10 June 2005 - Friday

Glow-worm on a grassblade, I


Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1952), 150:

The God before whom "the nations are as a drop in the bucket and are counted as small dust in the balances" is known by faith and not by reason. The realm of mystery and meaning which encloses and finally makes sense out of the baffling configurations of history is not identical with any scheme of rational intelligibility. The faith which appropriates the meaning in the mystery inevitably involves an experience of repentance for the false meanings which the pride of nations and cultures introduces into the pattern. Such repentance is the true source of charity; and we are more desperately in need of genuine charity than of more technocratic skills.

Thomas C. Oden, After Modernity ... What? Agenda for Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), 121:

The spirit continues to use historical inquiry as a refining fire to purge from religious faith unwarranted assumptions and needless cultural accretions, to intensify ethical awareness, and to enrich the memory of revelation. Historical inquiry, even when shaped by bias or outright rejection of Christianity, may still be used providentially as an instrument by which the Spirit curbs inordinate assertiveness, leads to faith, and judges sin.
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