "I k now w h atI'm doing, trustM e ,"so to spe ak . Th e b ook of Job e m ph asize s th atm an cannotunde rstand God's purpose s and cal l s m an to trustth atGod k now s w h atH e is doing and w il lb l e ss th ose w h o tak e re fuge in H im . In e sse nce , th e re is no purpose to q ue stioning God. God is good and God is in control . Atth e e nd of Til lW e H ave Face s, th e gods do sh ow up and O rualis transform e d from a b itte r pe rson to a b e autifulone . Sim il arl y, God h as prom ise d re de m ption and future re storation for th ose w h o tak e re fuge in H im . Ye tuntilth attim e , God's Pre se nce is ve il e d, for, l ik e M ose s discove re d, no one can se e God and l ive (Exod. 33:20 ), for sinne rs cannotstand in th e Pre se nce of a h ol y God. Al th ough th e te m pl e ve ilw as torn w h e n Ch ristm ade atone m e ntfor sin on th e cross, th e H ol y of H ol ie s is stil l , in som e se nse s, a dark pl ace b e cause w e stil ll ive in a fal l e n w orl d. O ur re sponse sh oul d paral l e lth atof Psych e . Ne ith e r O rualnor Psych e w e re pe rm itte d to se e th e god of th e Gre y M ountain, ye tPsych e k ne w th e goodne ss of h e r h usb and and sh e truste d h im . Ul tim ate l y, th e true ch aracte r of th e gods w as re ve al e d to b oth siste rs. Th ough O rual 's path w as rough e r b e cause of h e r unb e l ie f, b oth w om e n e ncounte re d th e ve il e d pre se nce of th e god of th e m ountain and cam e to k now h is l ove in th e m idstof h is h idde nne ss.


A fe w ye ars ago, I b e cam e aw are of a m ove m e ntin North Am e rican Ch ristianity w h ich re fe rre d to itse l f as "Ne w M onasticism ." A w e b site (w w w . ne w m onasticism .org) re pre se nting th ose w h o associate th e m se l ve s w ith th atm ove m e ntde fine s ne w m onasticism as "an atte m ptto disce rn th e H ol y Spirit’s m ove m e ntin th e ab andone d pl ace s of th e Em pire cal l e d Am e rica."Atth e tim e , I w as ge ne ral l y inte re ste d in th e ide a and e ve n conside re d pe rh aps b uying an ol d h ouse in th e m iddl e of a run- dow n ne igh b ourh ood in Niagara Fal l s, b e ginning to h ol d th e dail y office (according to th e Book of Com m on Praye r as I w as an Angl ican th e n) and trying to m e e tth e ne e ds of th e pe opl e around m e . I h ave com e to l ook w ith a b itof h e al th y suspicion on m y ow n de sire s to do such th ough afte r conve rsations w ith traditionalm onastics and m uch spiritualre ading, m ainl y b e cause of th e th re at of de l usion, a m ixture of vaingl ory and de ce ption th atofte n ove rtak e s th ose w h o atte m ptto l ive som e th ing of a m onastic l ife w ith outth e form ation one gains w ith in th e fram e w ork of ce nob ite m onasticism . (W ith outspiritualdire ction or unde r se l f- dire ction, th e risk is ve ry h igh as th e Fath e rs al w ays say "H e w h o h as h im se l f for a spiritualdire ctor h as a foolfor a spiritualdire ctor.") Al lth atb e ing said, I w as inte re ste d to discove r th atth e ide a of a ne w m onasticism h ad its origins, notin th e "Em e rge nt"Ch ristianity of "post- Evange l ical s", b ut, in th e w ritings of a an O rth odox nun and m artyr in th e e arl y partof th e tw e ntie th ce ntury. Th e h ol y and gl orious ve ne rab l e - m artyr M aria Sk ob tsova (al so k now n as St. M ary of Paris or M oth e r M aria), w as b rough tup in R ussia during th e pe riod l e ading up to th e Bol sh e vik R e vol ution. As a te e nage r l iving in St. Pe te rsb urg sh e e m b race d th e ath e ism th atw as pre val e ntam ong th e inte l l e ctualcircl e s and sh e b e cam e a w rite r and a poe t. But, afte r h e r m arriage to th e Bol sh e vik Dm itri Kuzm in- Karavie vfe l lapart, sh e found h e rse l f draw n b ack to th e Ch ristianity of h e r ch il dh ood b y th e h um anity of Je sus. Sh e m arrie d again and gave b irth to ch il dre n, b utas th e pol iticaltide s b e cam e unce rtain, sh e fl ed w ith h e r h usb and and fam il y, firstto Ge orgia, th e n to Yugosl avia, and final l y to France . In Paris, El izave ta (M oth e r M aria’s nam e in th e w orl d), b e gan to de vote h e rse l f to th e study of th e ol ogy and to se rving th e poor. Atth is tim e al so, sh e w as sh ak e n b y th e de ath of h e r daugh te r Anastasia and th e disinte gration of h e r m arriage to h e r se cond h usb and Danie l . As th is al lh appe ne d, El izave ta m ove d de e pe r into Paris to w ork m ore dire ctl y w ith th ose in ne e d and w as soon e ncourage d b y h e r b ish op to tak e m onastic vow s. W ith h e r h usb and’s pe rm ission, an e ccl e siasticaldivorce w as grante d and sh e re ce ive d th e m onastic tonsure and th e nam e M aria. Itw as atth is pointth e M oth e r M aria re al ize d th e ne ce ssity of a ne w m onasticism . Th e m onastic l ife th atw as l e d up til lth attim e in h e r h om e country h ad b e e n b rough tne arl y to an e nd b y th e rise of com m unism - th e Party h ad gone around cl osing and de stroying m onaste rie s and se nding m ostof th e ir inh ab itants to de ath cam ps. M any h ad fl e d th e country to form m onaste rie s in ne igh b ouring countrie s, l ik e th e Ne w Val aam o in Finl and. Butfor th ose w h o h ad fl e d furth e r aw ay, into non-


