Paul’s preferred term for expressing the content of divine revelation is mysterion (I Cor. 2:1, 7), a term that acquires increasing prominence throughout his writings career. Besides accenting the veiled and hidden character of what is revealed, this word has the advantage of uniting all the various dimensions of God’s salvific design in a comprehensive unity. By designating the object of revelation as mystery, Paul indicates that it remains permanently subject to God’s free initiative and beyond the controlling grasp of the human intellect. As mystery, it cannot be confined to determinate doctrinal formulations, though it can require them for its correct preservation (cf. 2 Thes. 2:15; 1 Cor 11:2; 15:1-8). — Mary Healy, Knowledge of the Mystery: A Study of Pauline Epistemology in The Bible and Epistemology, page 138.
Remembering Jack - Free C.S. Lewis Audio -
Great stuff here.
This is the way, beloved, in which we find our Savior, even Jesus Christ, the High Priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our infirmity. By Him we look up to the heights of heaven. By Him we behold, as in a glass, His immaculate and most excellent visage. By Him are the eyes of our hearts opened. By Him our foolish and darkened understanding blossoms up anew towards His marvelous light. By Him the Lord has willed that we should taste of immortal knowledge, ‘who, being the brightness of His majesty, is by so much greater than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.’ —
The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 36.
Just listened to the recording of this on LibriVox. It’s a fascinating contribution from an early church father.
…he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts —
Mary’s Song of Praise, Luke 1:51 (ESV).
Thoughts proceed from the heart, but pride can cause those thoughts to become scattered. Pride literally makes you scatter-brained.
[Nicholas of ] Cusa revived and transformed the analogical middle way of the Middle Ages in a manner which now, retrospectively, offers new insights into the “completely ordinary chaos” of post-modern life and the crisis of a scientific culture which has become blind to its constitutional limitations. He discovered a way to circumvent the foundationalist rationality of later eras, and developed a mystagogical approach to the infinity of God rooted in context-sensitive, spiritual, and liturgical practices. Hence, Cusa offers an alternative modernity that enables us to recover the pre-modern middle path between univocity and equivocity without losing sight of the emancipatory legacy of the modern age. — Rethinking Modernity with Nicholas of Cusa, by Johannes Hoff
If God is inherently self-sacrificial toward a redemptive end for everyone (even God’s enemies), then that is where we should expect to find God: in redemptive self-sacrifice as we participate in it. The writer of 1 John states: “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (4:8). A corresponding, more suitable translation is: “Whoever does not self-sacrifice (for redemptive purposes) does not know God, for God is self-sacrifice.” Accordingly, one’s coming to know God in discerning God’s will is not a spectator sport or an armchair pastime. Instead, it requires one’s joining in what is inherent to God’s moral character: redemptive self-sacrifice. Such knowing and discerning may be foreign to certain modern conceptions of relatively disengaged knowledge, but they fit with the expectations of the intensely redemptive God, the Father of Jesus Christ. — Paul K. Moser, Doing and Teaching Christian Philosophy: Reply to McFall, page 9, from the Christ-Shaped Philosophy Project at the Evangelical Philosophical Society.
Christian philosophers often overlook the crucial importance of a nondiscursive manifestational witness to God’s powerful redemptive work, as they overemphasize the role of discursive, intellectual reasons. This deficiency may be the residue of a dubious kind of epistemic coherentism that lacks the needed resources of a modest experiential foundationalism. Alternatively, it may stem from a debilitating confusion of the conditions for one’s either having or manifesting evidence and the conditions for one’s giving an argument. We do well, however, not to confuse evidence and an argument. If all evidence is an argument, we face a devastating epistemic regress problem.
One’s foundational reasons or evidence need not be discursive or assertive, but can be nonpropositional character traits supplied by God’s Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and so on (see Gal. 5:22–23). Accordingly, John’s Gospel portrays Jesus as announcing that his disciples will be known by their agapē for others (Jn. 13:35). Jesus did not mention, allude to, or use any philosophical arguments in this connection, or in any other connection, for that matter. The same is true of his followers who are represented in the New Testament, although some of them were perfectly capable intellectually of wielding philosophical arguments. This noteworthy fact, moreover, does not qualify as a deficiency in their actual reasons, evidence, or mode of engagement.Talk is cheap, especially regarding God, and therefore many inquirers will wonder whether a confession has support from a corresponding nondiscursive witness, which can have power and cogency irreducible to statements and arguments. — Paul K. Moser, Doing and Teaching Christian Philosophy: Reply to McFall, pages 6-7, from the Christ-Shaped Philosophy Project at the Evangelical Philosophical Society.
[Martin] Luther’s interpretation [of the Sermon on the Mount] means that the Christian has to live in constant tension with the world. More so than Augustine, Luther emphasized the aggressive nature of the world in which the Christian must live. Luther knew that the way of life dictated by the Sermon always seems absurd to human reason. Its teachings contradict and overturn the normal, rational conduct of the world. When the text says, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ human reason balks and rebels. As Luther writes, ‘Thus, all these statements are aimed and directed again the world’s way of thinking…’ — Susan E. Schreiner, The Sermon on the Mount Through the Centuries: From the Early Church to John Paul II, Chapter 6 Martin Luther, page, 117.
Love that is not willing to suffer is not worthy of that name — St. Clare of Assisi (via mercypoured)