Thursday, 28 January 2010

Travelling not Arriving

This life, therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed.

Martin Luther
This came in my daily email from Sojourners and I just loved it as a quote.  It fits with Julie Burchill's favourite vicar:
the Reverend Gavin Ashenden of Sussex University, never says, "I am a Christian," but rather "I'm trying to be a Christian"
(from an article in the Guardian).

This in turn fits with John Caputo in "What would Jesus Deconstruct" (which the cats bought) where he talks about the difference between Derrida's law and justice, and suggests that Kierkegaard could have written
"Oh my fellow Christians, there are no Christians", by which he was not remarking that the Danes had all recently become Hindus.
The idea is that justice is unchanging, but unachievable, whereas law is achievable, but open to constant change.  My interpretation of this is that total faith is unchanging, but unachievable, whereas church is achievable, but open to constant change.  And it is important that we do not confuse the two!

If we contemplate infinity then funny things can happen (see previous post).  It is at infinity/the end of time that total faith can be achieved, but in the meantime however many times we iterate we do not get there.  In the same way that there is no such thing as a just law, so there is no such thing as a faithful church!  Some churches may be more or less faithful than others, but all are in some way or other unfaithful - they cannot be anything but.

1 comment:

  1. I found this inspiring. So many of the Blogs I read take the mickey out of church and so often I see the failings of it, and others accuse the church of failing. This is so much more positive.



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