Saturday, August 26, 2006

a thought on the gospels

God has four people recount the life of his incarnate Son, in each case differently and with inconsistencies. Is this not just in order that the literal word is not taken too seriously, and that the spirit may be given its due? In other words a mediocre account is to be preferred…’Wittgenstein, 1937

Not quite sure about the "mediocre" bit, perhaps that depends on what we measure excellence by... I would prefer to put it in terms that our modern post-enlightenment ultra-rationalistic definitions of excellence might be out of synch with God's value system. God seems to delight in loose ends, incomplete explanations, untidy miracles, revelations of wonder that mess up our neat theology. Perhaps we have settled for honouring a lesser excellence when God is calling us to a higher. The foolishness of God is still wiser than the wisdom of men, we who have made idols of our own intellectual systems, who think that we understand something when we have stuck a label on it (and oh, how we argue over those labels!) must repent of our arrogance and return to the manger and the cross where we see again, astounded by His grace, that the perfection of Divine order is imperfectly expressed within our understanding, not because the order is incomplete, but because our understanding is, and to try to bend it to be complete within our understanding is to warp it out of shape. It is we who need to be remade (or unmade) to become like him, and the first step into glory is to learn humility.

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