O rth odox countrie s w h e re m onasticism h ad ne ve r re al l y e xiste d, th e form ation of ce nob itic com m unitie s w as incre dib l y difficul t. W ith th e se ch ange s in conditions, m onasticism as ith ad b e e n k now n in th e im m e diate l y pre ce ding ce nturie s h ad b e com e a virtualim possib il ity. M oth e r M aria sough t, th e re fore , to pl unge into th e e sse nce of m onasticism and to find aw ay to l ive as a m onastic in h e r ne w se tting, as a poor R ussian e m igre nun l iving in Paris in a tim e of e conom ic and spiritualde pre ssion. Look ing into th e h e artof th e m onastic l ife , M aria pointe d outth atitw as b uil ton th e th re e vow s of ch astity, ob e die nce , and pove rty. Ch astity w as a se l f- e vide ntvow and, in th e m ind of M oth e r M aria, its ne ce ssity and nature w oul d notch ange in th e ne w situation. O b e die nce , unde rstood as th e cutting off of one ’s w il land k e e ping th e instruction and com m ands of a spirituale l de r, w oul d b e frustrate d b y th e ne w situation - such e l de rs did note xist, atl e astin th e num b e r ne ce ssary for al lm onastics to h ave acce ss to th e m , and th e ir ow n ine xpe rie nce w oul d k eep th e m from e xe rcising th e ir auth ority to any gre ate xte nt. Be cause of th is, M oth e r M aria offe re d th e fol l ow ing dire ction: "O b e die nce as such re m ains unch ange d, b utits m e aning b e com e s diffe re nt. A m onk sh oul d be ob e die ntto th e w ork of th e Ch urch to w h ich h e is assigne d;h e sh oul d give h is w il land al lh is cre ative pow e rs to th is w ork . O b e die nce b e com e s se rvice ,. In e sse nce , th is se rvice sh oul d b e no l e ss strictth an ob e die nce to a stare ts [spirituale l de r]. O nl y h e re re sponsib il ity re sts w ith th e m onk h im se l f, h e h im se l f tak e s th e m e asure of h is conscie ntiousne ss, h is sacrificialse l f- giving. Th e Ch urch h e rse l f b e com e s h is stare ts, and al so judge s h im , w h il e th e ob e die nce re q ue ste d is th e re sponsib l e ful fil l m e ntof w h atth e Ch urch h as ch arge d h im to do." Th e re fore , ob e die nce is notdone aw ay w ith , or ch ange d - rath e r th e h istoricalcircum stance of th e l ack of e l de rs ne ce ssitate d th atob e die nce b e dire cte d tow ards anoth e r and th atoth e r b e cam e th e Ch urch . Th e th ird vow of pove rty, or ‘non- posse ssion’ as M oth e r M aria l ik e d to putit, in th e ne w conte xt ne e de d to b e inte rpre te d as som e th ing m uch l arge r th an th e re nunciation of pe rsonalprope rty. Th e accum ul ation of m ate rialw e al th , in M oth e r M aria’s m ind, w as notth e opposite of th e vow and virtue of pove rty, b utrath e r th e e goce ntrism w h ich sh e found as a vib rantre al ity, e ve n am idstth e de stitution and de pre ssion th atsurrounde d h e r in e arl y tw e ntie th - ce ntury Europe (and w e m ust adm itis al ive and w e l ltoday in our Am e rican conte xt). O f m ode rn m an, M oth e r M aria says: "H e is th e ce nte r for w h ich cre ation e xists. Divine justice and divine m e rcy are m e asure d from th e pointof vie w of h is ne e ds . . . W e m ay say th atany re l ationsh ip, e xte rnalor inte rnal , m ate rialor spiritual , can al w ays b e an e xpre ssion of e goce ntrism - re l igious l ife is al so notfre e of it."Th is b e ing th e case , th e vow and virtue of non- posse ssion ne e ds to b e l ive d outin e ve ry one of th e se re l ationsh ips: "In e xactl y th e sam e w ay, th e principl e of non- posse ssion can b e e xpre sse d in any re l ationsh ip. Th e sub tl e r th e e goce ntrism , th e h igh e r th e l im its of th e h um an spirititre ach e s, th e m ore re pul sive itis. Th e sub tl e r th e non- posse ssion, th e gre ate r th e spiritualval ue s a pe rson re nounce s, th e m ore ful l y h e give s h is soulfor h is frie nds, th e h ol ie r h e is, and th e m ore h e corre sponds to w h atCh rist de m ands." M oth e r M aria doe s notm e an, b y th is, to trivial ize th e re nunciation of m ate rialgoods, b utonl y to tak e pove rty in its ful l ne ss: "A m onk w h o m ak e s a vow sh oul d strive to ful fil litin th e m ostab sol ute and al l - e m b racing se nse . In th e sph e re of e xte rnalth ings, a m onk sh oul d firstof al lb e non- m one yl oving and a m an w h o ow ns no private prope rty, or if h e doe s, h e sh oul d pl ace no val ue on it."But ul tim ate l y, non- posse ssion m ustb e unde rstood as "th e re nunciation of one ’s spirituale xcl usive ne ss,


