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Posts tagged "Atonement"

Hopelessly Devoted: Colossians Chapter Two Verse Fourteen

Hopelessly Devoted: Colossians Chapter Two Verse Fourteen

I love the doctrine of justification, but to be honest, I don’t always feel it. I am sure part of the reason is my lack of easy familiarity with the dense theological terms which buttress it. And so, while I sit in the loan officer’s office, experts works out all the details (using jargon like expiation or propitiation or imputation and other such terms that don’t exactly roll off the tongue). I believe it all, to be sure. Just show me where to sign and initial and I will enthusiastically do so. But at times, my deep soul engagement…

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Another Week Ends: Dunham’s Addiction, Snapchat Freedom, War Vet Atonement, Toastimonies, Careerist Personality and... EVERYTHING

Another Week Ends: Dunham’s Addiction, Snapchat Freedom, War Vet Atonement, Toastimonies, Careerist Personality and… EVERYTHING

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg.

1. I’ll just make a note of this, and then I’ll direct you to the Podcast above for more in depth (and hilarious) commentary, but it should also be read in tandem with DZ’s post from earlier this week about the state of “manliness” and male identity today. Lena Dunham, in the New York Daily News, made a comment about challenging herself to leave her “Sorry” addiction. As a woman, she found it had become a default form of communication—apologizing for things…

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Paul Tillich Is Simul Justus Et Peccator

Perhaps not quite as salacious as Tillich fans or foes might infer from the title, but here, one of our ‘top three’ favorite heretics (Bultmann and Kuyper – just kidding), contributes this gem on justification from his Systematic Theology:

Justification in the objective sense is the eternal act of God by which he accepts as not estranged those who are indeed estranged from him by guilt and the act by which he takes them into unity with him which is manifest in the New Being of Christ. Justification literally means “making just,” namely, making man that which he essentially is and from which he is estranged. If used in this sense, the word would be identical with Sanctification. But the Pauline doctrine of Justification by grace through faith has given the word a meaning which makes it the opposite pole of Sanctification. It is an act of God which is in no way dependent on man, an act in which he accepts him who is unacceptable. In the paradoxical formula, simul peccator, simul justus, which is the core of the Lutheran revolution, the in-spite-of character is decisive for the whole Christian message as the salvation from despair about one’s guilt. It is actually the only way to overcome the anxiety of guilt; it enables man to look away from himself and his state of estrangement and self-destruction to the justifying act of God. He who looks at himself and tries to measure his relation to God by his achievements increases his estrangement and the anxiety of guilt and despair.

Crazy Eyes Explains Atonement in Thirty Seconds

I can’t say that everything in the second season of Orange is the New Black has been this good (please, Jenji, accept this plea not to jump the Weeds shark), but this definition of love–from the adopted sociopath inmate Suzanne, aka “Crazy Eyes”–is probably one of the best hermeneutics of Romans 5:8 I’ve seen on television.

It’s like you become more you, which normally is like…[sound effect]…but now it’s okay, because the person, like, whoever, they chose to take all that on, all that weird stuff, whatever’s wrong, bad, or hiding in you, suddenly it’s all right. And you don’t feel like such a freak anymore.

Runners up: I have to say that Piper’s isn’t bad either: “It’s like coming home.” Or Sister Jane: “Love is light. Acceptance. Fire.” Or the hilarious Flaca y Maritza, who describe love as a chocolate pudding bath, with the Smiths playing “There Is a Light that Never Goes Out.” And there’s pizza, too.

Robert Farrar Capon on Self-Knowledge and Atonement

Robert Farrar Capon on Self-Knowledge and Atonement

Our pride drives us to establish our own righteousness. We strive all our life to see ourselves as keepers of rules we cannot keep, as loyal subjects of laws under which we can only be judged outlaws. Yet so deep is our need to derive our identity from our own self-respect – so profound our conviction that unless we watch our step, the watchbird will take away our name – that we will spend a lifetime trying to do the impossible rather than, for even one carefree minute, consent to having it done for us by someone else.

Really, no one…

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Reading the Signs of Love: Hans Urs von Balthasar on Forgiveness

From his short meditation on love, titled Love Alone Is Credible:

murillo (1)“The first thing that must strike a non-Christian about the Christian’s faith is that it obviously presumes far too much. It is too good to be true: the mystery of being, revealed as absolute love, condescending to wash his creatures’ feet, and even their souls, taking upon himself all the confusion of guilt, all the God-directed hatred, all the accusations showered upon him with cudgels, all the disbelief that arrogantly covers up what he has revealed, all the mocking hostility that once and for all nailed down his inconceivable moment of self-abasement – in order to pardon his creature, before himself and the world…

“Once a person learns to read the signs of love and thus to believe it, love leads him into the open field wherein he himself can love. If the prodigal son had not believed that the father’s love was already there waiting for him, he would not have been able to make the journey home – even if his father’s love welcomes him in a way he never would have dreamed of. The decisive thing is that the sinner has heard of a love that could be, and really is, there for him; he is not the one who has to bring himself in line with God; God has always already seen in him, the loveless sinner, the loveless sinner, a beloved child and has looked upon him and conferred dignity upon him in the light of this love.

