Showing posts with label Phil-aphorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phil-aphorism. Show all posts

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Aphorism of the Day, December 2018

Aphorism of the Day, December 9, 2018

The church and any organization can accrue much in our histories.  We can begin to carry lots of baggage and slowly the task of carrying our baggage make us forget that we are really here to make the journey directly to God; we are not here to do luggage shopping.

Aphorism of the Day, December 8, 2018

The importance of John the Baptist was articulated by the early church as it explicated the outcome of the success of Jesus Christ in his post-resurrection mode.  In face of the rejection of Christ by many in the synagogues, the community of John the Baptist were more likely to convert to the Jesus Movement and so John the Baptist and his community are presented as a "seamless" transition to the Jesus Movement.  The emphasis upon "individual" repentance for spiritual validation rather than the automatic validation through birth into Judaism was a prelude to the individual faith event that Paul saw as the validation of Gentile inclusion in salvation history.  John the Baptist's stress on "individualism" in matters of faith was seen as a set up for the Jesus Movement which moved far beyond the synagogue community.

Aphorism of the Day, December 7, 2018

Repentance is a word that for some has a bad reputation.  It is associated with the one's past sins for which one is supposed to grovel in penitential reparations.  The word itself is very "futuristic."  The Greek word is "meta-noia," or the after mind, the future mind or as St. Paul wrote, "be transformed by the renewal of your mind."  Repentance is literally the renewal of one's mind which expresses what education really means.  Such a view is based upon the location of the "mind" as being a command center which works with the emotions and the will to expedite what one actually does with the entire body language of one's life.  The mind might be an interior place where the synthesis of language events collects information and creates the interior hierarchies which results in the volitional expression of the priorities of one's life to the point of driving the words and deeds of one's life toward the coalescing of the character of one's life.

 Aphorism of the Day, December 6, 2018

In hagiography, the most made-over saint of all is probably Nicholas of Myra who after many cultural make-overs to be the Dutch Sinterclaus, became the most famous secular saint in the world, the commercial world.  One could say he is the Mad Saint, aka the Madison Avenue saint whose Americanization has elevated him to rivaling popularity with the Christ Child at Christmas.  Santa Claus has been exported around the world as lots of country need American Christmas excess to build all of the trinkets which the mythical Santa Claus delivers, not with angels, but with flying reindeer and elves.  If one believes that the Virgin Birth is fantastical, what about Santa Claus?  At what age does a child reach doubt about the reliability of empirical verification of Santa in your household?

Aphorism of the Day, December 5, 2018

One of the schizoidal results of people who limit themselves to biblical piety or who try to privilege biblical language to equality with empirical verification in all applications, is that one is trying to cram rounded poetry into the square hole of places where it does not fit. "All flesh shall see the salvation of God."  What does that literally mean except a poetic aspiration for everyone who ever is born to know an enlightened original health as intended by the One who is the greatest?  What is empirical about aspirations is that people have aspirations which come to poetic verse; what is expressed in poetry is the fact that people are constructed to have all manner of imaginations which function for their existence.  The human task partly involves how to weave the imaginations as they arise out of the great imagination maker, Language itself.

Aphorism of the Day, December 4, 2018

The long history of religious faith in societies at different times means that institutions grow and accrue lots of extraneous practices and pieties which subtly become elevated in importance even to the point of covering up what is central to faith.  Reformers like to return to the quickest route, "as the crow" flies.  John the Baptist was regarded to be such a reformer; no more long journey on a curvy path with detours, no more high mountains or low valleys to impede the direct arrival.  If John the Baptist were a piece of machinery, according to the Isaiah passage, he would be a "bulldozer."  He was to make the path straight and direct.

 Aphorism of the Day, December 3, 2018

How does the Gospel of Luke describe the ascendance of John the Baptist in becoming a "bridge" person to Jesus of Nazareth?  Luke wrote, "the word of God came to John."  The word was "like" the words of the prophets but it was unique in its "liturgical" innovation.  John made everyone including the Jews go through what had heretofore been required of proselytes to Judaism; he made everyone undergo "mikvah" or baptism in the living waters of the Jordan.  To treat his fellow Jews as proselytes to Judaism was a prologue to the redefinition of the church being the new Israel.  John could be seen as a "bridge" to Jesus, but he also could be understood as one who began to initiate the re-interpretation of the themes of Hebrew Scriptures in a way that eventually could no longer be called Judaism in Gentile Christianity.

Aphorism of the Day, December 2, 2018

Jesus said that the trees on the leaves change and they mark a seasonal change and we can read these natural signs.  He also invited us to learn how to read more complicated signs found in human life cycles both personally and as communities of people.  The oft fickleness of human behaviors, though repetitive in nature, are not also so easy to read and predict as are the cycles of nature.  A goal of living is to attain the gradual actuarial wisdom from our observation of probable outcomes so that we can wisely ponder how to respond to the next transitions which await us in our lives.

Aphorism of the Day, December 1, 2018

The cultural effect of deconstructive postmodernism is to live on the surface of everything.  Why?  In the postmodern world, there is no "inner world of ideals," and no "deep structures" because the access to the "inner world" can only be achieved by generating more "surface" signifiers about the "previously known signified" within the classic and modern systems of processing reality.  The solution may be to re-hierarchize the importance of the language signifiers regarding interiority.  With language we can elevate the importance of the language of the value of interiority (since language is essentially INTERIORITY),  particularly as signifiers represent human solidarities which speak on behalf of what love and justice can mean for everyone.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Aphorism of the Day, November 2018

Aphorism of the Day, November 30, 2018

Why so much apocalyptic literature in the Bible?  Why is futurism the staff of life?  We live toward what will be, immediately, near future, middle future, distant future, and beyond life future.  Apocalyptic literature is a particular discourse of the future which functions for the writers and people for whom it was intended.  The biblical models of the apocalyptic are really not "meant" for us in the sense that we do not live in the communities which derived them.  They are "meant" for us in that the apocalypse includes the universal habits of language wherein the perpetual return of the same occurs.  How the "return of the same" occurs in the apocalyptic future differs from the biblical contexts of the apocalyptic.  One can generally say that the apocalyptic has left the "religious building" and gone into the streets of secular entertainment or apocalyptic environmentalism as culture tries to imagine the various kinds of ending of human life as we now know it.

Aphorism of the Day, November 29, 2018

The Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John the Divine by title means "unveiling."  However, it is hardly an unveiling in the sense of making meaningful precise knowledge of the future evident.  Revelations veils more than it reveals; it unveils stark images which cloud mysterious symbolic meanings.  Lots of people try to collate it with other apocalyptic imagery from other apocalyptic writings and some presume to place their interpretation of it onto human calendar dates of specific human history.  The "interpreters with special access to God's Spirit" end up reveling in their own exclusive roles as interpreters.  The Book of Revelations like all language products offers insights into human experience without needing to be exactly predicative of any future event.