itis th e giving of one ’s spiritto th e se rvice of God’s w ork on e arth , and itis th e onl y path to com m on l ife in th e one sob ornoe [R ussian w ord, b e aring th e ide a of a com m union of fre e pe rsons] organism of th e Ch urch ." Th is non- pose ssion, says M oth e r M aria, sh oul d notsim pl y give h e l p to th ose w h o se e k it, b utough t active l y to se e k th ose in ne e d to give of th e gifts God w h ich th e m onk re ce ive s. Th is activity is e xpre sse d in th e w orl d in th e form of socialw ork , ch arity, and spiritualaid. M oth e r M aria did th is h e rse l f, in turning h e r re nte d h ouse in Paris into a ‘conve nt,’ a pl ace w ith an ope n door for re fuge e s, th e ne e dy and th e l one l y, and w h e re one coul d al w ays find th e ol ogicalconve rsation. M oth e r M aria spe nth e rse l f ful l y, re nouncing e ve ryth ing to h e l p Parisian Je w s during th e Nazi occupation. Sh e , al ong w ith Fr. Dm itri, provide d a pl ace of re fuge for Je w ish ch il dre n, distrib ute d b aptism alce rtificate s to Je w s in an atte m ptto prote ctth e m from th e Ge stapo, and h e l pe d m any oth e rs e scape . W h e n th is w as uncove re d b y th e Ge stapo, th e cl ose d dow n th e h ouse and arre ste d M oth e r M aria, Fr. Dm itri, Soph ia (M aria’s M oth e r), and Yuri (h e r son). Th e y al lw e re se ntto conce ntration cam ps. M oth e r M aria w as se ntto a cam p in R ave nsb ruck , Ge rm any w h e re , on H ol y Saturday in 19 45, tak ing th e pl ace of anoth e r prisone r, sh e w as putto de ath in a gas ch am b e r. M oth e r M aria of Paris offe rs us an im age of a l ife l ive d in th e w orl d in accord w ith th e tw o com m andm e nts of Ch rist, l oving and l iving total l y for God and for th e ne igh b our. M ay sh e inspire us b y h e r ow n l ife and stre ngth e n us b y h e r praye rs to l ive ourse l ve s according to Ch rist’s com m andm e nts. M oth e r M aria, pray for us sinne rs.

As w itne sse s of truth and pre ach e rs of pie ty, l e tus w orth il y h onour th rough divine l y inspire d ch ants: Dm itri, M aria, Yuri and El ias, w h o h ave b orne th e suffe rings, th e b onds and unjustjudgm e nt, in w h ich l ik e th e m artyrs h ave re ce ive d th e im pe rish ab l e crow n.

An O rth odox Ik on and Praye r of Saint M aria of Paris. For m ore inform ation visitth e b uy th e b ook SaintM aria An Esse ntialR e ad e r


A R e vie w :

