Gleanings 1

Gleanings: These are things I stumbled on in the course of what is obviously not very systematic reading.   Some stood out because of what they said, others because of the way they said it.

“Infinity dwindled to infancy”.  This is the suggestive title of a recent book on the incarnation by Edward J Oakes, SJ.  Published by Eerdmans.

“With its preaching Christianity stands or falls.” P T Forsyth

“In Catholicism worship is complete without a sermon; and the education of the minister suffers accordingly.”  P T Forsyth

In James Durham’s Christ Crucified (Sermons on Isaiah Fifty-three, published in 1683, but probably now available as a reprint) there is an interesting discussion of the Covenant of Redemption, pp.186-194.  The core provision was this: “their debt shall be paid, and yet nothing shall come out of their own purse” (p. 189).  Which is just as well, since our purse is empty.

From a book on the Trinity, a warning that when discussing Christianity and Islam we should avoid speaking in terms of the comparison between Jesus and Mohammed: “the salient comparison is rather between Jesus and the Qur’an … Christians believe that Jesus is the Word of God made human, while Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the Word of Goid made ‘book’”.  The background to this is that the personality of Mohammed contributed nothing (in Muslim belief) to the composition of the Qur’an.  (This from Peter C. Han, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Trinity).

Anselm on the centrality of the death of Christ: “this man could not have existed if it were not for the fact that he was going to die … for the purpose of his being a man was this: for him to die.”

“No one is more prejudiced than someone who thinks he is without prejudices.” Henri de Lubac

“Every man seeks peace by making war, but no man seeks war by making peace.”  Augustine

“A human right is a right such that the only status one needs to possess the right is that of being a human being.”  Nicholas Wolterstorff

Wolterstorff again, describing his reaction to the death of his 25-year old son, Eric:  ”After I had recovered a bit from the shock, I decided to look for books that might help me in my grief: that’s what scholars do, they read books.  I found almost all of them unbearable.   They were about Grief, capital ‘G’, or about ‘Death’, capital ‘D’, or about the Grief Process, capital letters.  My problem was not with Grief; my problem was that I was in grief.  My problem was not with Death; my problem was that Eric had died.  I found standing back to think and talk about The Process obscene.”