May 23rd, 2015

sacred history is thus also the history of our own time

“Marxists, for their part, are not strictly obliged to deny the worth and beauty of historical Christianity, or to minimize its revolutionary consequences: but they maintain that its work is done, that the crisis of dissolution is upon it, that a new era has begun; mankind has progressed beyond Christianity towards a religion of the future. The Christian answer to this contemporary challenge is a confession of faith: there is no superseding Christ, he is the fulfillment of all things, he is Alpha and Omega, the last end of the world as he is the spring of its eternal youth. In him all things are made new, and the word ‘beyond’ has no meaning in relation to him who is the consummation of all. His coming is the completion of the human story; therefore we look for no progress, no development comparable in importance with that which we already possess in Jesus Christ. He has given us infinitely more than any technological advance or social revolution could offer.

The Marxist conception of history is open-ended: his preoccupations are with the future. For Christians, the structure of history is complete, and its decisive event, instead of coming last, occupies the central position. Nothing can ultimately go wrong. The acceptance of final justification and salvation as a gift, not as of our own making, is simply a reflection, in the eschatological plane, of the sense of utter dependence which characterizes, and indeed constitutes the basis of, all religion. But this does not mean that we have no more to do; after the central, decisive event, the task remains of ensuring that all men come into effective possession of the gift once secured in principle for all mankind. Sacred history is thus also the history of our own time.

In this later current period of time the outstanding events are those of the sacramental life. This is something vastly more important than the achievements of modern thought, or the discoveries of science, or victorious wars, or successful revolutions, all which things make up the tissue of recorded history, but leave no trace at the deeper levels where real history is enacted. The greatness of these mighty works belongs to the intellectual and the physical world, but the mighty works of the spiritual world, in the order of charity, are the sacraments. ‘Jesus Christ made no discoveries’, wrote Pascal, ‘but he was humble, patient, holy, holy in the sight of God, terrible to evil spirits.’ For want of a thorough-going conviction of this truth, we are too easily apt to be impressed by intellectual and physical achievements, and to forget that we ourselves hold the secret of God’s own plan of love. In our false sense of values we make to ourselves idols of the things men revere-science, money, history, the State-though the first of the commandments is ‘thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and serve none but him’ (Matt. 4:10).” pg. 82,83 “The Lord of History: Reflections on the Inner Meaning of History” by Jean Danielou
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

becoming like God by participating in the life of God

It is in the flow of sacred history 1:39 PM Saturday afternoon. Today the sun is shining and people are all outside subduing Nature.

I am recovering from volunteering at the Herrick District Public Library used books store from 10 AM till 1 PM. I had a normal time at the book nook. When not helping people I read from a book titled, "Because I Was Flesh" The Autobiography of Edward Dahlberg. I brought home from the book nook three used books to ADD to our library-

"Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, & The Heart of the Matter" three novels by Graham Greene in one giant paperback

"A History Of The Indians Of The United States" by Angie Debo

"Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II" by Douglas A. Blackmon

I got home from the book nook around 1:10 PM I ate lunch and wrote in my paper diary. Not much else to report so I will close to drift through existence.

I got out these books to read this weekend-

"Cruciformity: Paul's Narrative Spiritual of the Cross" by Michael J. Gorman

"Inhabiting the Cruciform God: Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul's Narrative Soteriology" by Michael J. Gorman

"Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission" by Michael J. Gorman

Last night I read my books and watched a little television. I went to bed around 11 o'clock PM and read into the early morning hours from the book, "Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission" by Michael J. Gorman. I got up this morning around 7 o'clock AM. Existence keeps decaying. It will soon be over and then the Eternal State.
  • Current Music
    Jay Farrar 'Terroir Blues'

the Great Apostasy

This morning when my wife got home from work we were talking and I shared with her that I can agree with what I read in the book "Becoming the Gospel" by Michael J. Gorman when he states that one of the major themes in the Pauline Epistles (New Testament) is that a Christian is experiencing the life of God "the unpacking of my thesis about Pauline theology as a theology of theosis-becoming like God by participating in the life of God". But when it comes down to reality in an average Christian church I seriously doubt if many professing Christians realize or even seeking to experience the life of God. People go to church for many reasons, but how many people go to church to experience the life of God-to enter into fellowship with the Trinity? People go to church around here because it is what one does on Sunday. You go to church because that is what Christians do. You go to church to hear a sermon, give some money, sing some hymns and then go home to live out your existence. I have not met over the 45 years of being a Christian anyone who has come up to me in church and said to me "I am experiencing the life of God". I do not know anyone right now that is seeking to live the life of the Risen Lord in their day to day existence. I do not know anyone that would even read the book, "Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission" by Michael J. Gorman.

