Zach Sherman posted in the Atrium discussion forum this apologia by St. Athenagorus. He was defending the Christians to Marcus Aurelius.
I have believed since the 80's that we are heading toward a time of troubles and the last year has not lessened my growing conviction. Part of the reason I've believed that comes down to a pertinent Biblical question: When the foundations are destroyed, what shall the righteous do?
This morning's reading led me to a not-surprising and yet surprising answer to that question. It was the world famous story of Noah's ark, after the flood has ceased but Noah is still in the ark.
God commanded a day of leisure to the ancient Hebrews, and on that day they were compelled to rest from all their labors and to actively remember that on the seventh day God Himself rested from all His labors.
This seems significant to me.
There is a sweet disposition that wants justice to arise from good intentions and to be executed in a world full of sweetness and harmony. The yearning is for a justice that is never opposed.
Once upon a time, my youth group was riding on a gigantic ferry from the western Wisconsin shores of Lake Michigan to the eastern Michigan shores. The moon brooded upon the face of the waters while a few of us sat around a table playing Othello. One of us would turn the tokens white and the other black, each striving to drive the other from the game. It was a totalizing contest, day or night winning, and no compromise possible.
On the box, the makers of the game proclaimed their surely well researched motto: a minute to learn; a lifetime to master.
As you know, America is a deeply divided country because there are educated, progressive people (EPP) and there are hicks and rubes (HAR). Now we get to wait out the election results to see how much better the EPP are than the HAR.
I would like to consider for a moment the difficult question of why it is so hard to process political ideas in this day and age and to do so I need to make myself a little more "vulnerable" as the EPP has taught us all to say.
There is a passage in Homer's Iliad 5 where he describes Athene arming herself with the aegis of Zeus, which is a shield or some similar device. He says,
"It would be a considerable fraud to do a book on American government which talked as if the constitution were still being substantially observed, that pretended that when Presidents took the oath of office they intended to observe the bounds set by the Constitution, that Congressmen recited their pledges with the same intent, and that Federal judges were still construing the Consitution as it was written." - Clarence Carson: Basic American Government, 1993
"Every writer of history proposes to himself an original method" - G.W.F. Hegel
What exactly am I doing when I do history?
If I ask the question based on the meaning of the word, I make an interesting discovery: history is from the Greek word for inquiry. History, therefore, as originally imagined, was an inquiry.
An inquiry into what? And how is it to be conducted?
Huckleberry Finn's author is supposed to have said that it is easier to fool a person than it is to convince him that he has been fooled. That triggered a longish reflection in me wherein I asked myself, why is that? And, is that good or bad?
Meanwhile, I have been teaching a class on Christian classical rhetoric and have been struck by a particular, somewhat unsettling fact for a modern or postmodern or at least conventional thinker such as I am. God rarely defends Himself when He speaks. He expects you to hear it and respond.
Is there a connection?