I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Self-discipline

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Why not do the thing you admire, instead of admiring the thing you do?

Lisa Moonen

Written by Scott Moonen

June 20, 2019 at 8:21 am

Posted in Quotations, Vocation

Two tables

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In 1 Samuel 28, king Saul of the tribe of Benjamin consults a witch and shares a midnight meal with her. This is a table of demons, an anti–Passover, an anti–exodus ending in defeat and death and disgrace.

In Acts 16, the apostle Paul (or Saul) of the tribe of Benjamin casts a demon out of a witch and shares a midnight meal with the Philippian jailer. This is the table of the Lord, a Passover, an exodus ending in deliverance, victory, conquest (salvation), and vindication.

On a different tack, this is also a victory of Paul over a serpent, as the spirit of divination is literally the spirit of a python. This adds to the exodus motif as it parallels Moses’s and Aaron’s victory over the Egyptian magicians in Exodus 7, and also points to Jesus’s great victory over the great serpent.

The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:14–15 ESV)

Written by Scott Moonen

June 8, 2019 at 11:42 am

Posted in Biblical Theology

Rehearsal

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A theme, a melody, is a definite statement in tones—and apparently music can never have enough of saying over again what has already been said, not once or twice, but dozens of times; hardly does a section, which consists largely of repetitions, come to an end before the whole story is happily retold over again.

How is it that a procedure which, in any other form of expression, would produce sheer nonsense proves, in the language of music, to be thoroughly sensible—to such an extent that rehearing what has already been heard is one of the chief sources—for many, the chief source—of the pleasure given by music?

Victor Zuckerkandl, Sound and Symbol. HT: John Barach

Written by Scott Moonen

May 12, 2019 at 8:47 am

Posted in Music, Quotations, Worship

Anti-natural

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Gentlemen, organic processes delay the fall. . . . When you build a wall of a house, you do not delay the fall, but you dam it up. You prevent it. You put on the brakes. You dam it off. So, gentlemen, you stop the fall. That’s what all work does, because all work tries to build, energetically, resistance against what would otherwise happen by nature. Work is always an anti–natural. By nature, the thing would crumble. By your work, you stop the fall. . . .

If you are passionate, gentlemen, you defy all the gravity. A lover, and anybody who is passionate can swing—can overcome hurdles and obstacles. He can swing himself over fences, which no impassionate man can. Passion, therefore, gentlemen, overcomes gravity. It defies gravity, and it can soar with the wings of the dawn.

(Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Comparative Religion, 1954)

Written by Scott Moonen

May 6, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Quotations, Vocation

Gravity

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I don’t believe in passion just as a word, my dear man. Passion means to be given wings so that you can do deeds which otherwise you couldn’t do. The drab worker who works eight hours a day, when he is in love can suddenly work on the site four more hours to build a house for his sweetheart, or whatnot, I mean. Or he can suddenly get a better job, because he is winged. Love, you see, . . . goes uphill. . . . Wherever you are in love, gentlemen, the difficult becomes the easy. . . And that’s why the salmons go upstream, to spawn. That shows their vitality. When you are in love, gentlemen, you overcome gravity. That’s the test. This is the test of love, gentlemen, that you do overcome gravity. Otherwise you are not in love.

(Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Comparative Religion, 1954)

Written by Scott Moonen

May 6, 2019 at 11:56 am

Posted in Quotations

Intrepid

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It’s the same, gentlemen, the difference between courage and intrepidity. . . . You all have intrepidity, I take it. It’s the great American virtue. But that intrepidity is something that comes this side of fear. Now gentlemen, a courageous man is not a man who has intrepidity, who never trembles. But a courageous man is a man who doesn’t give a damn for his own cowardice. That is, if you don’t have the coward inside yourself, you can’t be courageous. You’re just foolhardy. That’s not courage. . . . Courageous is the man who is able to overcome his cowardice, and whom I shall respect. But I shall not respect the foolhardy, who doesn’t even know of the danger.

(Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Comparative Religion, 1954)

Written by Scott Moonen

May 6, 2019 at 11:45 am

Posted in Quotations

Conceal

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In his lectures on Exodus, Jim Jordan mentions his (then) recent interview with the science fiction and fantasy novelist Gene Wolfe:

“Wolfe’s most striking piece of fiction so far is a set of five novels which are in continuation with one another called The Book of the New Sun. It’s real complex and there’s been a lot of analysis saying ‘What did he mean by this? What’s really going on in this chapter?’ and so forth.

“I asked him about it. ‘Are you trying to confuse the reader?’ He said, ‘No, I always leave enough clues and you have to find them.’ He said, ‘Remember: I worked on this for five or six years, so I had a lot of time to put in everything I wanted and to get it the way I wanted it to be.’ He rewrote it five times before it was done.

“Now the reader doesn’t usually take that much time. It’s true of Wolfe’s books—as one reviewer put it: ‘If you buy a novel by Gene Wolfe, you really get about four novels because you can read it over and over and get all kinds of new things out of it each time, so it’s a good investment.’

“But I was struck by the fact that he said: ‘I had five years to work on this and to get things exactly the way I wanted it and to rework this and to get the story exactly the way I wanted it, to make some things clear, to obscure some things, and to put challenges before the reader.’

“And I thought, ‘Well, God had eternity to put things in the Bible and there are plenty of things in the Bible that are clear to us and then there are things that are puzzles.’ The Book of Proverbs says, ‘The glory of God is to conceal a matter and the glory of kings is to search it out.’

Jordan goes on to mention that when Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, preaches the sermon we call Deuteronomy, he has been meditating on Genesis and Exodus and Leviticus for thirty-eight years. If we haven’t done that, we can’t really expect Deuteronomy to be crystal clear to us on a first reading:

“Moses has done that for 38 years. You and I haven’t. Now he puts Deuteronomy down, and what is Deuteronomy? It’s the fruit of 38 years of reflection on all the details in Exodus and Leviticus.

“To understand Deuteronomy really well, we would need to understand everything in Exodus and Leviticus and then we’d have to think about how they go together in a real life context for a long time. Then you’d be in a position to understand what was in Moses’ mind when he wrote Deuteronomy.

“That’s not to say that we can’t get anything out of Deuteronomy. But it is to say that there’s some complicated things in here that a lot of people haven’t gotten and that we’re not going to get today either.

“But it illustrates just how rich this book is, because Deuteronomy is the culmination of the first five books of the Bible. Everything is rolled together in Deuteronomy as a result of Moses’ reflections, under divine inspiration. So we shouldn’t expect it to be completely transparent.”

Source: John Barach

Written by Scott Moonen

April 14, 2019 at 4:51 pm