Entries Tagged 'Thisweekatlittlehills'
Melanie Haynes shares a thought provoking devotional thought this week from the story of Job. What are we to think when things go wrong?
Continuing from Part I.
It was so quiet that even the proverbial church mouse was not stirring around St. Francis of Assisi Chapel. Father Thomas, who had just plodded through the passageway that connected the church with the parsonage mused about the simple blessing of a warm passageway between his office and home. Though he had initially resented when the bishop had placed him in the little country parish, it did have its perks.
He gazed out the window of his home and looked down the hill where the moonlight danced on the water of small pond that the church owned. A smile crossed his face — it would only be a few months before parish children were once again playing in the pond, seeking a short respite from the heat. Life was good here.
His reflection caught his attention in the windowpane. His hair was almost entirely gray now, and the light silver rims of his glasses twinkled back at him. He sighed. He was growing old; he had originally intended much more exciting adventures for his life, but now he was known as the kindly, quiet cleric whose big secret was that he would sometimes sneak down to the pond to fish for a little while when he needed a break from the problems of the parish.
He shuffled over to his small kitchen and pulled an old coffee filter out of his Mr. Coffee. He opened open a small box that held filters and put a new one in, then took a few tablespoons of decaf coffee and placed it in the filter. A little coffee would be nice before heading to bed. Thomas then filled the coffee pot with water and started pouring it into the coffee maker. It was only then that he heard the peculiar sound coming from the chapel. It sounded like a chain saw.
Not usually a particularly brave man, the recollection of the simple enjoyment he received from the parish apparently had instilled a momentary protectiveness of his parish and he dashed over to the door that led to the passageway he had just passed through and unbolted the lock. The sound seemed to be coming from the front of the nave. He passed quickly from the apse and glanced down the aisles of pews. No, the sound was coming from the narthex. He rushed down the center aisle and pushed hard against the old, wooden doors that led to the entryway. The sound had ceased, and that's when he realized what it had been. As he stood in a stupor of a particularly confused form of shock, he heard the squeal of a car not far off. A cold breeze caused him to shiver. By the time he came back to his senses, the vehicle was long gone.
His hands trembled as he turned around and retraced his steps, trying to figure out precisely how he'd explain the situation to the police.
The following thought amused me the other day.
About seven or eight hundred years ago, something happened that disrupted theology as it formerly was: the Greek classics, and, particularly, Aristotle, took the universities by storm and suddenly there was a growing rift between the arts and theological faculties. Suddenly, theology lost its grip on explaining things as people trusted in human understanding over God's understanding. To heal the rift, someone needed to show that it was possible to bridge the worlds of reason and faith — to show, in fact, that they were not two separate worlds at all. Someone stepped up to the plate and did just that.
About a century ago, a similar problem occurred again. New and improved techniques of scholarship had lead people to further separate authority from theology, and particularly from Scripture. The Church had become a weak shadow of itself, wallowing in shaping God in man's image. More than just giving up its authority to explain the world, theology had conceded explaining itself entirely to human devices. To heal the rift, someone needed show that it was possible to bridge the worlds of reason and faith — to show, in fact, that they were not two separate worlds at all. Someone stepped up to the plate and did just that.
Of course, regular readers of asisaid will know I am talking about none other than the Angelic Doctor, Thomas Aquinas, and Karl Barth. Aquinas synthesized Aristotle to show that his highly rational, realistic framework for just about everything worked well with the teachings of the Church. Likewise, Barth showed that one could accept higher criticism and other tools that came out of nineteenth century theological liberalism and still accept the essential doctrines of the Church. In both cases, the effect was to show reason and faith are not disjuncts.
Aquinas's synthesis suffered its share of critics in the time immediately after its genesis, and I'd suggest we are currently seeing something very similar falling out with Barth. Some reject Barth's willingness to accept scholarly techniques, such as higher criticism, and others reject Barth's adherence to orthodoxy. Whatever the particular tiff, Neo-Orthodoxy, at least in the U.S., is relatively a weak force compared to its neighboring systems on either side of the theological spectrum.
The question for us in this twenty first century is what will become of theology? If Barth continues to follow the example of Aquinas, then this is the century that Neo-Orthodoxy will revitalize theology. Ed probably wouldn't pick the world “revitalize” for such an occurrence, but in the great theological revival of the twenty first century, he'll see the light. Perhaps soon we will be able to refer to the Swiss theologian by a nice, honorary title too (if only Protestants used such titles).
Cranium Leakage's resident teacher and all around great guy Christopher tagged me about a week ago to do a meme where I list five things that are little known about myself. Let's have at it.
- I don't like mint. This isn't something that people discuss much, because mint seems to be an almost “neutral” flavor — like vanilla — for many people. Not me. I don't like it. I don't mind the chocolate mint cookies from the Girl Scouts, but other than that…
- I collect snowmen. I have a little wooden snowman who appears to be dancing and a small snowman candle sitting on my desk, for example.
- I do not like to fly. Planes make me somewhat apprehensive and my ears do not get along very well with them.
- I can do rhymes and meters without too much effort, but for some reason my mind has trouble working with limericks. I usually end up adding too many syllables or something like that.
- My favorite book growing up was Everybody's Business, a book of profiles on the top 500 companies.
Incidentally, ahem, it seems that some certain teacher did not do his homework that I assigned him. But, I've done mine. So there.
I'm going to be another day late. One day soon I will return.
It looks like more ice is on the way, and given the existing coating, I'm expecting a lot of trees to fall. If they do, who knows if the power will remain on. In such a case, I may be offline for a few days. Hope y'all are having a good weekend.
One thing led to another, and what was suppose to be a small job today at church preparing the network infrastructure for the big office move tomorrow turned into the big office move today. All the computers are setup once again inside the main building rather than in a house across the street (where they've been for the last 21 or so months), a new wireless network is starting to go into place, and a new methodology for the naming of computers and static internal IP assignment has been implemented.
It was a lot more work than I expected to do today, but it was better than doing it tomorrow, and I had a lot of fine help to make the task actually manageable. It only took about ten hours. Woohoo!
I haven't even had time to read my blog comments, but I didn't want to break my resolution to post a challenge question today, so here we go.
Intermediate Question (2 pts. for each possible answer)
Which nation(s) joined the EU as of today?
Well, my last post was early, but now I can officially wish y'all a very happy new year! Ah, 2007! This should be a good year, I think. Tomorrow, my resolution is to bring some new asisaid Challenge questions for my wonderful blog readers to be tormented with.
In the mean time, just a few moments ago, I decided on a few resolutions:
- I don't have a lot of hope for learning a musical instrument, but it is time I became fluent in at least musical notation. Then I could play around with MIDI stuff and maybe compose something (even though I couldn't play whatever I came up with).
- Aim for fluency in Greek. I want to be able to read the Greek New Testament as my primary Bible some day. Maybe not this year, but this is the year I need to expand into reading it more often.
- Write a book. I need to quit talking about this and actually put the pen to the paper. I have the beginnings of a novel as well as a book on philosophy of religion. One of them should be at least in a rough draft by the end of 2007.
Feel free to share your resolutions below. Once again, Happy New Year!