A Com m unity Cal l e d Atone m e nt b y ScotM cKnigh t

R e vie w e d b y Th om as Turne r Firstth ings first, th isa b ook w e l lw orth re ading in its e ntire ty. Curre ntl y, in th e pub l ish ing w orl d, som e auth ors w rite so m uch (and in M cKnigh t's case , al so b l og so m uch ) th atth e ir w ork s b e gin to al lb l e nd toge th e r into a h om oge nize d tre atise th at is one th e sis spun outove r and ove r again unde r diffe re nttitl e s w ith sl igh tl y diffe re ntpe rspe ctive s b utno ne w sub stance . Som e h ow , M cKnigh tis one of th ose auth ors w h o can w rite on diffe re nttopics w ith ful lforce and b re ak ne w ground inste ad of re ve rting b ack to h is com fortzone . Th is b ook coul d h ave e asil y b e com e Je sus Cre e d for Com m unitie s and no one w oul d h ave b atte d an e ye l ash . Th is h as b e com e th e q uid pro q uo of th e pub l ish ing w orl d. $17.0 0 Th ank God M cKnigh th as de cide d to do som e th ing Ab ingdon Pre ss fre sh and ne w b y pl acing th e th e ory of atone m e nt into a m issionalfram e w ork and produce th e foundationalte xtof th e Em e rge ntVil l age Living Th e ol ogy se rie s. H ope ful l y th is b ook w il lse rve as a guide to th e future auth ors in th e se rie s of h ow to b ring Ch urch h istory and m ul tipl e th e ol ogicalpe rspe ctive s into a stirring conve rsation th atl e ads to action, and nota com forting pat on th e b ack . Now to th e b ook . M cKnigh t's pre m ise for th e b ook is th is- - - th e th e orie s of atone m e ntputforth b y th e diffe re ntse cts and de nom inations of Ch ristianity since its conce ption are grossl y inade q uate in b re ath and de pth . Each th e ory l ack s th e vital ity to b e a doctrine unto itse l f, and th is re sul ts in a fragm e nte d vie w of Ch rist's w ork and action, and ul tim ate l y, of th e incarnate Ch risth im se l f. Atone m e ntis a m ajor doctrine th ataffe cts th e im age of Ch ristw e h ave , and in turn h ow w e vie w th e w orl d and our purpose in it. As th is is th e firstb ook in th e Living Th e ol ogy se rie s, one of th e ob je ctive s is h ow sh oul d we l ive w h atw e k now ?M cKnigh toffe rs a sol ution to th e atone m e ntde b ate w ith a re de fining of atone m e ntth e orie s as atone m e ntm e taph ors. Th e se diffe re nt‘‘th e orie s'' do noth ave to com pe te in th e th e ol ogicalm ark e tpl ace , b utare inste ad strands of Ch ristian th ough tth atare not- w h ol e w ith outth e oth e r th e orie s. Th e se m e taph ors of atone m e ntare th e strings of diffe re ntCh ristian auth ors- - - canonicalw rite rs, saints, and sch ol ars- - and w h e n w ove n toge th e r form a m utual l y com pre h e nsive rope of Ch rist's atone m e nt. Th e m e taph ors of atone m e nt- - - Ch ristus Victor, satisfaction, ransom , pe nal , m oralinfl ue nce , e tc. - - form a m osaic (h e aptl y use s th e m e taph or of a gol f b ag: you ne e d a l otof cl ub s [re ad m e taph ors] in orde r to m ak e to pl ay th e gam e e ffe ctive l y) of atone m e ntth atfinal l y e xpl ains th e de pth of Ch rist's atoning w ork .


