Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Readings: Week of Dec 2

As a change from sporadic posting, I've decided to create weekly posts which accumulate the noteworthy reading. I will be adding the references in descending order by date (i.e.: the most recent at the top).

Hieromonk Damascene on Resentment and Forgiveness:
Rather than resenting those who wrong us, we are to love them, and we express this love by blessing them and praying for them. We do this because we are commanded to do so by Christ. He has commanded this for our own sake, for our own salvation, because He loves us; and we do it for His sake, because we love Him. Our fallen nature rebels against this: "What? Bless and pray for that person who wronged me?" But for Christ's sake, we go against our fallen nature, and force ourselves to pray. We ask God to bless and have mercy on the person who hurt us, we wish good things for him, we wish his salvation, just as our Lord wishes his salvation. In this way we begin to become like God Himself, Who, according to the words of Christ, is kind to the unthankful and the evil (Luke 6:35). In going against our fallen nature, we return to our original nature—the image of God in us—and we grow in the likeness of God.

The Ochlophobist has unleashed another barrage of incisive social commentary here:
God will not be mocked by the consumnivors' perverse mimesis of Christ's trampling down of death by death. And after that last breath, the rich man who has lived to 178 may well find that the ignoring of so many little Lazaruses who twitched and wreathed in their painful unborn deaths, and so many poor Lazaruses who felt the sting of a cut out emptiness in their souls and begged God for help and mercy, does not bode well for him on that day. Better to die young and without the blood of innocents in one's genetic modifications or bio-engineered medicines.

Perry from Energetic Procession has posted some interesting thoughts on the West, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism here. Here's the standard sample:
The same Platonic metaphysic guides and drives the Reformed thinking in Predestination as well. There isn’t much difference in essence between the late Platonic predestinarianism of a fall which was necessary and voluntary on the part of the soul into the material world for which it is culpable and the Reformed notion of a predestined yet voluntary fall with imputed corporate guilt. The same subordinating relationship can be seen in soteriology in so far is God is active, humans must be passive, if God is good, humans must be depraved. Here the dialectical relationship between God and creation is clear. Salvation is a return to the One along a predestined path.

...This is why the Reformed have to understand union with Christ in moral and legal terms, because these denote an extrinsic relationship because the Reformed adhere to the same fundamental doctrine as Rome-union with God is had through means of a created similitude. This is why Christ must merit righteousness and it can’t be the righteousness whereby God is intrinsically righteous. If it were, the collapse of the opposition between created and creator would imply for them absorption in the simple divine essence. Rome and Protestants both think that grace is created, it is just that one is realist and the other a nominalist, but there is nothing more than a causal contiguity between God (cause) and creation (effect), which makes a farce out of 2 pet 1:4. It is not possible for humanity to perform divine activities.

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