“No one can resolve this mystery into dry concepts and explain how it is that God no longer sees my guilt in me, but only in his beloved Son, who bears it for me; or how God sees this guilt transformed through the suffering of love and loves me because I am the one for whom his Son has suffered in love. But the way God, the lover, sees us is in fact the way we are in reality – for God, this is the absolute and irrevocable truth.”

A Totally Biased Review of Robert Farrar Capon's Between Noon and Three

A Totally Biased Review of Robert Farrar Capon’s Between Noon and Three

There are precious few books that elicit tears; even fewer books of theology. Walker Percy echoed T.S. Eliot’s “dissociation of sensibility” in saying that the modern person “cannot think and feel at the same time.” Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace, named for the period of darkness just before Christ’s death, comes as close as any contemporary book I’ve read to proving Percy wrong. Robert Farrar Capon, that masterful connoisseur of grace, weaves together thinking and feeling, storytelling and theology, in what he described as “a watershed experience… the most important piece of writing I have ever done.” At…

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Short Story Wednesdays: "A Father's Story" by Andre Dubus

Short Story Wednesdays: “A Father’s Story” by Andre Dubus

This week, we turn to Andre Dubus’s “A Father’s Story”, available here.

“Ethics demands an infinite movement, it demands disclosure. The aesthetic hero, then, can speak but will not.”

-S. Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

On July 23, 1986, Andre Dubus pulled over onto the side of the road to help a couple of strangers, male and female, having car trouble. An oncoming car swerved and was about to hit them; Dubus pushed the woman out of the way and, as a result, was hit himself and remained confined to a wheelchair for final thirteen years of his life.

As we saw with O’Connor’s lupus…

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To Christ Our Lord - Galway Kinnell

To Christ Our Lord – Galway Kinnell

The legs of the elk punctured the snow’s crust
And wolves floated lightfooted on the land
Hunting Christmas elk living and frozen;
Inside snow melted in a basin, and a woman basted
A bird spread over coals by its wings and head.

Snow had sealed the windows; candles lit
The Christmas meal. The Christmas grace chilled
The cooked bird, being long-winded and the room cold.
During the words a boy thought, is it fitting
To eat this creature killed on the wing?

He had killed it himself, climbing out
Alone on snowshoes in the Christmas dawn,
The fallen snow swirling and the snowfall gone,
Heard its throat scream as the gunshot scattered,
Watched it…

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PZ's Podcast: Return to Form and A Slight Shiver

PZ’s Podcast: Return to Form and A Slight Shiver

Episode 113a: Return to Form

After a long drought, I’m back.

But the tack is somewhat new or, rather, old. The cast is a study in defeatedness, the karma of boy Watson in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), and the “absurdist” position taken by a young clergyman, Henry Francis Lyte, in 1816 (it took). It also delineates PZ’s own position: my own defeatedness and the new hope I strangely feel. For me it’s ‘Roger Corman’ come to SK, tho’ it’s really a theology of the cross, even explicitly that.

Call this an odd turn, call it a forced turn, call it my own re-enactment…

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Shakespeare Thursday: Sonnet 56

Sweet love, renew thy force. Be it not said
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,
Which but today by feeding is allayed,
Tomorrow sharpened in his former might.
So, love, be thou; although today thou fill
Thy hungry eyes even til they wink with fullness,
Tomorrow see again, and do not kill
The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness.
Let this sad int’rim like the ocean be
Which parts the shore where two contracted new
Come daily to the banks, that when they see
Return of love, more blessed may be the view;
Or call it winter, which, being full of care,
Makes summer’s welcome, thrice more wished, more rare.

You Can't Argue With Grace: Fathers, Sons, and This American Gospel

You Can’t Argue With Grace: Fathers, Sons, and This American Gospel

Another from Mockingbird’s most recent publication, This American Gospel: Public Radio Parables and the Grace of God. Based on the evocative power of NPR’s This American Life, Mockingbird writer Ethan Richardson touches on the theological potency of selected episodes of the program. This excerpt discussses TAL episode 432, “Know When to Fold ‘Em” and the memoir of David Dickerson, about his return to the evangelical home he had shunned for six years. Bitter about his conservative upbringing, he comes home from college ready to exact revenge on the faith he grew up in, particularly on the father whose faith had…

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