Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

April 8, 2006

Here is some food: Modernity has assured us that …

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 5:20 am

Here is some food:

Modernity has assured us that we are in the consummation, knowing good and evil without any ethical obligation except to be true to oneself. It is the autonomous voice or vision within, not the verbum externum, that we are told to heed. It is not surprising, then, that a theologian of glory like Hegel would find the faith of Israel so mundane. Vincenzo Vitiello notes, “Hegel recalls the disappointment of Pompey, who ‘had approached the heart of the temple, the center of adoration and had hoped to discover in it the root of the national spirit… the life giving soul of this remarkable people… only to find himself in an empty room'”. After generations had thought we were in the promised land of pure presence, postmodern thought has reminded us quite truly that “under the sun,” we are in the desert, or worse, in the desert of deserts. Mark C. Taylor says that our existence is “endless straying,” “erring,” and “wandering.” Biblical faith does not hesitate to affirm this as the form of life in this present evil age that refuses to meet a stranger, but it treats this as an ethical rather than a metaphysical problem. The pointless existence that Taylor celebrates is precisely this “empty way of life” passed down to us by our pagan ancestors from which Peter tells us we have been liberated (1 Peter 1:18). We may be in a desert, “exiles and sojourners” in this age, but Egypt is behind us even more fully than it was for the Israelites in the wilderness. The tomb is empty. We are not in an empty room but seated with Christ in the Holy of Holies. It is not a time for either the beatific vision or the funeral dirge, but for the songs of Zion as we make our way to the City of God, for the Stranger of the Emmaus road and the upper room still meets us, to bring us into his Sabbath joy by his Spirit through Word and sacrament. Even if we are in the desert rather than the promised land, it is not a desert of deserts. A theology of pilgrims will have to suffice – and does suffice, for meeting a Stranger.

from “Lord and Servant – A Covenant Christology” by Michael Horton



  1. One of the most powerful textual insights I have come across in reading commentaries for my weekly discussions of Genesis (with my rabbi friend) is related to this. From Brueggemann: that Genesis 11 ends with “Sarai is barren.” The way of the world,”uninstructed by God” (this language is a Leon Kass way of summing up 1 – 11), is barrenness, death. Genesis 12, in contrast, begins, as does Genesis 1 (and inherently, the Resurrection narrative) with God calling out life. That such a life is a pilgrim life is true. It’s that being called outside the gate to Jesus as a pilgrim that I will be discussing as I conclude my review of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses in a couple of weeks at the Calvin Festival of Faith & Writing. Richness on which to meditate.

    Comment by Sister — April 9, 2006 @ 8:56 pm

  2. P.S. I take it your midterm is over and now you can yourself live again???

    Comment by Sister — April 9, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

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