Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Michael Spencer's last post:

The are a lot of different kinds of Good News, but there is little good news in “My argument scored more points than you argument.” But the news that “Christ is risen!” really is Good News for one kind of person: The person who is dying. 
If Christianity is not a dying word to dying men, it is not the message of the Bible that gives hope now.

Josh Strodtbeck, on the passing of Michael Spencer:
If the resurrection doesn’t sound like the Gospel, you haven’t really considered how great and powerful death is. An ordinary man might conquer a vice. He may fix a hole in his reasoning.
But he will never defeat death. Even if he finds the Fountain of Youth, death will eventually blot out the sun and leave the earth a cold, lifeless shell. Should he escape the solar system and find another star, death will destroy that one, too. It will devour and devour until not a single wisp of usable energy remains in this universe to sustain life.

The easiest way to kill the Gospel in your church is to drive thoughts of death out of our minds. Hurry the old and the frail out the doors of your church, so the youthful and exuberant don’t have to see them. Distract people with self-help lessons and inspirational stories. Wrap people up in the institution, in the programs, and the politics of your version of the faith. Just don’t let them think about death. Don’t let them see the dying. Be sure to do this, and regardless of how “orthodox” your church is on paper, the Gospel will be the only thing that dies in your church. Only face to face with the ugly visage of death do we learn who Jesus is.

Which reminds me of a post by the Ochlophobist:
Christians believe in the resurrection of the dead. That belief is not a dogmatic sideshow, it is a central component of our faith. So much so, that I recommend that you ask yourself this question when considering the veracity of any communion which calls itself Christian: "is the human body an inconvenience to this theology?" But when considering the human body, we should not merely state that it will be saved. As St. Gregory Nazianzen reminds us, "what has not been assumed has not been healed." But what has been assumed by Christ is not only healed, it is also holy; it is not only holy, it is in fact deified. The elevation of the human body by way of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ has turned the universe inside out. The microcosm is now bigger than the cosmos. Mary's womb is more spacious than the heavens, as the Orthodox liturgy teaches us. It would seem then quite obvious that a religion which recognizes the above as fact would, forgive the pun, flesh it out in a manner consistent with that belief. The human body would do something in such a religion. The human body would be reverenced in such a religion.


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