Thursday, January 1, 2009

Misquote of the day

Piety must always be guided and checked by dogma. HT Macrina.

Piety and dogma are not two of my favorite words. And do I really want to be guided or checked? The tone of Macrina's post is one of enforced belief. If you can't say theotokos, you are not alive. I.e. a tone of faith as a power trip. Believe this or "you are estranged from God". Is that the mark of love? On the other hand, one could say that the doctrine of Mary is us. If there is no incarnation in each of us, then of what value is our faith?

Tell me what you think of this post - or not. What matters is deeper than the threat of those words or these:

The Christological doctrine can never be accurately and adequately stated unless a very definite teaching about the Mother of Christ has been included. In fact, all the Mariological doubts and errors of modern times depend in the last resort precisely upon an utter Christological confusion. They reveal a hopeless “conflict in Christology.” There is no room for the Mother of God in a “reduced Christology.” Protestant theologians simply have nothing to say about her.
Who is my mother?


scott gray said...


i've just discovered the idea of 'victorian gaze,' which men project onto 'helpless women' so they can save them from terrible things. i think we(males) apply it not only to women (in my case, slender red-heads), but to boats, cars, houses, and animals, too. i'm beginning to think we do the same for the church, the canon, the holy spirit, and mary mother of god.

is this a good thing, or a bad thing? are dogma and piety helpless women as well, who require/desire our victorian gaze? do they need rescuing?

or are they feminine in some other female archetype?

happy new year to you, my friend.



Bob MacDonald said...

Hi scott - happy new year to you and peace in this tumultuous age.

I have not heard of this 'victorian gaze' but I do know of some stories of such a sentiment by Dickens himself. What is our requirement to preserve or conserve what we have been given? NT Wrong calls me very conservative. But I think he misunderstands what needs conserving - just like most of us. What I discovered in my pathos is something no church or preacher ever told me. One who named it explicitly in a pulpit was not ordained and was never heard from again in that congregation (at least not by me). The powers that be conserve their powers. The Anointing conserves my life - but only after I have voluntarily released control over it to the death of His Anointed.

I think the best construction I can put onto the preserving of old metaphors for salvation is that they too were pointing to a real gift in the love of God and as such they deserve attention as pointers - but please don't eat the menu. As to the mystery of male and female - it is my wife who taught me to see colour. And today she wants to replace a highly patterned pair of cushions just because they fail to match perfectly in the living room.

- what! you can't use those covers (they looked like cushions in pajamas)
- they do nothing for the room. I hope we don't have any visitors coming over!

I was adamant so she let me stuff the cushions back into their colorful covers - which do have some match allowing the gold to shine in the darker blues of the rest of the room.

I don't usually bother - but she had taught me over 40 years - actually yesterday was our 121st anniversary. 41 years ago today we were on our return journey by train from Victoria to Montreal. Ah - such foolish youth!

scott gray said...

hey, bob--

i was reading a bit of alan watts this morning, this is it. here's what he says about experience:

"if the experience of 'cosmic consciousness' is unspeakable, it is true that in trying to utter it in words one is not 'saying' anything in the sense of conveying anything or making a proposition. the speech expressing such an experience is more like an exclamation."

this is what i always get from your posts-- a fabulous exclamation. i don't always comprehend, or better yet, understand, your responses as ex-planations, (although after reading jk gayle's post on womb-man where he ex-plains about ex-plaining, i comprehend a bit more of what you say), but i appreciate your responses as exclamation every time.


p.s. at my house, my wife is incharge of colors and pillows and decors. i'm in charge of the lawn.