W h atcan ofte n h appe n in e m e rge ntcircl e s is th atin th e re concil iation of th e orie s a m osaic is form e d and pe opl e b e com e h appy: w e agre e ! M cKnigh task s th e crucialq ue stion of any m osaic (one I h ave notask e d of m y ow n m osaic b uil ding and k now l e dge b uil ding): w e h ave unity, now w h at?Too ofte n th e purpose of e m e rge nce is unity to e ase our ach ing post- m ode rn m inds and notunity to furth e r th e k ingdom of God. M cKnigh tw ise l yl e ads us dow n th e l atte r route , and stirs up som e e xciting and inspiring possib il itie s. If w e are to b e trul y m issional , M cKnigh t surm ise s, w e are to b e a com m unity of atone m e ntw ith in th e w orl d. Th e atoning actof Ch ristdid notb e gin and e nd on Easte r, itis a Spirit- drive n rippl e e ffe ctam ongstth e nations. As th e com m unity of Ch ristin th e w orl d, th e Ch urch , b oth unive rsaland l ocal , is th e continuation of Ch rist's atoning w ork and th us atone s th e w orl d th rough justice , fe l l ow sh ip, m ission, l iving th e story as th e W ord, praye r, and th e sacram e nts. M cKnigh tb uil ds th is argum e ntin tw o w ays, starting w ith th e h um an as crack e d Eik on. In th is atone m e ntm osaic, h um ans are e ik ons (im age s) of God th atb e com e crack e d atth e Fal l . Ch rist's w ork re form s th e cl ay of our crack e d se l ve s into a ne w cre ation, an uncrack e d e ik on re - form e d b y Ch rist's atoning w ork . M issional l y, w h atfol l ow s th e n is th atw e go outinto th e w orl d as ne w cre ations and try to fix th e crack s in oth e rs th rough se rvice , justice , and l ove b y b e ing Ch ristto al l . M cKnigh tm ak e s itcl e ar th atth e atoning w ork of h um ans is notsal vific b utis stil lspiritual , w e are th e h ands of God (Luth e r w oul d say m ask s) w ork ing in th e w orl d, and th rough us God h as an opportunity to atone sal vifical l y in a pe rson. M cKnigh tste e rs aw ay from any pre de stination/fre e - w il lb attl e s and push e s tow ard th e purpose of such actions and notth e h ow . Th e se cond w ay M cKnigh tb uil ds h is argum e ntow e s a l otto th e Ne w Pe rspe ctive on Paul , and h e give s som e space and cre ditto W righ t, Dunn, and Sande rs in h is b ook . M cKnigh tcoul d h ave cal l e d h is b ook th e Ne w Pe rspe ctive on Atone m e nt, for h e use s th e tab l e au of th e com m unity found in th e NPP and e xpands itto atone m e nt. Th e com m unity of God b e cam e th e ve h icl e of justification in th e NPP, and in M cKnigh t's b ook itb e com e s th e ve h icl e of atone m e ntas w e l l . God h as ch ose n h is pe opl e, th e ch urch , to b e citize ns of th e k ingdom w h il el iving in th e w orl d, and h e w ork s th rough us and al ongside of us to ch ange th is w orl d and atone for th e Fal l . Th e goalof Ch ristian com m unity is to b uil d ne w cre ations outof crack e d e ik ons, and to do so onl y th rough th e m igh ty pow e r of Ch rist's w ork on th e cross. M cKnigh tdoe s notse e k to sh ine a l igh ton al lth e m yste rie s of atone m e nt, and h e offe rs se ve raltange nts th atare introspe ctive of th e Ch rist- l ik e ne ss us ne w cre ations are suppose d to e m b ody. Th e m e taph ors of atone m e ntsom e tim e s l e ad us to dark pl ace s, incl uding vie w ing ourse l ve s as a continualsacrifice to th e w orl d, w h ich th ough itl e ads to m uch fruitm ay al so l e ad to our suffe ring as Ch ristsuffe re d as w e l l . O ne cave atw ith th e b ook w as its l ack of e m ph asis on th e Euch aristas a sym b olof th e ch urch as a com m unity of atone m e nt. M cKnigh ttie s th e atoning com m unity to com m union in th e l ast ch apte r, b utI found m yse l f in se ve ralpl ace s unde rl ining th e w ord com m union in th e b ook and noting th is w oul d b e a gre atpl ace to tal k ab outth e Euch arist. H ow e ve r b rie f M cKnigh tdiscusse s it, h is w ords are stil lval uab l e on th e sub je ct. Th e sacram e ntof com m union re m inds us e ve ry w e e k (h ope ful l y) th atw e are th e atoning com m unity of Ch ristin th is w orl d, th atCh ristis fl e sh and is our fl e sh , and th atto l ive is Ch ristm e ans w e are to l ive e ve n as Ch ristw as/is/w il lb e atone m e nt, so th atth e Body of Ch rist, h is ch urch , m ay continue th e w ondrous atoning w ork of Ch riston th e cross. Th e cross and tom b are e m pty, Ch risth as save d th e w h ol e w orl d, and w e are th e com m unity w h o b rings h is w ork to th e w orl d. Th is b ook doe s m ore th an ith as inte nde d (to b e th e corne rstone of a l iving th e ol ogy) b e cause it al so draw s th e re ade r into a conve rsation th atis e m e rging notfrom th e sch ol arl y ch al k dustof conte m porary acade m ics b utfrom th e m arrow of atone m e ntth e orie s draw n outof W e ste rn and Easte rn Ch ristianity, and ack now l e dge s th atth e m yste ry of th e atone m e ntth atm ay continue to


l igh tdark pl ace s and fil lth e crack s of e ik ons th rough outth e e ntire w orl d. M ostim portantl y, th is b ook pave s th e w ay of m osaics and m e taph ors w ith purpose , for itcal l s for a ge ne rous orth o- praxis- - a m ove m e ntb e yond a ge ne rous grouping of doctrine s to find unity and l e ts th atunity ful fil lits purpose of b uil ding a com m unity anch ore d in atone m e nt.

A R e vie w :