Aphorism of the Day, November 28, 2018

Apocalyptic discourse might be frustrating for modern people because in the pre-scientific era the probability of the near and distant future could not be extrapolated in the ways that we extrapolate how we think the near and far future will be for us who have lived after the scientific era.  Imagination and science can co-exist because imagination attends every discursive practice as an engine of heuristic insights.  The down to earth pragmatic often begins on the fairy wings of the fantastical.

Aphorism of the Day, November 27, 2018

In the apocalyptic words of Jesus, he remarks that heaven and earth will pass away, but that his words will not.  So words are signifying entities which remain even when what is signifed does not remain, that is, in a continuous static state of existence.  If the words of Jesus remain it does perhaps imply a Language User or language users who would be around to know whether the words still are indicators of existence as human beings know it.

Aphorism of the Day, November 26, 2018

As Advent approaches a pouting liturgical preacher might wistfully opine, "Darn those apocalyptic lections again!  Do I have to preach on this again."  The Bible does seem filled with lots of apocalyptic portions about the end of life as we know it.  This seeming death watch of the biblical writers may be a bit depressing or it may be because we have been used to the use of pre-scientific imaginations being used as post-scientific evidence of a real future that will be empirically verified to prove that apocalyptic hucksters were justified in fleecing their faithful by selling their exclusive secrets about the end the world preying upon the fears of the worried and the ignorant.  As one pouts about the apocalyptic in the Bible one should be honest that our current modern secular apocalypticism is far more widespread than biblical apocalypticism.  We have moved the apocalyptic into the imaginations of art, particularly in the visual art of cinematic presentation.  Human behaviors represented in the Bible and in modern cinema prove that being human language users, it is universal to have imaginations about "in the beginning time" and "in the end time."  

Aphorism of the Day, November 25, 2018

Christ the King was a spiritualization of the messianism of the first century.  Why?  Jesus did not look like any earthly king, including King David and certainly not like Caesar.  How could such a person be regarded to be a king?  In hidden stealth, the Jesus Movement was founded member by member, house church by house church and the strength of the experience of the replication of the life of the Risen Christ in so many people engendered the title of Christ, the King of Glory.  Christ in you, the hope of glory.  After Constantine and the Christendom of the West, the spiritual Christ the King was united with earthly kings who purported to make Christ a true earthly king, triumphant in association with earthly power.  The spiritual was not lost, but it went underground since everyone in the kingdom was passively assimilated into the kingdom of Christ through baptism.  Authentic conversion by the spiritual Christ was not lost but had to co-exist with the Christ of cultural identity.

 Aphorism of the Day, November 24, 2018

The Risen Christ movement attached itself to an Ascended Jesus and moved interpretation into an interior heavenly realm.  Jesus as a heavenly High Priest attends an altar in heaven; the church is the new Israel without actual tribes and the Jews who rejected the Jesus Movement could not accepted a "spiritualized" Messiah, a King who was not of this world and who would not send His soldiers or followers to engage in an actual physical warfare.  David was an actual earthly king with a territorial realm, Jesus did not have a territory; he was a spiritualized heaven King seated on a heavenly throne at the right hand as the Crown Prince of heaven next to God the Father, the heavenly King.  So what happened to an actual earthly King Jesus?  He is delayed until a future return to keep the physical notion of the Messiah as relevant in the Christ communities.

Aphorism of the Day, November 23, 2018

The kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven is a major theme in the words of Jesus in the Gospels.  This kingdom or realm was different from the former kingdom of David or the Kingdom of the Caesars of Rome.  The oracle of Christ spoken in the community which generated John's Gospel, understood Jesus to say to Pilate: "If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over ....",  This invisible kingdom might be regarded to be a quixotic denial of the world in face of the kingdoms with armies and powers to truly aid or hurt people.  It is the reality of the kingdom of words, because by interior constitution by the words of our lives we are ruled.  Christianity is intended to be a program of Jesus who said, "my words are spirit and life."  We seek to internalize the words of Jesus such that they become the telling spirit of our life because we have progressively undergone and interior word transplant to set us on the path of love of justice.

 Aphorism of the Day, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving is the central worship event of the church catholic because Eucharist means Thanksgiving.

Aphorism of the Day, November 21, 2018

Faith is the ability to assert Providence before it is actualized.

Aphorism of the Day, November 20, 2018

Providence has various nuances; negative happenings can be nullified and re-valued based upon subsequent events.  The cross became a glorified event after the resurrection.  Providence in a neutral sense might be simply how subsequent events result in the entire re-valuing and everything that has happened in the past.  Even a terrible person in history becomes providentially re-valued as people shout, "Don't be like he was."  Learning not be be bad because of the example of a bad person, is also providence at work in the continual re-evaluation of the past which happens in the future.

Aphorism of the Day, November 19, 2018

The passage of time fine tunes what is called providence.  Providence is the hindsight analysis of the telling significance of previous events which were not so recognized when they were occurring.  The Passion Gospel of John is a more highly evolved in providential thinking.  Jesus as a king from the cross declares not, "my God why have you forsaken me," but "It is finished!"  The Johannine authors were quite certain that the Jesus Movement was a wildfire that was going to spread without abatement and so they understood King Jesus on the cross to be declaring the end of a phase of his existence which was the necessary prelude to the experience of the out of the body, spiritual Risen Christ by countless number of people.

Aphorism of the Day, November 18, 2018

Bible readers are often enamored or put of by the kind of biblical writing which is called "apocalyptic," deriving from the Greek Title for the book of Revelation also called The Apocalypse, or the unveiling.  It purports to be an unveiling of events at the end of the world as we know it, but the images are so cryptic and idiopathic to the person who was in an altered state, it includes codes and references that really are unknowable.  Yes, some of the codes involve cross referencing with other apocalyptic literature but one really has to presumptuous to assume that one knows the definitive meaning of these hallucinogenic imagery.  The presumption of those who pretend to know the meaning of the Apocalypse mean that such people discard its significance even while our modern era gorges itself upon the apocalyptic in our modern entertainment.

Aphorism of the Day, November 17, 2018

For a long time the Holy Scriptures were the singular writings that were available to people of faith; only the further educated had access to other writings.  As such a formative singular book in the lives of people, it had an omni-competent role.  It was entertainment, it was politics, it was humor, it was advice, it was history, it was futurism/science fiction, it was speculation, it was legal precedence and more.  The proliferation of textual products and the increasing literacy of people has challenged the Bible to be able to be such an omni-competent book for people.  This is recognized in the classical Anglican statement about the Scriptures: They contain all things necessary for our salvation.  This implies they don't contain all things necessary for an understanding of Quantum Physics.  For people who want the Bible to remain such a singular book of significance in all manner of scientific modern life, it requires a distortion of scope and purpose of the Bible.

