Posts tagged Church

The Church is not ‘of the opinion,’ it does not have ‘views,’ convictions, enthusiasms. It believes and confesses, that is, it speaks and acts on the basic of the message based on God Himself in Christ.
Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline
It is for this reason that we should not give up meeting together, even if we are wracked with doubt. If we remove ourselves from the context of prayer, worship, and the proclamation of the Word, then we cut ourselves off from the very mysterious, secret formation of our hearts and minds that helps us escape our doubts. Continuing to attend may feel like suffering. But if Karl Barth is right, then “suffering and not triumph” is just what the church means. The church is sometimes the place where we feel the sufferings of Christ on the cross the most.
Matthew Lee Anderson, The End of Our Exploring, 141.
As Williams sees it, the church is the rough draft of a new humanity, and the Spirit is its author. Rough drafts are always a rather tragic state of affairs. But as every writer knows, there’s only one thing to do about it, and that is to revise. That is the work of the Spirit: revising and repairing the human race, slowly and patiently, one fragment at a time.
Benjamin Myers, Christ the Stranger: The Theology of Rowan Williams, 58.
Our grammar often betrays us. We say we have a body. That seems to suggest that I am something distinguishable from my body. In good capitalist fashion, the body becomes another possession I can use as I see fit. But Paul does not think there is an “I” that has a body. We are our bodies. And the body we are together is one that has been bought with a price. Our bodies are, therefore, not our own to do with as we please. Rather our bodies are a resting place for the Holy Spirit. Paul even seems to think that what our bodies do and do not do makes a difference for our ability to be a holy people.
Stanley Hauerwas, Working With Words
When [Constantine] rebuked Christians for their quarrels, he was not arguing that the church should remain unified so it could serve as the glue of imperial power. Such a claim would be nonsensical, since at the time of Constantine’s conversion the Christian population - cohesive and well-organized to the be sure - amounted to about 10-15 percent of the population. The church did not provide enough glue to stick the empire together. Constantine’s argument was directly theological. Divisions in the church displease the one God whose church it is, and God in his anger might well, Constantine thought, take his vengeance not only on the church but on the emperor himself. Constantine learned from Diocletian that politics and theology are inextricably mixed, and he operated in a similar framework. He had a different political theology from Diocletian’s, but it was equally political, equally theological.
Peter Leithart, Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom, 84
One simple conviction was central to Constantine’s beliefs: the Christian God was the heavenly Judge who, in history, opposes those who oppose him. He believed that God destroys those who destroy his temple….[Lactantius] shared Constantine’s conviction that God frustrates enemies of the church and blesses those who defend, befriend and support it. Eusebius adhered to the same conviction. It was an essential part of the theology of the martyr church, one of the bases for their utter confidence that someday their blood would be avenged.
Peter Leithart, Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom, 83.
I am always astonished at the emphasis the Church puts on the body. It is not the soul she says that will rise but the body, glorified. I have always thought that purity was the most mysterious of the virtues, but it occurs to me that it would never have entered the human consciousness to conceive of purity if we were not to look forward to a resurrection of the body, which will be flesh and spirit united in peace, in the way they were in Christ.
It’s in the nature of the Church to survive all crises - in however battered a fashion. The Church can’t be identified with Western culture and I suppose the wreck of it doesn’t cause her much of a sense of crisis.
Flannery O’Connor

Florence, Italy
Our grammar often betrays us. We say we have a body. That seems to suggest that I am something distinguishable from my body. In good capitalist fashion, the body becomes another possession I can use as I see fit. But Paul does not think there is an “I” that has a body. We are our bodies. And the body we are together is one that has been bought with a price. Our bodies are, therefore, not our own to do with as we please. Rather our bodies are a resting place for the Holy Spirit. Paul even seems to think that what our bodies do and do not do makes a difference for our ability to be a holy people.
Stanley Hauerwas, Working With Words
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