When I was going to church (I went to church for 35 years) I met no one who reads books like "Becoming the Gospel" even ministers. The average visible American church is filled with people who would pride themselves on not reading any serious Christian literature. Even in your average American church people hardly read and study the Bible. I consider myself a typical white American male middle-class Christian. I believe it should be normal for a Christian to read and study the Bible daily. In my judgment we are living in the End Times. We are living in the period of Great Apostasy. "Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come" Hebrews 13:12-14.

I stop going to church several years ago because it was not meaningful. I received no deep spiritual fellowship with other professing Christians. I could find no one who wanted to dig deep into the Bible or have intense spiritual fellowship. I found church to be a lonely depressing place on Sundays. So I left to seek the Lord alone since I was already alone in the Church world. I want the Communion of the saints, but it is not to be found in the American Wasteland.

I do tell people to go to church, because for most people it is the only place they will hear some Bible teaching and meet religious people. Everybody is different and some people can get blessed going to a church building on Sundays. What is meaningful for me spiritually is not spiritually meaningful for other professing Christians. We all have to answer to the Lord on the Last Day.

So my day goes by normal. I have been dozing and reading, "Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission" by Michael J. Gorman.

"[1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
[2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
[4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
[5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
[6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
[7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
[8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
[9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
[10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
[11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
[12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
[13] But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" Second Thess. 2:1-13
  • Current Music
    Leviathan 'Scar Sighted'

Jesus, We Follow Thee

Jesus, we follow thee,
In all thy footsteps tread,
And seek for full conformity
To our exalted Head.

We would, we would partake
Thy every state below,
And suffer all things for thy sake,
And to thy glory go.

We in thy birth are born,
Sustain thy grief and loss,
Share in thy want, and shame, and scorn,
And die upon thy cross.

Baptised into thy death,
We sink into thy grave,
Till thou the quickening Spirit breathe,
And to the utmost save.

Thou saidst, 'Where'er I am,
There shall my servants be.'
Master, thy welcome word we claim,
And die to live with thee.

To us who share thy pain,
Thy joy shall soon be given,
And we shall in thy glory reign,
For thou art now in heaven.

a hymn by Charles Wesley
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

we seem to move through a succession of Nows

It is Now in the flow of the Now 9:01 PM Saturday night. I am once again alone with my Self. My dear wife of 36 years faithfully went off to work at 7:55 PM. I am thankful for a wife who is a hard worker. The other day when we were grocery shopping we ran into a nurse Carol works with and she said to me Your wife is a wonderful hard working nurse. Every body at the hospital my wife works at loves her because she is a hard loving funny nurse. My wife is a kind funny gentle woman. I bring this up because my wife is a godly Christian woman. There are many kinds of Christian spirituality. God looks at the heart. Who am I to judge? As Christians we are all saved by grace and not by anything in us. I love the Church/the Body of Christ. I miss the fellowship of the saints. I am lonely. I long for fellowship with those who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him" First John 3:1.

Tonight there is nothing on television worth watching so I am visiting Africa and listening to death metal. I am also cooking food and reading my books. I plan to go to bed at a decent hour tonight. I am no night owl.

I ordered two books by Laszlo Krasznahorkai for our library. I have been reading Krasznahorkai’s novel “Satantango” tonight.

Not much else to report tonight. I do not know what next week holds for us. Life or death? "Come now, you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, but and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" James 4:13,14.

Well, I will close to drift into the darkness. Tomorrow is a Sunday. Next Sunday our daughter Bethany will be here in Michigan for a visit with her husband Andy and our granddaughter Louisa Mae. Carol and I look forward to spending time with Andy, Beth and Lou.
  • Current Music
    Prurient 'Frozen Niagara Falls'
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