W h atW oul d Je s us D e cons truct? b y Joh n Caputo

R e vie w e d b y Th om as Turne r Joh n Caputo's ne w e stb ook , th e se cond in a m ul tiauth or se rie s cal l e d Th e Ch urch and Post- m ode rn Cul ture , is an atte m ptto de constructth e unde rpinnings of e m e rging Prote stantism in th e Unite d State s, nam e l y Evange l ical ism and Fundam e ntal ism . Th e b ook is fash ione d notso m uch as a b ook ab outpostm ode rnism and de construction as a postm ode rn and de constructive b ook itse l f. Caputo pl ace s th is b ook w ith in th e oe uvre of postm ode rn th e ory and criticism , h is b ook is b uil tupon a pun, W h atW oul d Je sus De construct?is a ve ry diffe re ntre nde ring of W W JD, th e popul ar acronym for "W h atW oul d Je sus Do?"Th e popul ar Evange l icalph rase is th e $19 .9 9 sub t it l e t o t h e b ook Caput o se e s as th e catal ystof Bak e r Acade m ic th e m ode rnism w ith in Evange l ical ism and th e Rel igious R igh t, W il l iam Sh e l don's In H is Ste ps: W h atW oul d Je sus Do?Using th is ce ntury ol d m oral ity tal e as th e founding narrative of th e Ch ristian R igh t(w h ich w il lh e nce forth b e use d as th e um b re l l a te rm for Evange l ical ism , Fundam e ntal ism , th e R e l igious R igh tand Conse rvative Prote stantism as Caputo doe s in h is te xt), Caputo se ts outto de construct"W h atW oul d Je sus Do?"b y ask ing, "W h atW oul d Je sus De construct?" Caputo tak e s se ve ralstab s and jab s atth e R e l igious R igh tin a cynicaland e nl igh te ne d h um or th atis ne ce ssary w ith in a te xtth atse e k s to b ring postm ode rn ph il osoph y and criticism to l ay pe rsons. W ith in th is 138 page b ook th e te rse b arrage of ph il osoph y ne e ds som e com ic re l ie f in orde r to k e e p th e l ay re ade r from b l ow ing a fuse . Caputo casts de construction as a journe y, for "de construction is adve nture , is risk y b usine ss, as is l ife . So l ife and de construction go h and and h and"(53). Th e traditionalvie w pointof de construction, as itis re fe re nce d in pop cul ture , is th e ob l ite ration of m e aning, w h ich is note xactl y true , no m atte r w h atCh uck Col son or Joh n M cArth ur te l l s you. Caputo de constructs th is am ate ur notion of de construction, and pl ace s h is ow n spin on th ings, b randing de construction as "th e h e rm e ne utics of th e k ingdom of God,"w h at De rrida h as coine d th e giftof th e possib l e from th e im possib l e . (58) Caputo spe nds m uch of h is tim e in th e b ook m ak ing a th ough toutatte m ptto al ign postm ode rnity and de construction as a


radical , proph e tic h e rm e ne utic of th e com ing k ingdom againstth e b e h e m oth of th e m ode rnityste e pe d, Enl igh te nm e nt- drunk Ch ristian R igh tand its l ow e stcom m on de nom inator "W h at W oul d Je sus Do?"w h ich is so vague itis re nde re d m e aningl e ss. Caputo m ak e s h is case th atW h at Je sus W oul d De constructis nota h ypoth e tical , itis righ tin th e te xt: h e h as com e to uprootth e pow e rs th atb e , to b anish th e status q uo, to m ak e th e pow e rl e ss h ave pow e r, th e poor b e com e rich , th e ne e dy b e com e cl oth e d, al lin such a radicalspiritualactof l ove th atth e w h ol e th ing se e m s im possib l e , and th atis re al l y w h atde construction is ab out, th e im possib l e b e ing possib l e, th e k ingdom of God m ak ing a h e ave n on e arth outof a h e l lon e arth . Caputo pl ace s h is h e rm e ne utic of th e k ingdom of God as opposite to th e e arth l y ch urch , w h ich Caputo (righ tl y) state s ne e ds to b e de constructe d as w e l l . Th e ch urch h as far too ofte n b e e n th e arb ite r of pow e r and a rod of injustice againstth e innoce nt, w h ich can b e se e n in th e usual parade of Crusade s, papalm isconduct, and re l igious w ars. Caputo push e s farth e r, and cal l s th e ch urch "Pl an B,"m ak ing th e case th atw h e n Je sus asce nde d into h e ave n and said th e k ingdom of God w oul d com e soon, th e apostl e s didn'tk now w h atto do afte r w aiting so l ong and e nde d up starting th e ch urch . Postm ode rnists l ove to b e radicaland push th e e nve l ope , and Caputo h ardl y argue s to disb and th e ch urch and h ave spiritualanarch y, b utw h atCaputo constructs as a "Pl an B"re e k s of som e postm ode rn dispe nsational ism w h e re th e ch urch is a ste pping stone of m e diocrity untilCh ristre turns. I doub tCaputo ge nuine l y be l ie ve s th is, ye th e doe s notoffe r m uch e xpl anation conce rning h is h arsh te rm inol ogy. M oving b e yond th e pragm atism of "W h atW oul d Je sus Do?"and its m e aningl e ss h ypoth e tical s (W h atW oul d Je sus Drink ?W h atW oul d Je sus Drive ?W h atW oul d Je sus use to cl e an h is b ath tub ?) is th e cal lto b e com e Ch ristin total ity, to b e a co- de constructor w ith Ch rist, for Th atis w h y w e re q uire h e rm e ne utics. Itis our re sponsib il ity to b re ath e w ith th e spiritof Je sus, to im pl e m e nt, to inve nt, to conve rtth is poe tics into a praxis, w h ich m e ans to m ak e th e pol iticalorde r re sonate w ith th e radical ity of som e one w h ose vision w as notpre cise l y pol itical . W e ne e d h e rm e ne utics, w h ich m e ans unde rstanding l ink e d to h istoricalconte xt, and de construction, w h ich m e ans an inte rpre tive th e ory th atis m ad ab outjustice , in orde r to m ak e th is transl ation. (9 5) De construction, in Caputo's te xt, is th e m e ans in w h ich th e k ingdom of God com e s forth , for de construction is th e w ay w e rip apartth e injustice , viol e nce , and pol iticalpow e r of our w orl d in (and th rough ) Ch rist. Caputo m e ande rs h is w ay th rough som e of th e touch y, fl ash pointissue s in th e cul ture w ars, and sh ow s h ow de construction b re ak s dow n th e m ajority narrative and, w h e n w ie l de d as th e h e rm e ne utics of God, introduce s radicaljustice , h ospital ity, and l ove w h e re itis m ostim possib l e and m ostsacrificial , th e giftof im possib il ity th rough th e im possib l e God- m an, w h o die d and cam e b ack in th e im possib l e re surre ction. Inte re stingl y e nough , Caputo tak e s w h atis now th e cl assical l yl ib e ralvie w on h om ose xual ity in th e Ch urch , th atw e sh oul dl e tradicall ove supe rse de notions of sin. As a practicing de constructionist, Caputo m isse s a grand opportunity to de constructth e W e st's ve ry notion of h om ose xual ity itse l f, th at, as Foucaul tsh ow e d in h is H istory of Se xual ity, th ath om ose xual ity as a l ife styl e is a socialconstructof th e W e stth atis scarce l y one h undre d ye ars ol d (for som e gre at proof m ak e your w ay to th e O xford Engl ish Dictionary, w h ich sh ow s th e firstuse of th e w ord h om ose xualw as 189 2). Caputo doe s notde constructth e Ch ristian R igh t's vie w of h om ose xual ity, h e m e re l y re gurgitate s Ch ristian and se cul ar l ib e ral ism .