Aphorism of the Day, November 16, 2018

Lots of biblical scholars, prominent being Albert Schweitzer, believed that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet, meaning that he identified with furor in his time over the conditions of the world which were so dire for his people, that they required an cosmic intervention and ending.  But other portions of the Gospels seem to imply that Jesus proposed a "realized eschatology" or a recognition that the kingdom of God was specifically advanced in the age of the Holy Spirit.  How does one resolve the apocalyptic Jesus with the realized eschatology Jesus?  One can note that the Jesus in the Gospel, is the oracle Risen Christ, channeled by the apostles and preachers who had "the mind of Christ," "had the Spirit," and spoke in his "Name," such that the words could authentically be called logia of Jesus.  Where the early Jesus suffered horrendous persecution, the words of Jesus were visionary apocalyptic words promising end and and intervention.  In the situations of the unpersecuted church enjoying evangelical success, the words of a realized eschatology were more fitting for the conditions in the community.

Aphorism of the Day, November 15, 2018

While biblical literalists try to match up the near hallucinogenic images of the Book of Revelations with actual events in our future history, the culture at large disparages such apocalypticism, even while we probably live in the most apocalyptic age of all in our entertainment.  We live by cinematic images of futurism and threats to life as we know it.  Our postmodern apocalypticism is unmoored from the notion of a loving God inspiring analgesic imagery for vision to survive the kinds of human crises which occur.

 Aphorism of the Day, November 14, 2018

As the world moved from a geocentric view of the solar system to a heliocentric view, there occurred a reverse orientation in philosophy, from a theocentric view to an anthropocentric view, encapsulated in the Feuerbachian phrase: "All theology is anthropology," or said in another way, "no one has or can have an non-human experience of God."  There is a humility in admitting that we are locked in our prison of human experience, using anthropocentric imaginations to assert empathy with non-humans like animals or God.  We cannot help but project personality, somewhat like our own, upon everything.  The Christian belief in the incarnation is a license to assert that the theocentric became anthropocentric in Christ, who is proclaimed to be one with "bi-lingual" status between God and humanity so that the difference of holy transcendence might be translated into human experience.  This belief also affirms human experience as a valid way to know a Plenitude which is human in that we say that we experience Plenitude, but extra-human in that Plenitude is way too much to be comprehended and so we settle for the adequate human bits to elevate us to what we regard to be the supreme values of love and justice.

Aphorism of the Day, November 13, 2018

Many people interpret the apocalyptic portions of the Bible as predictive of the end times and people for 2000 years have tried to tie biblical imagery to the specific events of their time.  Such use of the Bible give people confidence that God is in control even in the midst of the chaos of freedom which permits lots of bad things to happen and innocent suffering to be the normal fare of existence for many.  Apocalyptic images are analgesic temporary remedies to people who are in pain or think that they are in pain because their life values do not seem to prevail in their society to the degree which they want.  One can accept apocalyptic literature as a valid discourse of imagination with psychological function and purpose even while like the reality of the unicorn, one should not use apocalyptic as referring to future precise events that will be empirically verified.  Apocalyptic literature because it partakes of Language, includes universal patterns which are meaningfully true without being the truth of empirical verification.

Aphorism of the Day, November 12, 2018

During the time of Jesus apocalyptic speculation was rife.  The world by some was believed to be in terminal mode, but by whom?  The Romans?  Certainly not them, because they were in control.  The oppressed Jews and other oppressed peoples who were trying to maintain that God still loved them even though God did not seem to be taking adequate care of them, wanted to put the whole earth on "hospice care."  Apocalyptic thinkers are pity thinkers seeming to imply, "if things are going badly for us who are God's chosen, then the entire world doesn't deserve to survive."  How easy it is to assume that the entire world should be in symbiotic relationship with us such that if our lives are threatened, so should the life of the whole earth.  The irony is that Christianity cured the need for apocalyptic thinking by converting the Roman Empire and when Christendom rules with a sword, apocalyptic thinking is ironically converted to triumphalism, e.g., the Lord will now return just to prove that we were right.  Beware of apocalyptic thinking which is hiding group narcissism coupled with megalomania. The words of Jesus warned against the people who presume to know too much about the "end," and proclaim, "I am he, (who knows the end)."

Aphorism of the Day, November 11, 2018

One might call the "plain reading" of Scripture based upon reading most of the words as those which could all be empirically verified, the "zoom in" reading of the Bible.  For visual and devotional reading such a literalism, such a reading might be inspiring to those who hope for the laws of empirical happenings to be violated in the present with scientific defying occurrences.  This does happen in cinematic visual presentation.  For those who do a more "zoom out" reading of the Bible in the universe of total discourse, there is a discovery of the variety of language usage by humanity with discursive practices appropriate to the occasion, some requiring pragmatic brute facts for wise actuarial manipulation of one's world for things necessary for physical and social maintenance, and some requiring aesthetic appropriation for the experience of Sublime in what might be called spiritual experience or the artistic event.  Too many people live in the "zoom in" mode of reading while the science of life automatically have them contained in a "zoom out" mode.  Most of the conflict of our day has to do with people who live with calcified "zoomed in" interpretation of reality which is in natural conflict with the big picture of "zoom out" reality.

Aphorism of the Day, November 10, 2018

An aspect of being humans with language is that we say that we are persons, meaning that we are defined in relationship with other persons.  And being prisoners of personal experience we cannot help but personalize everyone and everything which confronts us.  We take "personally" everything which happens to us.  We assume that there are reasons and causes behind everything even if such remain mostly mysterious since we have no access to all of the chain in the infinite regress of all that has happened.  One of the names that is given for the totality and plenitude of all that is, is God, who is a person because we as persons can only know through things being personal.  Another name for the totality and plenitude as it manifests its impingements upon us is Fate.   So as persons we cannot avoid relationship and as persons working on relationships with everything and everyone is the human calling.  How we relate is the value laden question of the quality that we bring to relationship even as we assess the quality of how impinging events personally affect us.

Aphorism of the Day, November 9, 2018

If one reads the Bible without understanding the context of writing one can be locked out of meanings that were surely known by the "original" readers.  Extenuating circumstances influence the meanings that were intended, so for readers of the Gospel of Mark, it is important to know that it was written by those who were aware of the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in the year 70.  To be oblivious to the circumstances can certain allow reader to appropriate many other readings or what one might call misreadings, but to attempt to attain circumstantially appropriate approximate meaning requires the study of the situation which may not be found within the text.   The writer of the Gospel of Mark had to present Jesus as having foreknowledge of the destruction of the Temple and the Jesus of the Gospel is a collage of oral traditions about Jesus intertwined with the oracle of the Risen Christ channeled by early church preachers such as the Marcan Gospel preacher. 

Aphorism of the Day, November 8, 2018

Irony of the widow's copper coin:  She gave it to the temple for its preservation even as in the Gospel of Mark, the gift was like a herald which proclaimed the end of the temple.

