An Even Shorter Christian History of the Cosmos

[Note: the title refers to this longer post from a couple months ago.] Trying to grasp creation and the fall rests on concepts of time and wholeness. With the first day of creation, time is pure and in participation with all of cosmic and human history in their fullness. Within this pure time, all ofContinue reading “An Even Shorter Christian History of the Cosmos”

A Brief Christian History of the Cosmos (with Some Defense and Exposition)

Christians claim that we live in a damaged world, although it still reveals to us an undamaged reality beyond and within. Growing up in a Christian home, I lived constantly with the idea that our brokenness is obvious and that all the beauty and wonder of this world speaks to us ceaselessly of a goodnessContinue reading “A Brief Christian History of the Cosmos (with Some Defense and Exposition)”

the colors and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them

Some passages from In Praise of Shadows by Japanese novelist Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965). This is from he translation by Thomas Harper and Edward Seidensticker. As a general matter we find it hard to be really at home with things that shine and glitter. The Westerner uses silver and steel and nickel tableware, and polishes itContinue reading “the colors and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them”

when there are no more possibilities left but only the Real

In the passage below from The Great Divorce (end of Chapter 13), the protagonist (who is clearly C.S. Lewis) holds a dialog with his great Teacher (who is clearly George MacDonald). At one point, Lewis says to MacDonald: In your own books, Sir, you were a Universalist. You talked as if all men would beContinue reading “when there are no more possibilities left but only the Real”

words belong to each other

Words survive the chops and changes of time longer than any other substance, therefore they are the truest. …The moment we single out and emphasize the suggestions as we have done here they become unreal; and we, too, become unreal — specialists, word mongers, phrase finders, not readers. In reading we have to allow theContinue reading “words belong to each other”

professional descendants

You could say we’re professional descendants. …You see, what no one ever realized until about two hundred years ago is that The Nice and Accurate Prophecies was Agnes’s idea of a family heirloom. Many of the prophecies relate to her descendants and their well-being. She was sort of trying to look after us after she’dContinue reading “professional descendants”

seems like everything means something

It was useless, except for the use they made of it, remembering together. There wasn’t much that felt worse than losing that shawl. There is no speech nor language; their voice is not heard. That’s true about things. It’s true about people. It’s just true. …Lila told the child, “The world has been here soContinue reading “seems like everything means something”

part of the dance the fireflies are dancing

From A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle: You human beings tend to want good things to last forever. They don’t. Not while we’re in time.” “…Let’s feel the twirling of the earth,” Beezie said, “That’s part of the dance the fireflies are dancing, too. Can you feel it?” Chuck squeezed his eyelids tightly closed.Continue reading “part of the dance the fireflies are dancing”

closer in a way to the original day of the crucifixion

Working to capture the first step of Charles Taylor’s argument within A Secular Age, James K.A. Smith summarizes five pre-modern ways of understanding (or of inhabiting life) that served for centuries as powerful obstacles to unbelief: Understanding of the individual person as “porous” and subject to the influence of many powerful outside realities (i.e. asContinue reading “closer in a way to the original day of the crucifixion”

St John saw the true temple restored, and this is the earliest picture we have of Christian worship

The fact that we call Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, which means the Anointed One, shows that Christians live and think in a world where the lost anointing oil and everything it stood for has been been restored. The perfumed anointing oil was fundamental to the original temple world. Tradition remembered that it represented oilContinue reading “St John saw the true temple restored, and this is the earliest picture we have of Christian worship”