Caputo e nds h is tre atise w ith a th ril l ing, if nota tad scary, conte m pl ation of h ow de construction re - inse rts doub tinto th e Ch ristian l ife , and th atw ith in th e Ch urch is a re m nantof pe opl e who l ive th e de constructive l ife styl e of radicall ove and h ospital ity am ongstth e m ajority Ch urch w h ich is ab outh ie rarch y, pow e r, and com fort. Th e rol e of doub tin th e m idstof faith , as th e re ason for faith , and e ve n as th atw h ich is b e yond faith is a k ind of postm ode rn ne gative th e ol ogy, an acce ptance th atw e cannotprove God, prove Ch rist, prove our faith b e yond a sh adow of a doub t- - and once w e acce ptth is w e are th e n capab l e of l iving l ik e Ch ristfor w e k now l onge r cl ing to com fortab l el e gal ism or "W h atW oul d Je sus Do?"m e ntal itie s. O nl y in a postm ode rn w orl d doe s doub tl e ad to fre e dom to re al ize our im possib il ity, w h ich is onl y answ e re d in th e w ondrous m e ss of im possib il ity th atis th e ch urch , our faith , Ch rist, th e Spirit, th e Fath e r, and th e com ing k ingdom of God.

W h y O ur God is Diffe re nt

A De votional b y Noah Lang

Th e LO RD, w h o is th e inh e ritance of Jacob's de sce ndants, is not l ik e th e m . H e is th e one w h o cre ate d e ve ryth ing. And th e pe opl e of Israe lare th ose h e cl aim s as h is ow n. H e is k now n as th e LO RD w h o rul e s ove r al l . As I re ad th is ve rse , I found m yse l f incre dib l y aw e struck and h um b l e d atth e re al ization of w h o God is. In th is one ve rse , God m ak e s five cl aim s ab outh is pe rson and ch aracte r: 1. H e is th e Portion of Jacob Th e study note in th e NET Bib l e for th is ph rase says: "Th e ph rase th e portion of Jacob 's de sce ndants, w h ich is appl ie d to God h e re , h as its b ack ground in th e division of th e l and w h e re e ach trib e re ce ive d a portion of th e l and of Pal e stine e xce ptth e trib e of Le vi w h ose "portion"w as th e LO R D. As th e oth e r trib e s l ive d off w h atth e ir portion of th e l and provide d, th e trib e of Le vi l ive d off w h atth e LO R D provide d, i.e ., th e tith e s and offe rings de dicate d to h im . H e nce to h ave th e LO R D as one 's portion is to h ave h im provide for al lone 's ne e ds." By using th is titl e for h im se l f, God is prom ising to provide for h is pe opl e . I w as fortunate e nough to grow up in a h om e w h e re I didn'tne e d to w orry ab outw h e re m y ne xtm e alw as going to com e from or w h e re I w as going to l ive . I h ad th e confide nce th atno m atte r w h atw as going on in m y l ife , m y ne e ds w oul d b e m e t;m y fath e r w oul d provide for m e . As ch il dre n of God, w e h ave th e sam e assurance . H e is Je h ovah Jire h , Th e Lord W h o Provide s, and h e h as prom ise d to provide al lour ne e ds (Ph il . 4:19 ).