Aphorism of the Day, November 7, 2018

People of means who give to charity as band aids for those who are wounded by having no state in our economic system should ask the question:  How much do I have left over after I have given?  

Aphorism of the Day, November 6, 2018

The widow who gave her last coin to the temple treasury is often used as a reading in the fall for church "fund-raising" called stewardship.  Yet the passage is cut off from the punchline of Jesus which follows, namely, a judgment upon the temple as an institution which had encouraged the poor widow to give all as her religious obligation even while it was the obligation of the temple as an institution to take care of the poor widow.  To stop at this as a simple stewardship message misses the context of judgment upon the institutions which refuse to live up to justice and love.

Aphorism of the Day, November 5, 2018

The sharpest criticism of leadership is when leaders are so exploitative that they use information in a way that results in the poor and the vulnerable acting and voting against their own self interest in service to the exploiting leader.

Aphorism of the Day, November 4, 2018

Probably the most optimistic thing about the summary of the law is the belief that human being can actually love God and their neighbors.  At its heart is a expression of human perfectability, i.e, we can always grow in loving behaviors.

Aphorism of the Day, November 3, 2018

Jesus said to a scribe, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."  Why did he say this?  The scribe was on the verge of realizing that performing religious laws did not make him a part of God's kingdom, because one cannot perform to get something that one already has. We are near or far to the kingdom of God depending on whether we've accepted life itself as a gift from God that has never been taken away.  Being far or near is a matter of insight about knowing we've always been in God's kingdom as a matter of grace.

Aphorism of the Day, November 2, 2018

A scribe approached Jesus and ask him if there was a hierarchy in the law: Which law is the best?  Jesus replied, "Love God, love neighbor as you love yourself."  The scribe agreed and Jesus believed that he was close to the kingdom of heaven.  The issue might be regarding laws as a check list in time of personal fulfillment and so one may be counting one's deeds of fulfillment only to thrown off by the recognition of what one has not yet done in fulfilling the highest law.  Perhaps Jesus was hinting that the great law was a process in time and since one's time is always unfinished, we are always unfinished in keeping the highest laws.  Perceiving the kingdom of heaven means that God loving and continuous process of grace and forgiveness makes up for us as we exert our life energies to love God, and our neighbor as ourselves.  

Aphorism of the Day, November 1, 2018

If the habit of anthropomorphism regarding God is denied in practice, then Jesus can become too holy/transcendent to be approached and the result is the rise of the cult of the saints as more approachable intercessors since they are "more like us" than Jesus was.  And when St. Mary and the saints get more prayer requests than Jesus there has been a sea change.  Protestantism diminished the focus upon the saints, some even to exclusion in their practice of piety, since they believe that if Jesus was God with us, then we did not need to go to and through the "saints."  The lack of the All Saints tradition in many Protestant churches highlights the difference between the "our faith" of the catholic traditions and the individual "my faith" of many Protestant churches.  Some try to straddle the "both/and" of "our faith" and "my faith."

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Aphorism of the Day, October 2018

Aphorism of the Day, October 31, 2018

Halloween can be seen as the church's evangelism.  Reverence and interaction with the faithful departed is found in many cultures, when the church went to places with such customs it was able to offer All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' day as a way to add the church's resurrection teaching into the understanding of the afterlife.

Aphorism of the Day, October 30, 2018

In the history of sacrifice, the understanding of the death of Jesus on the cross had profound implications.  When Abraham was allowed to substitute a ram in the place of his son Isaac, one can see an instantiation of the change from the notion of God requiring actual human sacrifice to an animal being an acceptable replacement.  After the resurrection of Christ, the cross was interpreted as the final blood sacrifice of animals or humans.  The new sacrifice was to be the living sacrifice instantiated in the deeds of people's lives offered as "sacrificed egos checked at the door" in living for God and each other.

Aphorism of the Day, October 29, 2018

In affirming the living of the Summary of the Law as the way to understand the kingdom of heaven and stating that such sacrificial living is preferred to the religious performance of ritual sacrifice, Jesus was proposing a more integration of living and faith life.  Ritual behavior can easily become a practice that is not connected with actual life circumstances, standing alone as what one does in special time isolated from actual life.  What good is my ritual sacrifice if I am defrauding my neighbor?

Aphorism of the Day, October 28, 2018

The assault upon the lives of Jews in America when they gathered to pray is an assault upon the very spirit on which our country was founded.  The spirit of our American ideals has always ask of us further perfection in becoming our better selves and both systemic injustice and individual acts of killing should frighten us to seek our better angels.  And one of our better Angels, would be inspired by Michael the Archangel who would be a vigilant protector of God's people.  Our better angels include those of kindness and peace but also angels of actuarial wisdom to act in preventative protection for all of our citizenry, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Aphorism of the Day, October 27, 2018

For people, like Job, who are subject to the "impaired" option of freedom, namely, suffering without knowing cause, Job never understands the mystery of why things happen in the way that they do but he achieved the meaning of his suffering when he made the decision of pray for his friends.  Intercession means one comes to place of accepting that one's sufferings (and joys) are in solidarity with other people and they attain personal redemption when one can be a person of empathy with those who need the value of "someone who has been there."

Aphorism of the Day, October 26, 2018

Melchizedek was the "King of Salem" to whom Abraham gave tithe and tribute.  He, not Levite, was the Priest who was the model for the priesthood of Jesus.  It was not Aaron, the original "high priest."  Abraham was the "pre-Jewish" person on whom St. Paul wrote the justification of Gentile faith.  Melchizedek was the "pre-Levitical" priest on whom the priesthood of Jesus was founded.  New Testament writers delved into pre-Israel (Jacob) figures to justify the inclusion of the Gentiles into the genealogy of salvation.

Aphorism of the Day, October 25, 2018

"Go, your faith has made you well."  Being well, or health, is a synonym for "salvation."   Faith is the current activation of life responses inspired by hope's possibilities, even when hope includes lots of "not yet" actualities.   Faith is how we live healthy lives, not assuming Murphy's Law as the guiding future principle (if something can go wrong, it probably will), but assuming Hope's vision will ultimately triumph in some way and for all.

Aphorism of the Day, October 24, 2018

Jesus was not a Levite and he did not offer sacrifices in the temple; in short, he was not a priest in the sense of being one who performed appointed rituals.  He is called a High Priest because his entire life is regarded to be God's Intercession on behalf of humanity.   Too often the priesthood in the church has been regarded to be so separate from the lay church in its distinction, the church has unwittingly seemed to be comprised to serve the "priests."  The church has priests to remind the church that her very nature is priestly in that all are called to live intercessory lives for the reconciliation of our world.

 Aphorism of the Day, October 23, 2018

In the story of Job, it is noted that Job's life made a turn when he prayed for his friends, the same ones who had victimized him as deserving of all of his suffering.  Suffering can lead us to a perpetual pity party shocked that we are not exempt from some of the things that can happen to anyone, or suffering can be shared, a filling up of afflictions in solidarity with all who suffer and there can occur a cutting groove in the soul that can be known as empathy and ministry to others who suffer.  Intercession is a solidarity which can bring us to the wisdom of empathy rather than leave us in the pity of bitterness.

