August 26, 2011

Why's My Bookbag (or e-reader equivalent) so Heavy?



From the novel Middlesex:
Most were last remodeled in the seventies and have the colors of suburban kitchens from my childhood: avocado, cinnamon, sunflower yellow.
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Planning is for the world’s great cities, for Paris, London, and Rome, for cities dedicated, at some level, to culture. Detroit, on the other hand, was an American city and therefore dedicated to money, and so design had given way to expediency.
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Zizmo harbored vaguely yogic beliefs about the mental benefits of semen retention, and so was disposed to wait until his wife’s vitality returned.
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In the eighteenth row my grandmother gave her critical opinion. “It’s like the paintings in the museum,” she said. “Just an excuse to show people with no clothes.”

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The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet by Brandon Vogt

If God is construed as one being among many, then his causal efficacy competes with ours. In regard to Scripture, this means that the Bible is his book, not ours. But the Catholic sense, of course, is that the Bible is, as Vatican II puts it in Dei Verbum (n. 13), “the words of God, expressed in human language. “ 28 Given God’s unique metaphysical makeup, it is altogether possible to speak of a divine authorship that does not compete with or preclude real human authorship. But to admit human authorship means to admit cultural conditioning, historical context, the particularity of literary genre, authorial intention, etc. In a word, it is to admit the need for interpretation.
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A difficulty I face again and again is that apparently an entire generation has been raised with very little feel for literature or poetry, for the manner in which literary texts mean. There is a marked tendency among my interlocutors to see truth as identical to fact or journalistic reportage. When I observe that certain biblical texts are metaphorical, poetic, or symbolic in nature, I am invariably accused of “cherry-picking, “ conveniently isolating those parts of the Bible that tell what “really happened” from those that don’t. I counter that nonliteral texts such as Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Eliot’s The Wasteland, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and Melville’s Moby Dick are bearers of profound truth indeed, though they convey their truth in a distinctively nonscientific or nonhistorical way.
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A passage from the Book of Revelation is particularly illuminating here. John the visionary is within the heavenly temple, and he spies a scroll sealed with seven seals and representing the whole of Scripture or even the whole of history. He weeps because no one comes forward to unseal the text. Finally, the announcement is made that the Lion of Judah, who has triumphed, can perform the task. Then John sees, not a lion or a Davidic warrior, but rather a Lamb that seemed to have been slain (Revelation 5:1-7). The point is clear: the nonviolent and forgiving Christ, slain on the cross and risen from the dead, is the hermeneutical key to the entire Bible and to the whole of the human story. When Christians survey the Bible, therefore, they do so through the interpretive lens of Jesus the Lamb. Thus, any reading of Scripture running counter to that fundamental Logos ought to be regarded as an illegitimate interpretation. The God disclosed in Jesus of Nazareth simply cannot be coherently understood as a bloodthirsty advocate of blitzkrieg, arbitrary killing, and genocide.
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since the Bible is “the words of God, expressed in human language, “ we might be sensitive to the progressive nature of biblical revelation, a theme suggested by Irenaeus in the second century. God is slowly, gradually educating the human race in his ways, and this means that he adapts himself to varying and evolving human modes of understanding. We cannot, therefore, simply isolate one passage, one moment in the Bible and say, without further explanation, this is the final revelation of God.
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Dr. Peter Kreeft was asked what he thought was the biggest obstacle facing orthodox Christianity today, he replied simply: “Our own sins…. Only saints can save the world. And only our own sins can stop us from being saints. “35 We shape society, and the amount of God’s love we allow into our heart shapes us.

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