Tag Archives: Dante

salvation of what?

“To believe in God is to believe in the salvation of the world.  The paradox of our time is that those who believe in God do not believe in the salvation of the world, and those who believe in the future of the world do not believe in God.

Christians believe in “the end of the world,” they expect the final catastrophe, the punishment of others.

Atheists in their turn…refuse to believe in God because Christians believe in him and take no interest in the world…

Which is the more culpable ignorance?

…I often say to myself that, in our religion, God must feel very much alone: for is there anyone besides God who believes in the salvation of the world?  God seeks among us sons and daughters who resemble him enough, who love the world enough, so that he could send them into the world to save it.”

–Louis Evely, In the Christian Spirit (Image, 1975)

“Infinite Goodness hath such ample arms,

That it receives whatever turns to it.

–Purgatorio III, 121-123


Posted by on May 24, 2009 in theology


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when you think you know…

I think we too often find ourselves trying to figure out complicated issues to please an inner longing of knowledge.  Cogito ergo sum.  (Thanks be to Descartes and the enlightenment era for the damned statement of, “I think therefore I am.”  But it can more aptly be translated as, “I am thinking therefore I exist” or also, “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”.  That statement, which implies the incessant desire for knowledge, has had a large ripple-effect that has wrought great strife in today’s world and also in interactions with some of my friends.)  Knowledge is not inherently a bad thing but while answers are blissful to some, to me there is great beauty in mystery.

Personally I was the kid who grew up constantly asking, “Why?”.  I have always enjoyed knowing the “why” behind whatever it might be I’m curious about.  When it comes to theology I have discussed and heard many ‘arguments’ on many different topics which are touchy theologically – exclusivism, inclusivism, hell, purgatory, pre-destination, vices, sexual-identity, homosexuality, evangelism, leadership qualifications, sin, pornography, grace, redemption, abortion, the environment, denominations, Biblical inerrancy, Biblical controversies, Biblical contradictions, etc.  While some of the arguments and debates, taken from every viewpoint on these topics, can often-times be extremely compelling I think there might be a slippery slope in trying to ‘figure out’ too many of these topics.  Ponder and muse?  Yes.  But arrive at a cemented school of thought?  Not always a good thing.  I’m a guy from Kansas who enjoys baseball, a good book, a good movie, a good beer, a good wine, a good steak, a good dessert, and a good cigar.  Believe it or not I’m a simpleton so when it comes to that fun grey area I’ll do as Lesslie Newbigin suggests, “Hold to Christ, and for the rest be totally uncommitted”.

Not only that my language I distrust,

But that my mind cannot return so far

Above itself, unless another guide it.

–Paradiso, XVIII. 130-133

Below is a passage from Brian McLaren’s book, “The Last Word and the Word After That”. It pretty much describes the place I find myself theologically currently.


Spirit of Creation, you

Fill all space as sounds waves do.

Your music makes a chamber

Of my soul, resonating,

An organ-filled cathedral.

Bass pipes thunder; trebles sing.

When old spaces shrivel up,

Shrunk wineskins, crushed paper cup,

You seek new vessels to fill.

So, reverberating now,

New spaces blossom; you will

Rush in, wide wind, holy fire.

Filling, not consuming us,

With thankful joy, high desire.

Come Holy Spirit.


All we know is but a spark,

Rising from the blaze of mystery,

A falling star in the dark,

Descending from a height we cannot see.

In mists that rise from woodland streams,

The way that we could fly in childhood dreams,

Truth comes in on winds that blow

From beyond the rim of all we know.

I have my doubts about certainty.

It’s not all that it’s made out to be.

I trust in things I cannot see,

And reach out for the love that’s reaching me,

In mists that rise from woodland streams,

The way that we could fly in childhood dreams.

Truth comes in on winds that blow

From beyond the rim of all we know.

The secret things remain concealed,

(And that’s a gift): the rift is healed.

And there’s a treasure hidden in this field,

In mists that rise from woodland streams,

And the way that we could fly in childhood dreams.

Truth comes in on winds that blow

From beyond the rim of all we know.

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Posted by on May 24, 2009 in theology


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