Aphorism of the Day, October 22, 2018

In biblical rhetoric, what does it mean to "see God?"  It does not mean that one has the capacity to comprehend Plenitude.  It can mean to accept that one is totally dwarfed by Plenitude and that one humbly accepts some insights within temporality about what is truly meaningful in the practical transformation of one's life toward excellence.  It was said that Job confessed to see God after his ordeal.  His seeing involved the 20/20 hindsight where the passing of time made sense of the former things that had happened to him.  Seeing God is to know the Surpassing Subsequency over everything previous.

Aphorism of the Day, October 21, 2018

It is important to know that the New Testament was written well after the post-resurrection appearances of the Risen Christ.  The Gospels came to their textual form when the theology of the early churches was already founded upon the mystagogy of the presence of the Risen Christ being known in the lives of people through the Holy Spirit.  The Gospels were then teaching manuals that give a progression of the disciples and any disciple in training coming to a fuller knowledge of Christ.  The messianic secret in the Gospels represents the unveiling that has to have occurred in a person to perceive the identity of Jesus.  The message of the Gospel and of human history is that many did not have the mystical experiences of the resurrected Christ.  The New Testament tries to deal with reality of some having had the mystical experience and many who did not.

Aphorism of the Day, October 20, 2018

When presenting the life of Jesus, how do the Gospel writers who have seen the growing success of the church of the Risen Christ and the arc of history turning to its further success, how do they write about Jesus in his own time and "pretend" they don't know about the eventual success of proliferating Risen Christ experiences for many people?  Scholar cite a "messianic" secret in the presentation of Jesus of Nazareth.  The contemporaries of Jesus and even his own disciples are presented as those who don't fully comprehend the meaning of the "Messiah" as it came to be understood in the church of the Risen Christ.  The "messianic secret" was so secret that those who remained in synagogue never understood or embraced the secret, even while the disciples are presented as those who are in the revelatory learning process of having the "messianic secret" unveiled and revealed to them.

Aphorism of the Day, October 19, 2018

Stephen Hawking died saying that he did not believe in God.  But did he die saying that he did not believe in language and poetry?  Did he die saying that he did not believe in what might come to language as language creates the basis for knowing human existence and experience?  By assigning words, his scientific words to reality whether mathematical formula or nano-entities, he was anthropomorphizing reality which is really not a human person.  Why?  As a person using language he could not help but anthropomorphize Nature and thus giving it a sort of personality by virtue of having been named.  When one uses any discourse, there is allowed a certain humility about the function, purpose and limits of one's discourse, whether scientific, poetic, or discourses of faith such as one finds in the "Holy Books."  One can be a scientist and a poet at the same time; the problems arise when religionists try to say their poetry is science and when scientists say poetic truth is inferior or infantile truth.  One might pity Mr. Hawking if he never had the experience of weeping in the presence of the Sublime being evoked in an artistic event.  To try to dismiss the event of the Sublime as being irrelevant to science because such "emotion" would "cloud" scientific observation is to limit science and make it a final discursive practice of humanity in the appraisal of truth.  Surely the Wholly Negligible Mystery has discursive relevance in any practice of discourse.

Aphorism of the Day, October 18, 2018

Anselm in his ontological argument for God's existence uses the Psalm phrase: "The fool has said in his heart that there is no God."  Why is this phrase incoherent, inconsistent and lacking in comprehensiveness?  The "fool" is tricked into using the word, "God."  And if definitionally God means "that which none greater can be conceived," then by definition the greatest would imply existence.  So the fool argues wrongly.

Aphorism of the Day, October 17, 2018

The disciples who experienced the post-resurrection appearances went on to lead faithful and even heroic lives in service of the Gospel Mission.  But the Gospel writers presented the lives of the disciples in training and walking with Jesus as those who did not understand the full significance of the life of Jesus.  They are presented as those who are mainly interested in positions in the Kingdom of Christ when he comes and rules the earth.  The fact that the church embraced "the reign of Christ" even while clearly the Caesars held political sway meant that the Gospel writers presented Jesus of Nazareth as one who was realistic about his life as a "suffering servant," and so too his disciples would be subject to the vale of tears and not live in kingly palaces.

Aphorism of the Day, October 16, 2018

In a world where slavery has thankfully become exposed as the inhumanity of inhumanities, the ancient words of Jesus seem rather shocking: "whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all."  Jesus regarded himself as one who was a servant of all.  What are the metrics of greatness in any community?  Certainly meritocratic performance of tasks which gain the respect and affirmation of one's community would the greatness as the kind of excellence that one seeks.  Finding one's occupation as something which truly adds value to the lives of people and to put it at the disposal of the community for the well-being of all is a humble service.  Jesus and the early church noticed that the competitive pride for power for power's sake would be an attitude which would not instantiate the kind of values which could create the conditions for a stealthy Christian community to survive and thrive in the conditions of the urbanization taking place in the cities of the Roman Empire.  Household communities which welcomed and help consolidate a city newcomer became the model of service which silently grew the church, to sadly the position of social power when the service aspect often became forgotten.  It remains that the "service principle" is still winsome for the sorts of people who want to continue to instantiate Christly values, even when the church has compromised with the quest for power.

Aphorism of the Day, October 15, 2018

The Spirit as breath or wind was the metaphor for God's creating force in the creation story.  In the Book of Job, the voice of God is manifested in the moving, cylindrical column of wind known as the whirlwind.  A whirlwind is not controlled by the one who experiences it and even though it is not a tornado it does bespeak of a certain "wildness" of freedom from which the voice of God comes to Job.  The unknowable and unpredictability of God was part of the greatness that baffled Job because Job did not know what was going on "behind the scene", namely, in the wholly negligible occasions (a bet between God and Satan in the prologue) which ended up determining events in Job's life.  Come weal or woe or simply the quotidian drudgery, one cannot ever know the negligible effects that contribute to what happens to us.  The best we can do is live with wise probability living as we seek to live with faith inspired by hope.  Short of that, we must damn the consequences and not presume that we are in charge of most things in life.

 Aphorism of the Day, October 14, 2018

It is sometimes easy to regard the unfolding of human understandings about God to be what God is actually like and this implies that God becomes what God is like in the eyes of the beholder.  With the appearance of Jesus, does that change who God is?  In Process Theology, God is regarded as "Pure Creativity and Pure Freedom and Pure and Omni-Becoming."  This means God does become and continuously surpasses the former Divine Self with a Greater Divine Self.  The implication of this for human freedom is that human freedom is real and genuinely contributes to the subsequent states of all that is.  God does not change in being the greatest of all since God has no rival in encompassing greatness and God does not know the future as actual, but as possible.  In the question of free will and determination and God's love, power and innocent suffering in our world, the Process Theological understanding of God is perhaps the one which exhibits the most comprehensive, coherent and consistent understanding in the problem of theodicy, viz., the justification of God in face of innocent suffering in our world.

