I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Tradition

leave a comment »

At the end of 1 Timothy, Timothy is exhorted to “guard what has been entrusted to you,” or perhaps, “guard what has been deposited with you.” This exhortation calls to mind the image of one person depositing a large sum of money or some other valuable item with another for safekeeping. The scriptural writers and the Christian writers who followed them saw the Christian truths and way of life as a great treasure, one that had been entrusted to their care and that was to be handed over intact to the next generation. . . . The modern mind tends to view “tradition” very differently—as something left–over, unexamined, something which probably needs to be updated or discarded. It is “just tradition.” By contrast the first Christians viewed tradition as the careful handing on of their great treasure—the life in Christ and the teachings which made that life possible. They could not be truly faithful to Christ unless they could hand on what had been handed on to them. They could not really be faithful to Christ unless they could maintain and uphold that with which they had been charged (see 1 Tm 1:18; 6:14; 2 Tm 2:2, 4:1–5). (Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ, 281)

Written by Scott Moonen

January 13, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Quotations

Culture

leave a comment »

Trying to determine whether or not a teaching [of the Bible] is historically or culturally conditioned is not helpful in evaluating its worth, since everything human is historically and culturally conditioned. The real issue is this: Among the historically and culturally conditioned teachings we find before us, which have God’s authority behind them? Which are expressions of his ways, his character, and his purpose for the human race? When it comes to a conflict, which has more authority: a human culture, or the culture that God taught through Jesus and his apostles? The recent attempt to separate culturally determined elements from timeless truths in the area of Christian personal relationships and the roles of men and women has been just as much a failure as was the liberal attempt in the nineteenth century to identify the progressive, timeless elements of Christianity. Both attempts failed for basically the same reason. The reason is not, as is sometimes stated, that the enduring truths simply cannot be distinguished from cultural elements that are not essential to the Christian teaching. Rather, the reason is that when the scripture is allowed to speak for itself, it becomes clear that it is precisely those elements in it that many modern people would like to expunge as time–bound and culturally determined that the scriptural writers considered most central and fundamental. In consequence, modern writers who set out to disengage Christian teaching from culturally determined elements end up by canonizing the approach of their modern culture and using that as a standard by which to judge the teaching of scripture. They do this because they cannot find any standard within scripture that would allow them to accept the elements they want to accept and reject those they want to reject.

The cultural question for Christians should be very different from what it is for contemporary people who are not Christians. Contemporary Christians should be seeking to preserve the culture revealed by God while they live among people whose way of life is no longer compatible on many points, including many of the most fundamental ones, with what God has taught. This involves sorting out inherited cultural traditions so that the Christians can see more clearly what came from God’s revelation and what was accumulated from a particular culture and history. This also involves understanding what the distinctive Christian approach should be and how to wisely translate it into contemporary society so that Christians can be all things to all men—that they might by all means save some (1 Cor. 9:22). (Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ, 279)

Written by Scott Moonen

January 13, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Bible, Quotations

Fulfillment

leave a comment »

Genesis 2:18 describes the man’s problem as being his aloneness, but it describes the solution as being “a helper fit for him.” This phrase is important for understanding the relationship of woman to man, especially in marriage. . . As Von Rad points out, the phrase is not a romantic evaluation of woman. Rather, it presents woman as “useful” to man. The use of the word “useful” here does not suggest that Genesis teaches that man should approach woman as “a thing” or “use her,” nor that he should not love her and care for her. But in an age when many writers tend to idealize deep interpersonal sharing relationships and read them back into Genesis, it is important to point out that the writers of scripture approach personal relationships with a certain practicality and common sense. A man’s wife is supposed to “do something” for him, just as he is supposed to “do something” for her. If she does not do what she is supposed to do for him, (and if he does not do what he is supposed to do for her) deep interpersonal sharing will not make the marriage a good marriage. Genesis describes her part in the marriage as being a helper to the man in the work of establishing a household and family. (Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ, 22)

Written by Scott Moonen

December 30, 2018 at 9:16 am

Posted in Marriage, Quotations

Who is proud when the heavens are humble

leave a comment »

IMG_2466

Our family caroled with friends at a local nursing home this past weekend.

IMG_2465

Merry Christmas!

Written by Scott Moonen

December 17, 2018 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Miscellany, Personal

Otherwise

leave a comment »

A young man who only asks for painlessness, gentlemen, cannot grow up. To grow up means to have pain. And very heavy pain. There is no other way for life. Have you ever seen a child born? Have you? You should, because then you would know how costly it is to be born, that your mother has a travail. That’s a terrible pain. And that has to be so, because otherwise your life won’t be good.

Life struggles against death, and the heavier, more passionately it struggles, the more life it is. . . . A painless life, gentlemen, is no life. It’s worse than death. Can neither live nor die. (Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Comparative Religion, 1954)

Written by Scott Moonen

December 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

Posted in Quotations, Suffering

A great story

leave a comment »

You can learn nearly every secret of life if you really faithfully live out your great love, and become the husband of a wife, of one wife. That’s a great story. (Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Comparative Religion, 1954)

Written by Scott Moonen

December 12, 2018 at 9:35 am

Posted in Marriage, Quotations

Singing and slaying

leave a comment »

The Rohirrim sing oft in battle:

Merry and Pippin heard, clear in the cold air, the neighing of war–horses, and the sudden singing of many men. The Sun’s limb was lifted, an arc of fire, above the margin of the world. Then with a great cry the Riders charged from the East; the red light gleamed on mail and spear.

And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of the battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.

See also: Worship is warfare, Treebeard, Worship is warfare (2)

Written by Scott Moonen

December 9, 2018 at 7:31 pm