Saturday, November 10, 2007


The blog flavour of the day is apol0getics. John debates with Chris Hallquist over difference makers and abstract objects like mathematical truths.

James Kugel writes: In the case of the Bible, as we have seen, the assumptions one brings to the text are crucial to its meaning. (ht Phil at Narrative and Ontology)

This is a bit like the 10 favorite verses meme. We pick and choose from our needs what we want to see. Are we like the famous creator of Snoopy who claimed he never knew love (see also today's Globe and Mail)?

Did I choose love or did Love choose me? You all know how to play that word game - shall we call it grammatical reversal? But like John's punch in the stomach, life is more than such a game. Agreement on abstraction (latin: to draw out of) is not all that there is to being drawn into the chamber of the one who is lifted up for your sake or being redrawn in the image of the incarnate.

Artist, draw yourself. You see, you need a difference maker.

Phil also nicely comments on Stephen (aka Q)'s response to Kugel, whose reasonable denial of every imaginable form of apology reminds me of Ellul's denial of every reason for prayer (except for one) in his Prayer and Modern Man, a book I used to have a copy of - but you know the act of praying is more important than the book.

Why does the Bible work when other things don't? Well - it just happens to be available. If it weren't available, the same difference maker would create it from the stones.

In the beginning (everything needs a bootstrap - and they are notoriously difficult to design and program), there was a difference, a clumpiness in the primal soup which lit upon the as yet unknown scene of our observation. Was everything else from then debits and credits? When you wrap up the department, do you have a net zero sum impact? O Then and When, do not apply for a job in theology. You are not qualified. I choose instead an orthogonal Glory, one of the additional dimensions of string theory. I think it was Stafford Beer who defined God as a source of negative entropy.

How then! will I enter into Glory? Not then, not when, but Now - be lifted up in the open shame of God by the recognition (Tamar & Joseph) of the humility of the servant who in the love, glory, and unity that is before and in the face of the foundation of the world makes that difference in reality for us, together and alone, that allows the engagement of our flesh in him and he in us.

Tongue tied? Let it go. Enter in to the Holy Place - because you are invited (the only reason for prayer). You will stumble, but you will sing without regret. In the crux of meaning, you will dismiss your false assumptions about a lot of things. You will no longer confuse belief with praxis or praxis with law, morality or ethics. You will say with Peter, Where else will we go? You have the words of eternal life. You can ask with the melismatic pathos of Oliver - Where is love? And you will say to the difference maker - My God, it is sufficient.

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