Aphorism of the Day, October 13, 2018

For St. Paul the notion of salvation by grace through faith and not through works was important in his theological understanding?  How was this notion presented in the narrative of the life of Jesus, who in his own time had not yet completed the salvatory acts on which the early Christians hung their faith?  The life of Jesus is presented in an anticipatory way, not falling into "blatant anachronism" but with the seeds of later Christian theology.  The young rich man who wanted Jesus to affirm his proud keeping of the law was told to sell everything, and Jesus said it was difficult for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God, but with God the impossible is possible.  In this punchline one find the anticipation of salvation by grace not based upon human good works.  Grace is the what is humanly impossible because it is God's work in the offering of the ultimate forgiveness which makes us whole.

Aphorism of the Day, October 12, 2018

One can note the differences in the experiences of Jesus, Paul and Peter in the contours of topics of the New Testament.  Paul was a Jew but a Roman citizen too who was not from Palestine.  He went to Jerusalem and became "more" Jewish than Peter in persecuting the followers of Jesus but then had a conversion and became more Gentile than either Peter or Jesus.  Peter was from the area where Jesus was raised and he had a "fuller" experience in that he saw the historical Jesus, but also had the mystical experience of the Risen Christ, one which had closer empirical verification accounts than the singular mystical experience of Paul on the road to Damascus.  The success of Christianity has been for many people to have these mystical experiences of the Risen Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and these experiences authenticate an identity that did not require the special ritual purity identity of observant Jews.  How does one write the normalcy of the mystical experience of the Risen Christ into the account of Jesus who was mostly a "Torah abiding" rabbi in his own time in a way which anticipates what was "going" to happen in the Gentile mission?  Pondering the above can give insights into the dynamic which governed the composition of the New Testament writings.

Aphorism of the Day, October 11, 2018

One can be so certain of one's righteous behaviors that one can be blinded by pride.  The wealthy young man who approached Jesus with certainty about his "keeping of the law," certainly was blind about "loving his neighbor as himself" and he found this out when Jesus asked him to liquidate his wealth and give it to the poor.  The impossibility of wealthy people inheriting the kingdom of God happens when they treat their wealth as their own and do not regard themselves as temporary stewards of what belongs to God.

Aphorism of the Day, October 10, 2018

Why was it regarded as near impossible for rich people to enter the kingdom of God?  Perhaps it is because they have such favorable conditions in their lives, why would they see the need for belonging to another realm?  Rich people can be independent financial agents not needing anyone and apparently not needing God either.  As independent financial agents they can buy everything they need for their existence and they can buy religious leaders to tell them that they'll be okay in their afterlives as well.   God, for the wealthy might be treated as simply another agent whose services they can have a contract for.

Aphorism of the Day, October 9, 2018

One can see the notion of God in the Scriptures being used to designate the One who encompasses both the good and bad experiences of Fate.  When things go well, there is derived a theology of blessing and when things go badly, there is a theology of theodicy or the justification of the One who resides beyond good and evil and yet is present within all of the conditions which humans face.  Those who are in position of writing are ever at the task of trying to explicate their relationship to the Great One who resides within and beyond all fate.  God must encompass everything that happens or God could not be defined as the one about whom nothing greater can be conceived.  God, in how God can actually be conceived for humanity has to be the field of all encompassing Language or Word, since any statement of Totality is a Statement in Language.  And even if we imply the One who is referred to, we still use language to state, "The One who is referred to."  In confessing God, one cannot escape being a language user.

Aphorism of the Day, October 8, 2018

Some times in our self promotion we tout our resume of achievements when we should be looking at the next goal.  A young wealthy man bragged about his achievement of lawful living and Jesus gave him his "next" commandment, "Sell all you have and give it to poor."  The main question for us is what we will put on our love and justice resumes next.

Aphorism of the Day, October 7, 2018

People disagree about the law and its application because of human selfishness about who has the power to protect the right of whom.  Life can be the perpetual wrangling about who has the best practice of actuarial wisdom as appears and is promulgated in laws.  The presence of laws take into account the tendency of human being to fail at charity and the law enforces the appearance of charity as justice when people do not "feel" charitable toward each other or act in charity.  Jesus used the child as the figure onto which one can project the hidden innocence within each of us and if one can access that innocent aspect of personality then one can find the mystical experience to live beyond good and evil and live toward the normalcy of goodness, health and salvation.

Aphorism of the Day, October 6, 2018

St. Paul accepted the fact that he lived in the kingdom of the Caesar, and yet he believed that he had an experience of the Risen Christ and he had a mystical identity with Christ expressed as Christ being within him by the power of the Holy Spirit.  How was this reality related to the church using a narrative of Jesus?  When Jesus walked the earth, how could he be the Risen Christ residing within the lives of his followers?  Jesus proclaimed a parallel kingdom of God that could be accessed by people who were born of the Spirit and this birth was accessing the original blessing and innocence such as is found in infant and children.  When retelling the story of Jesus and spiritual experience of the early church, the early Gospel writers could not insert the spiritual experience of the Risen Christ into the Jesus narrative.  What was in the narrative of Jesus was the "new birth," "becoming like a child," abundant life and kingdom of God/heaven metaphors.

Aphorism of the Day, October 5, 2018

The book of Job seems to be a book of wisdom in story form.  The author(s) deal(s) with the boiler plate answers of the theology of success.  If you are right with God, then it is evident in God's blessing your life and creating a fence of protection around you.  Job is presented as the generally good guy who had really bad things happen to him.  The theological arguments arise.  Job has obviously offended God, even while Job cannot find a one to one correspondence with the things he might have done and resulting punishment.  Actuarial wisdom in our life practice can prevent lots of experiences of "bad luck," and one might say the laws teach good actuarial wisdom.  However, actuarial probability within the system of freedom where bad things can happen to anyone should help the person of faith refrain from transgressing the mystery of the freedom of what might happen to anyone.  The presumption of knowing specific cause of bad things in all cases can result in blaming the victims of misfortune even when they need the most comfort and support.

Aphorism of the Day, October 4, 2018

Jesus came to people who were obsessed with a "world gone bad" and so legalism was a response to the fact that human failure had become normal.  In response Jesus points to the child and indicates that the state of innocence close to our human birth should be the new birth and the normalcy for understanding the kingdom of God.  One must access the power and energy of the state which exists before the knowledge of good and evil, the innocent state of childhood, in order to live goodness as what is normal to life.

