Archives For March 2014

…the clouds are the dust of his feet. (Nahum 1:3)

Blogpost Western Skies

 

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s: God’s Omnipresence: A Hymn

‘Lord, even as Thou all-present art,

O may we still with heedful heart

Thy presence know and find!

Then, come what will, of weal or woe,

Joy’s bosom-spring shall steady flow;

For though tis Heaven thyself to see,

Where but thy Shadow fall, Grief cannot be!’

(The Complete Poems Penguin Classics 1997, p.306)

 

I seem to be on a roll with pictures of some of the scenery surrounding us.

Despite being temperamental at times, the Australian climate is both breathtaking and beautiful. It compliments the landscape, consistently outshining itself with every announcement made about the close of each new day.

It maybe a little long in the tooth, but if I had to name the photo I would ‘christen’ it: “Autumn blossoms and cold skies roll in from the West.”

 

Talking About Vistas

March 27, 2014 — 2 Comments

Making a slightly divergent post away from theology for today.

The view this morning reminded me of the fishermen’s axiom. (or should that be fisherperson’s axiom?)

Pink sun, blueish purple clouds.

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Very thankful for the rain.

I guess the “red sky in the morning” axiom rings loud with truth.

 

Funding Gratitude

March 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

Funding the time to practice, and find gratitude for the time and space to study is not always easy.  I did, however, manage to get in some post-homeschool afternoon reading today.

Barth:

‘God is not what we know as love in ourselves…We are taught by John’s Gospel and 1st letter, not about the deity of love, but the love of the Deity’ (C.D 1:2 1938:374)

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landscape blogpost header

It is true that water falls and land descends.

But, it is also true that land ascends as water falls.

Even though a riverbank may burst,

or slow erosion move soil,

the land will re-appear.

Nurtured into being:

Fresh. Clean. Thankful.

The landscape revitalised,

re-emerging with colour,

a glistening valiant vista.

 

Anne Of Green Gables quote Blog post header 21_3_2014

In his discussion on ‘The Freedom of Man for God’, Karl Barth distinguishes between human triumphalism and ‘God’s triumph’[i]. Barth’s exposition asserts that human triumphalism stands against the God who triumphs.

Human triumphalism is both an active and passive denial of God. It is a fanatical rejection of the Creators rights to His creation. His Lordship is undermined, ignored and forgotten in order for humanity to assert their own. This act exemplifies itself in the form of ‘primal atheism’[ii]; humans reaching for God’s power whilst at the same time proclaiming that such a power only exists in a special few (mysticism) or does not exist at all (atheism).

In short, men and women seek to become lordless powers.

Examples of this can be seen in how some modern proponents utilise Religion or ideology to justify their rejection of God’s Lordship in Jesus Christ. Via claims to superior, “inside” knowledge or the Darwinian excuse that the strong determine the treatment or mistreatment of the weak.

In the progressive quest to work for God, or alternatively ignore God, we find elements which seek emancipation from God.

Consequently, the biblical promise of a ‘newness of life’ (Romans 6:4) is replaced with a mystical fog or a reason induced cold pragmatism. Most often affirmed by an esoteric elitism who, hiding behind entitlement, choice, nature and good intentions, hypocritically end up forcing a tyrannical ‘denial of life’ upon humanity.

Ultimately, the charade is found wanting and sinful humanity is once again reminded of its tendency to parade darkness as light.

No matter how hard we try, we cannot apprehend that which can only be given to us.

Humanity remains unfree in the ignorance and futility of its quest to be free from the Creator, who has and still does, have a right to His creation. By enforcing His right the Creator appears as powerless. In mercy, He lowers Himself in order to raise us up.

‘Freedom to be for God is not a freedom which we have taken, but a freedom which God has given to us in His mercy’ [iii]

Our lack of  sensitivity and response to God’s approach i.e.: our lack of ‘receptivity to revelation through gratitude and humble recognition’[iv], leads to a rejection of God and His freedom.

Paul writes:

‘We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death He died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 6:10)

This in consequence means that ‘to be with God is to be in Christ’[v].

