Monday 24 October 2011

Doodlings again...

by Kim Fabricius

A good writer turns the obscure into the conspicuous; she also turns the obvious into the intricate.

The better the poet, the greater the torment over the inexorable near-misses. 

Wittgenstein’s correction of Descartes: Cogito, ergo sumus.

God is the Mystery-without-Secrets.

J.B. Phillips wrote a famous little book called Your God Is Too Small. But isn’t the problem that many people’s God is too big?  

If (with Ben, following Stringfellow and Nouwen), the kingdom of God is like a circus, the kingdom of the world is like a zoo. True, a zoo is not “nature red in tooth and claw”, but that’s only because the animals are either grazing or sleeping. Except for the chimpanzees: they are either grooming or mooning.  Yep, that’s the world alright.

I’ve just finished reading Anthony Le Donne’s sharp, engaging Historical Jesus (2011), which confirms that the Messiah, like Brian, was a very naughty boy, and a great disappointment to his mother. Though from the lad’s point of view, Mary was an over-protective control-freak. Semper Mama?

Creationists do not disbelieve in science. On the contrary, creationists believe only in science – crap science.

The “Zero Intolerance” church is the latest effort in market-ecclesiology of my own United Reformed Church.  Very counter-culturally, there is a catchy sound-bite advertising offensive. Equally anti-zeitgeist, local congregations are offered the choice of opting in or staying out. And training (euphemism for disempowerment) is, of course, de rigueur. The only thing the campaign is missing is a patron saint.  My suggestion would be Pelagius.

Yes, Karl Barth warned of the dangers of what you might call “conjunction-ecclesiology”: e.g., the church and the nation, or the church and the family. Today the menace is “adjective-ecclesiology”.

The United Reformed Church is now receiving applications for the post of Moderator of the Synod of Wales.  Unless all applicants are immediately deemed un-called, and therefore unfit, for this ministry, I’d rather we cast lots.

I have often thought that a fitting soteriological image, a symbol for the work of Christ, is the toilet.  Apart from the handle, which is an Arminian attachment.

I see that in the new English translation of the Mass, the blood of Christ is shed not “for all” but “for many”, with the annotation that not everybody chooses to be saved. As if the reversion to exclusivity isn’t bad enough, it’s compounded by an Arminian gloss. What a muddle. Perhaps the next translation will go Calvinist with “for a few”.

God is on the move. It is called “illegal immigration”.

What should be the next stage in the “occupation” of Wall Street? If precedent is anything to go by, the construction of settlements. And a wall. Oh, and checkpoints for the daily harassment of bankers on the way to work.

Instruction for going to university in contemporary Britain: “Put fee in slut.”

Advice to a young minister: Remember that when you preach, you are speaking to everyone in particular.

True joy grows only in the garden of sorrows.

Have you ever thought that the parable of the Prodigal Son might be an autobiographical story about living post-exilically?

Paul’s list of ecclesial vocations in I Corinthians 12 is not, of course, exhaustive. In the UK, for example, for the church’s common good, there must surely be a charisma for arson.

Paul wrote that he was not “ashamed” of the gospel (Romans 1:16). Nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find someone ashamed of anything. Embarrassed perhaps, but not ashamed.

The best reason for balking at the Virginal Conception is the argument from narrative symmetry: a shameful death demands a shameful birth.

Title for sermon on Mark 10:14 in the US: “Pissed Christ”.
Title for sermon on Matthew 11:19 in the UK: “Pissed Christ”.

I’ve just returned from visiting my mum in New York. I watched several television programmes about the search for a worthy presidential candidate for the Republican Party. I think you’re more likely to find a gold nugget in a turd.

My body is finally turning into a temple. But it’s age, not sanctity: I no longer have the energy to be a brothel.


Pamela said...

Reticent as usual Kim. :)
Keep doodling!

Highanddry said...

Hi Kim, more insightful and amusing noodlings. I like the 'everyone in particular' line - so true. I thought you may be interested that today (inspired your doodlings perhaps) Richard Beck over at 'Experimental Theology' has posted a wonderful piece on God being too big. It is well worth a look.

Bruce Hamill said...

I had to look up the verses, but it was worth it :-)

John said...

A very powerful image.
An image which sums up how the never-ending sorry-go-round that we call our "culture" perpetuates itself from generation to generation.
The sins of the fathers beaten into the flesh of the children.


Plus Spare the Child by Philip Greven

Tiosamantipt said...

Encontrar um candidato digno a presidência pelo Partido Democrata? Eu acho que é mais provável encontrar uma pepita de ouro em uma fossa cheia de bosta.

Ethan said...

Thoroughly enjoyable as always, Kim. Regarding the toilet and salvation:

Luther, of course, claimed he made his Reformation discovery on the john. He said, “The Holy Spirit gave me this realization on the cloaca." The toilet is the most degrading place for humans and thus the Devil’s favorite habitat: Luther was attesting to the presence of Christ in the filth of the world.

Apparently the toilet was a theologically significant place for Luther in more ways than one. Brecht tells us that after the briefly scanning his opponent’s works until he had enough arguments against them, the great reformer would use their pages as toilet paper.

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