Aphorism of the Day, October 3, 2018

How does one write about the past and shed oneself of everything of one's subsequent age when trying to do the impossible, namely, telling the story of the past solely from the perspective of people in the past who do not yet know what happened after them?  This is the dynamic between the Risen Christ mysticism of the post resurrection Christ-communities and their efforts to "forget post-resurrection appearances of Christ" even as they write the Gospel story of Jesus of Nazareth walking and talking in his "own time" which is really the "literary time" created by the early church writers of the Gospel.   One can find within the Gospels in narrative forms and in the presentation of the deeds and words of Jesus, the cryptic instantiation of most of the poetry of Risen Christ mysticism of the early church.  The mysticism of the early church was hidden within the telling of story of Jesus.  We who like to read things in a linear and chronological way are confused by the dynamic of post-resurrection appearance Christo-mysticism creating the presentation of Jesus of Nazareth.

Aphorism of the Day, October 2, 2018

While adult life can get so taken up with the knowledge of good and evil, it can mostly dwell upon evil or human failure as what is normal.  With the example of the child, Jesus refocuses the attention beyond good and evil to innocence which is to return in the adult life as a holiness based upon recovering goodness as what is normal in life with sin and human failure being temporal deprivation of the normalcy of goodness.

Aphorism of the Day, October 1, 2018

In the argument about the permission for divorce one can cite the prohibition in the words of Jesus in one place and the "exception" that he allowed in another place.  And we have the entire history of churches in dealing with divorce.  What is probably missed in the entire issue is that human failure at charity does not overthrow the normalcy of love succeeding.  Because people fail at love does not mean we cease to proclaim love succeeding as the norm and the ideal.  So Jesus was saying, "Don't make divorce the norm; continue to make love the norm."

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Aphorism of the Day, September 2018

Aphorism of the Day, September 30, 2018

In Pauline mysticism, identity with the death of Christ had the effect of indicting unworthy aspects both on the level of the whole self, but also members of the self.  One's members were to be transformed and used for righteousness instead of unrighteousness and being identified with the death of Christ was the power which effected this interdiction of wrong use even as the resurrecting power of the Spirit empowered right use.  In presenting the story of Jesus, his hyperbolic language in his setting before his death on the cross, was used to teach this interdiction of the unworthy use of human capacity.  Hence, he said to pluck out the eye, cut off the hand, make oneself lame, if the use of any aspect of the self was unworthy and offended the ideal and desired use of each human capacity.

Aphorism of the Day, September 29, 2018

The Holy Scriptures are writings of people who grapple with how to best use an unavoidable human discursive habit of always already assuming a totality even while knowing that they are not large enough to encompass such a Totality to be infallible spokespersons for such a Totality.  In the universe of language a single word does not exist alone; it exists in the universe of everything that could come to Language.   Perhaps this is why the writer of John's Gospel believed that the Word was with God and was God because by so saying it is honest to human existence as it could even be known.

Aphorism of the Day, September 28, 2018

One of the functions of prayer might be the general acceptance of the results of change and time in being in the continual process of loss.  We are losing all kinds of things, all of the time and how do we adjust to continual loss?  One of the ways of adjusting to the way things are or happen to be is to come to declare life as "God's will," as if totality could be anything other than it is.  The variable is how the one experiences time, change, loss and gains in how it comes in the language of one's life through the interpretation of the meaning of personal experience.  The sense of the power of freedom to really have significance because of the choice of one's words and body language acts vis a vis Infinity sums up both the grace and the absurdity of prayer.

Aphorism of the Day, September 27, 2018

"and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven."  This is added in the account of James for praying for the sick and it is included in the prayer for the sick in the Book of Common Prayer, "of his great mercies may he forgive you your sins."  People who are sick and people who are well are sinners and need forgiveness.  What I object to in these prayers for the sick is the subtle implication that "one's sins are specifically" connected with the condition of sickness for which the church is offering Holy Unction.  In some situations what we do wrong may have causal connection with a condition of "sickness" but to assume that this is always the case is presuming to know too much and can have the overtones of "blaming the victims."  As if, if such a person had not sinned he or she would not be sick.  I think that language of the rite should be changed to remove the ambiguity.

Aphorism of the Day, September 26, 2018

"Whoever is not against us is for us."  If love and justice are the main goals, then whoever is working for the same is in league with all who share the same goal.  The notion that my quest for love and justice is superior to yours is in fact an offense to love and justice.

 Aphorism of the Day, September 25, 2018

In the hyperbolic language of Jesus, he recommends a millstone necklace to be the anchor for the one who is tossed into the sea because he has "offended the littles" (children?)  That is a rather horrifying punishment for those involved in the abuse of "little ones."  It seems as though Jesus must have observed the mistreatment of children and he was quite upset to recommend such harsh punishment.

Aphorism of the September 24, 2018

One can have harmful behaviors cease through external intervention like removing accessibility to addictive substances or by imprisonment.  The severity of harmful behaviors were stressed by Jesus in his extreme hyperbolic language of "self suppression."  "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off!"  The freedom of choice known as fasting is the interdiction by oneself that needs to be done to avoid the juridical intervention by the legal authorities.  The hyperbolic use of language by Jesus suggests that serious misuse of any human function is best done through free self agency.  As negative as the language seems, it is an affirmation of human freedom to be able to do it.  As tyrannical as addictions are, one should never de-humanize a person by saying that one has no choice at all in self-control.

Aphorism of Day, September 23, 2018

Greatness as explained by Jesus is not having wealth, position or knowledge; it involves taking care of children and treating them as though they were Christ.  Power, wealth and knowledge are greatest when they are converted to help the vulnerable and to impart worth and value to those who have no affirming environment.

Aphorism of Day, September 22, 2018

The mysticism of Pauline being "in Christ" and Christ in "in me" is hidden in the narratives of Jesus in the Gospels a manuals of mysticism for those who were initiates in Christo-mysticism and who "knew the Messianic secret" and had "ears to hear" the spiritual message which was encoded within the re-telling of the stories and words of Jesus.  A crucial aspect of the Gospel qua the mysticism of Paul and others was what one might call neonatal, infant and child theology.  The origin of Christ "in me" is being overshadowed by the Spirit.  One discovers one's new birth by having it revealed in projecting upon babes and children who bear the wonder that is lost in the cynical world of adulthood.  Jesus uses the baby-child motif to bring us back to the depth of wonder that has been lost because being evicted from the nascent Garden of Eden and learning good and evil in adult ways has been like facing the guardian angels preventing a return to the garden of Wonder.  Jesus initiated access to the parallel universe of Wonder even while the weeds and wild of the wilderness of the external earthly kingdoms keep us in perpetual trouble.

 Aphorism of the Day, September 21, 2018

The child-motif of the Gospels probably reached a height when the infancy narratives came to writing in Matthew and Luke.  Instead of teaching directly the mystical theology of being born again by the birth of Christ into one's life, they hide the new birth in a mystagogic story of Christ being born in Mary, the paradigmatic Christian, whose life is overshadowed by the Holy Spirit in the conception event.  One can say that the world has been "Christmasized" because of the effect of the holiday in the society at large.  For some reason, we are drawn to that which we can never fully consciously recover, viz., our earliest memories of our lives when we were not conscious users of language but was in the process of being codified by the language users who controlled us.  That mystical state of unknowing Innocence is the potent force of the power of New Birth, which in fact is just the return of the memorial traces of our conception and first birth.