God’s triumph is God’s revelation which has been given in Jesus the Christ and is asserted in this time of grace by the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit. In Christ, and only in Christ, is God’s triumph reconciled to human triumphalism. From this point we stand and say “Jesus is the Victor”. From this point we abandon all questions that concern ourselves with what we have to do to be in God’s will, or win his approval. From this point we take up our true concern: the invitation into participation with what God has already done and is doing right now on our behalf.

As Barth noted:

God’s continued  presence in us and for us means a ‘state or position in which humans may find themselves, but only with amazement, only with gratitude, only in humble recognition of an accomplished fact…an earlier state is one of self-glorification and self-will. Apart from the triumph of God it would still be the state of humanity today. Marked again by forgetting or denying the triumph of God by seeing (and calling) the power of God on us and in us as anything other than the Holy Spirit’[vi]

©RL2014


[i] Barth, K. 1938 Church Dogmatics I.II Hendrickson Publishers p.260
[ii] Ibid, p.321
[iii] Ibid, p.258
[iv] Ibid, p.260
[v] Ibid, p.258
[vi] Ibid, p.260

blind mirrors haikus

Schoolyard popularity
Social media celebrities
Armchair activists ignoring reality

News feed narcotics
Narcissist neurotics
Status anxiety?

A “like” is not endorsement
Endorsement is not a comment
Silence betrays arrogance?

Fearing opinions
Impression management
Feeds perceptions

Poses vs. tags
Covering and uncovering
Wrinkles and rags

The calm update hides a post-atomic sky
Words are lost in the smoke & desolation
Blind mirrors reflect no light

©RL2014

Haikus Definition


Source: Merriam-Webster

Five links_Jpeg

Some time has passed since I’ve linked some of the great articles I come across.

So I decided to end the weekend by sharing a few. Should you get the chance, I recommend taking the time to browse their archives .

1). Walter wrote Context is Everything in February stating that

 ‘it is a dangerous thing to interpret God’s word out of context’.

His words reminded me of the many times I would hear the words ‘context is everything’ as I studied.

2). Those annoying Christians: Jenny raised some interesting points about Christians who seem to place appearance over-against substance.

”It seems very manipulative and arrogant to use God’s name to get someone to feel or do something.  It doesn’t even matter what you say after those words, simply by using them, it sets a wall up and discredits whatever you say. It’s especially awful to say “It is God’s will” after something unfortunate happens to make them feel better.  We need to be careful with those words, perhaps only saying them after scriptures and not human events.”

3). 5 Blogging, Publishing, & Writing Misconceptions: Katie’s article highlights some insights from her experiences as a published writer and seasoned blogger. Of special interest is Katies conclusion, stated under Misconception #5 – To be a successful blogger, I just need to write:

“Writing is a very small part of what makes a successful blogger/author/writer… so I’ve learned.Blogging is a community.” 

4). More and Mores (and Morays): In assessing the concepts of natural and unnatural within the context of social constructs, Scott asserts that

“the equating of what is natural with what is acceptable completely misses the point of what morality is. I must make the observation here that moral behavior is always at odds with our “natural” tendencies – that’s precisely WHY moral behavior is revered and respected!  Call me Master-of-the-Obvious, but isn’t the reason we value truth-telling precisely because we know we all have a natural tendency to lie?…By definition, moral behavior is not natural. If anything, I’d say it’s…well, kind of…supernatural”.

5).Christ has witnesses outside the Church: Kevin posted some sound quotes discussing a little bit about Barth’s rejection of ‘natural theology[i]‘ , and it’s relationship to the visible and invisible Church. As I wrote in the comments, I came across a ”hint” of this in my recent reading of CD.1.2:181 where Barth discusses the ”Virgin Birth” and those who deny it. e.g.: ”It is within God’s counsel and will to make this possible, just as it cannot be at all impossible for Him to bring anyone to the knowledge of Himself even beyond the sphere of the Church visible to us”.. The key to understanding the ‘hints’, for me at least, is in his words: ”beyond the sphere of the Church visible to us”.


[i] i.e.: human attempts to reach the God, which inadvertently misses the fact that he reached, reaches and is reaching out to us.