A Work in Progress
April 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
I love it when someone’s post really hits the nail on the head. Or in this case, it could be a nail onto a hand or a foot. Or maybe a leg up a ladder I’ve been needing rungs to climb on. In any case, read Macrina’s wonderful post and then what follows here may or may not make a bit of sense, as I’m not finished thinking these topics through yet myself.
First, “the Key” – from Kallistos Ware (as quoted by Macrina):
Underlying all six models [Ware analyzes] is one fundamental truth, namely that “Jesus Christ, as our Saviour, has done something for us that we could not do alone and by ourselves. We cannot save ourselves; we need help. … We could not come to God, so He has come to us.”
Then a simple method by which Ware analyzes the concept of “Salvation in Christ” in terms of 6 models, using 4 hugely important questions to “test” each model. (Please see Macrina’s post for that info.) The brilliance of this method leaves me yet again grateful for having slid into First Base (in my dotage) within Eastern Orthodoxy. And grateful as well to have stumbled upon Macrina’s blog. Twice. First, when she was a Cictercian nun. And next, when she reappeared as a tent-dwelling, would-be Orthodox convert. (Now she’s an Orthodox, South African bookbinder!) If that transformation does not intrigue you… well… then maybe my own “work in progress” (below) won’t pique your interest either.
Four “threads” I’m currently pulling on:
- Psalm 53 (14)
- Paul’s conversion experience
- Epistle to the Romans
- Paul’s concept of the Mystical Body of Christ
In a nutshell, I was first intrigued with this verse from Psalm 53:
Will the evildoers not understand?
They eat up my people
As though they were eating bread;
they never pray to God.
“Eat up my people / As though … eating bread ” made me think of Jesus offering his body … as bread to be eaten. And also of Paul on the road to Damascus, being asked (by Jesus): “Why are you persecuting me?” Paul quotes the beginning of this psalm in Romans 2:11 and I can’t help but wonder if his mystical understanding of our “participation in Christ” arose as he reflected over and over on his own conversion experience (maybe even in the light of this psalm). A conversion experience, which surely (based on his writings) addresses all four of Ware’s questions so beautifully.
Seems to me that each of us could also analyze our own personal experiences of God breaking into our lives, as he broke into Paul’s, in terms of the “key” fundamental truth and the 4 questions. For salvation IS clearly ongoing – for each of us.
In progress…. Hopefully to be revised and updated. Otherwise, if anyone wiser and more skilled than I can tackle what I’ve laid out in an nutshell, please leave a link in a comment.