June 5th, 2006

HTOC

Today is Monday

We begin the week anew.


Saturday brought me to Minneapolis on an early-morning bus ride.  I awoke Abby and we eventually found ourselves biking through Minneapolis in heat and soreness.  Why does it take the destruction of muscle cells to make the body feel alive?  I ended up that evening at a coffee shop, finishing off Steinbeck's Wrath and Jim Forest's A Pilgrim to the Russian Church.  I met a middle-aged fellow named Andrew, a patent-lawyer recovering from a very recent divorce.  His face was amazingly similiar to that of my old companion, Tim Bauman.  We talked about the Cities and his recent marital cessation.  

And to us Sunday is given for worship!  It is a strange thing: worship.  We gather, a rag-tag band of weak but well-meaning people, and we stand together for almost two hours, singing and praying and then receiving Life veiled in bread and wine.  Liturgy demands my attention and quickly informs me just how innattentive I am.  It's brilliant.

Most of Sunday afternoon was spent in a sleepy and beautiful haze.  

I met with an admissions counselor today at one of the local schools.  I am so ignorant of all things college-related, being that it has been four years since last I was instructed as to how one enters college (and I wasn't paying attention four years ago).  Lord, have mercy.

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Nehemiah cries: " Oh LORD God of Heaven, the great and terrible God..."

HTOC

the beauty of christian orthodoxy is a symphony

I am reading a series of lectures honoring the late Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan.  The book is entitled Orthodoxy and Western Culture and in its opening pages Pelikan himself describes his assumption of orthodoxy from a scholarly standpoint:

...Increasingly I came to believe that every theological system, even a heretical theological system, emphasizes one valid aspect or dimension of orthodoxy...but at the expense of others.  Therefore I found, not in theological liberalism and historical relativism (as so many of my predecessors, teachers and contemporaries did) but in tradition and orthodoxy, the presupposition from which to interpret any portion or period.

What Pelikan is saying here strikes me as a very interesting apologetic.  One should assume orthodox Christian belief is true because all the unorthodox (heretical, if we must) beliefs that surround orthodoxy are included in the whole of orthodoxy, but only as broken pieces, shards of glass from a stain-glass window.  I think history has proved this likely.  Jesus of Nazareth was a man who was born and  who diedThis is true but it is heresy when it is separated from the rest of the orthodox belief about his nature and work.  God is one.  This is true but it is only a piece of the truth, as we see that in orthodoxy God is both the one and the many.  God is all-knowing.  Again, this is a correct teaching, but it slips into heresy when this teaching breaks off from the orthodox teaching of man's free will.

What is so amazing about this is that Christian orthodoxy, far from being exclusivist, is the most all-inclusive type of theology there is.  Indeed all ancient and modern aberrations of Christianity are mere pieces of a beautiful whole.  There may be beauty in heterodoxy, yes, but it is the beauty of a single note; whereas the beauty of orthodoxy is a symphony.