Monday, 30 July 2012

Why We're 'Ere

Two great Trinity quotes from the great Jonathan Edwards. Note that Edwards uses "end" here primarily in the sense of "goal":
"God created the world for his Son, that he might prepare a spouse or bride for him to bestow his love upon; so that the mutual joys between this bride and bridegroom are the end of creation" (Works, 13, p. 372; Misc. no. 271).
"This spouse of the Son of God, the bride, the Lamb's wife, the completeness of him who filleth all in all, that for which all the universe was made. Heaven and earth were created that the Son of God might be complete in a spouse." (Misc. no. 103).

That last quote will sound heretical in some ears - that the Son of God was incomplete without a Bride, but I think (and others may have better answers) the point is not that the Son of God is deficient in some way until he receives the church - I was single for the best part of 33 years, but never considered myself sub-human as a result - rather that love finds its ultimate expression in giving and sharing. And so in drawing the church up into the life of God, Christ gives new and fuller expression to the perfect love that has eternally flowed from him.

Sometimes you just have to say there is a beautiful mystery to all this...

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Poking at Our Prejudices

Are you one of those people who assumes that churches which have a high liturgical content have more nominal Christians in them than the "Free" non-liturgical churches?

If so, let Peter Leithart make you think again...
There’s a widespread instinct that the higher a church’s liturgy, the more apt a church is to be full of lukewarm nominal believers. Mainline liturgical churches like the ELCA, ECUSA, PCUSA are, it is argued, full of people who know nothing of the Bible and little of Jesus, and they have high liturgical traditions.

Of course, correlation does not prove causation. And there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Anyone who thinks only high church traditions are afflicted with nominal believers should spend some time in the Bible Belt, where there’s a low-church nominal Baptist everywhere you look, a Baptist who stepped into a revival meeting 25 years ago and got himself saved.
The rest of the article is here.

Jane Austen - A Heavenly Sister

Elli is a fan of Jane Austen, and yesterday I took her to Jane Austen's house.

In one of the bedrooms, my eye fell upon an abridged version of the prayer below. One to be read in the evening, written by the late Miss Austen and framed on the wall. It read thus:
Give us grace, Almighty Father, so to pray, as to deserve to be heard, to address thee with our Hearts, as with our lips. Thou art every where present, from Thee no secret can be hid. May the knowledge of this, teach us to fix our Thoughts on Thee, with Reverence and Devotion that we pray not in vain.