2. H e is notl ik e th e m . Th is ph rase is m ore pow e rfulin l igh tof w h atGod h as said ab outth e fal se idol s: "Th e y cannottal k . Th e y m ustb e carrie d b e cause th e y cannotw al k ... th e y cannoth urtyou. And th e y do noth ave any pow e r to h e l p you."(10 :5) "Th e y are th e h andiw ork of carpe nte rs and gol dsm ith s... Th e y are al lm ade b y sk il l fulw ork e rs." (10 :9 ) "For th e im age h e forge s is m e re l y a sh am ... Th e re is no b re ath in any of th ose idol s."(10 :14) "Th e y are w orth l e ss, m e re ob je cts to b e m ock e d."(10 :15) W h atdoe s itm e an if God is notl ik e th e m ?Itm e ans th ath e is th e Living God (10 :10 ), th ath e tal ks to h is pe opl e (10 :1), th ath e is th e Cre ator, notth e Cre ate d (10 :12), and th ath e is w orth y of th e w orsh ip and ob e die nce h e h as com m ande d from h is pe opl e. 3. H e is th e one w h o cre ate d e ve ryth ing. I th ink God is using a l ittl e b itof irony h e re for e ffe ct. In th e firsth al f of th e ch apte r, h e de scrib e s h ow th e pe opl e cre ate d idol s from tre e s and m e tal . In th e se cond h al f of th e ch apte r, h e de scrib e s h ow h e cre ate d th e e arth . Itm ak e s th e w orsh ip of idol s se e m fool ish . W h y w orsh ip som e th ing you h ave cre ate d w h e n you can w orsh ip th e one w h o cre ate d you?And ye tpe opl e today stil lw antto w orsh ip a god cre ate d in th e ir ow n im age inste ad of th e God w h o cre ate d us in h is im age . Eve n Ch ristians fal linto th e trap of th ink ing God is l ik e th e m inste ad of trying to b e l ik e God. Th e Lord is th e one w h o cre ate d e ve ryth ing, and h e is th e one w h o is w orth y of our w orsh ip. 4. Th e pe opl e of Is rae lare th os e h e cl aim s as h is ow n. Afte r de scrib ing h ow Israe lh as cre ate d fal se idol s, and h ow th e y are com pl e te l y de pe nde ntupon h im for provision and are unab l e to care for th e m se l ve s, and re m inding th e m h ow h e is th e om nipote ntCre ator, God m ak e s th e state m e ntth ath e h as cl aim e d Israe las h is ow n. As Ch ristians, w e h ave b e e n adopte d as ch il dre n of God. H e h as cl aim e d us as h is ow n. Th e Cre ator, th e Provide r, th e O ne w h om w e h ave forsak e n, conside rs us h is posse ssion. "Th e Spirith im se l f b e ars w itne ss to our spiritth atw e are God's ch il dre n. And if ch il dre n, th e n h e irs (nam e l y, h e irs of God and al so fe l l ow h e irs w ith Ch rist) - if inde e d w e suffe r w ith h im so w e m ay al so b e gl orifie d w ith h im ."(R om ans 8:16- 17) "Butyou, b roth e rs and siste rs, are ch il dre n of th e prom ise l ik e Isaac."(Gal atians 4:28) "Butyou are a ch ose n race , a royalprie sth ood, a h ol y nation, a pe opl e of h is ow n, so th atyou m ay procl aim th e virtue s of th e one w h o cal l e d you outof dark ne ss into h is m arve l ous l igh t."(1 Pe te r 2:9 ) 5. Th e LO R D w h o ru l e s ove r al l . Th is nam e of God is actual l y th e LO R D of arm ie s, and itis a titl e use d to sh ow God's stre ngth . H e re


(and ofte n in th e proph e ts) ittak e s on additionalm e aning b e cause of th e judgm e ntis h e pronouncing on Israe l . "Liste n! Ne w s is com ing e ve n now .Th e rum b l e of a gre atarm y is h e ard approach ing from a l and in th e north ..."(Je re m iah 10 :22) God is notonl y th e Lord ove r th e h ostof ange l s in h e ave n, h e is th e Lord ove r th e arm ie s of th e e arth . God h as l e ftno room for doub tin th e m inds of Israe lth ath e is b e h ind th e invade rs. Th e Bab yl onian arm y w as use d b y God to judge h is pe opl e for th e ir disob e die nce . W e se rve a God of l ove and m e rcy and grace , b utl e tus ne ve r forge tth atw e al so se rve a God of justice and righ te ousne ss and judgm e nt. So w h atsh oul d our re sponse to th is passage b e ?I th ink itsh oul d b e an attitude of aw e and h um il ity atw h o God is, and a de sire for God to re fine us into a pe opl e h e is notash am e d to cal lh is ow n. Je re m iah unde rstood th is and h is re sponse is ve ry appropriate : "So corre ctm e , LO R D, b utpl e ase b e ge ntl e ."(10 :24, NLT).

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The Everyday Journal Vol. 1, Issue 1