Aphorism of the Day, September 20, 2018

The Gospel child-motif of Jesus is striking.  How much closer to childhood can one be than the metaphor, "born again?"  How is that that Jesus said mysteries have been withheld from the wise and revealed to infants?  It could be that infant and child represent the state of contemplation; a state of being where one does not use language and does not interpret anything.  Learning language and becoming an interpreter means that one's view of the world is already clouded by the taxonomical grids given to one by one's teaching cultural situation, hence it is biased and limited and completely relative to the context.  The state of wonder is the before and beyond language state that one tries to access in attaining a state of mystery or the humility of being suspended in unknowing because of recognition of one's smallness and yet connection with an infinite number of others.  Such a connection without knowing in any precise way all causal connections incites the wonder of any interpretation dying the death of a thousand qualifications and in the cloud of such unknowing one can be content with wonder.

Aphorism of the Day, September 19, 2018

The disciples are presented in the Gospel as those who do not understand the meaning of the life of Jesus and the things that will happen to him.  The disciples are those who are presented as those who are still steeped in the common paradigms of their culture and have not yet had the conversion experience to the new Christo-mysticism which occurred after his death and the advent of the variety of appearances of the Risen Christ.  The Risen Christ can inhabit people who live within most any cultural paradigm and the task is to give up our old paradigms of not understanding what the Risen Christ is doing in a new place and a new time.

Aphorism of the Day, September 18, 2018

The importance of the child-motif in the words of Jesus could be read in several ways.  It could be an indication that children were not treated very well in the time of Jesus just as they have often in history been viewed as mainly part of the labor force or future brides for financial well being of the family.  Many people regard religion being mainly for children and something that one can grow out of as an adult.  I suspect that Jesus regarded children as being the little people on whom adults can project the lost naivete of one's forgotten early life and there is a "born again" energy in being able to access one's child aspect of personality in bringing fresh wonder into the most adult situations of life.  If one is missing the fresh energy of one's "child aspect of personality" then one can live as a pessimistic adult Scrooge pronouncing "bah humbug" on everything that one does.

Aphorism of the Day, September 17, 2018

The child motif in the Gospels is significant and even sacramental.  Jesus receives a child and said, "If you receive a child, you have received me."  Jesus identified himself with a child and that is as significant as being identified with bread and wine.  The church has often made bread and wine holy objects while the church has existed in cultures which tolerated child labor and child exploitation and neglect.  Church leaders are faced with their own record of child abuse and cover up.  It is much easier to take care of bread and wine than it is to take care of a child.  What will the church do about the child as sacrament, as making Christ present?

Aphorism of the Day, September 16, 2018

Belief in Jesus as the Messiah occurred in the serendipity of those who had an experience of the Risen Christ.  Those who did not have the spiritual and charismatic experience could not affirm that he was still alive and had conquered death.  Even though religious experience is open for everyone, that does not mean that everyone has the serendipity of having the experience in such a way as to affirm belief and practice of fellowship in a community that shared the experience.  The difference between a religious movement and an established church is that movement participants are more likely to have happened upon a conversion event; in the well established church cultures, one subscribes to the experiences whether one has had the conversion events or not.  In evangelical church culture, even the conversion experiences are fully institutionalized and routinized, such that on cue most children eventually have the "rite of passage" religious experiences.

Aphorism of the Day, September 15, 2018

The cross of Jesus is perhaps evidence of the greatest makeover in history.  An instrument of torture is now rendered in jewels and gold and silver and adorns the bodies of people, even babies.  Invisible crosses are marked over our bodies and drawn in with unseen chrism on the forehead as the sign of Christian branding.  What about the untold thousands of people who died on Roman crosses?  Who remembers them and why are their crosses not remembered?  The cross of Jesus is singular in human importance because the experience of his resurrected afterlife by his disciples rewrote the Cross of Jesus into the mystical power of being able to died to what is unworthy within us as we bear sacrificial identity with Jesus for the salvation of the world.

Aphorism of the Day, September 14, 2018

Christianity is founded upon the irony of the event of capital punishment becoming an event of fame and salvation.  The Romans lifted up the cross with Jesus on it near Jerusalem in the performance of an event of public torture for the local residents as a warning about being involved in any movement construed as political insurrection.  They lifted up Jesus to end his time on earth and yet the lifting up of Jesus in his fame which grew throughout the Roman Empire was based upon the evidence of his afterlife in the lives of his disciples and the ability of his Spirit-trace afterlife to be replicated in the lives of many.  The irony is that the cross then became regarded as the launching pad of the spectacular afterlife of Jesus in its many manifestations in becoming actualized in the lives of people.

Aphorism of the Day, September 13, 2018

In the development of aspirations for an afterlife to the subjective immortality as anchored in resurrection belief, it seems as the power of hope overwhelmed people with the sense of their lives being "unfinished," and if unfinished, one needed more time to be in the process of finishing one's life.  Hope might seem to be a tyrant if it has created wishing behaviors for what can never be actually achieved in space-time bodily existence.  Across humanity there is a great unevenness in what is actually achieved in the lives of people, and the unevenness of what is attained might seem to be cosmically unfair.  The contemplation of all future possibility for one to become actual for one is the lure of resurrection theology.  Hope cries all things are possible and incites one to want all possibility even while the actual is dreadfully lacking in comparison with the possible.  The gap of Hope and the Actual created the conditions for resurrection theology.

Aphorism of the Day, September 12, 2018

The New Testament, as regard to Judaism, is wanting to have one's cake and eating it too.  The writer claim full continuity with Hebrew Scripture traditions even while the preponderance of the mission to the Gentile made that continuity questionable to those who chose to remain in the synagogue.  The "Christian version of Judaism" became so paradigmatically different from Judaism, it was no longer regarded to be a movement within Judaism.  Mutual segregation behaviors came to define two different missions of Judaism and Christianity in how faith was lived and articulated within the Roman Empire.

 Aphorism of the Day, September 11, 2018

One can easily forget how "flexible" the notion of messiah was.  The most general notion might be the designation of anything as "providential."  And providence is the faith of hindsight in saying something or someone in the past turned out to be a very blessed precursor to every greater subsequent blessing.

Aphorism of the Day, September 10, 2018

The New Testament writings are mainly about certain topics.  Was Jesus an apocalyptic prophet ushering the imminent end of the world?  Was Jesus in his life witness a "suffering servant" Messiah or an intervening Kingly Messiah to save the nation of Israel?  Can the Gentiles become "legitimate" people of God without subscribing to Jewish ritual purity?  How can the churches survive and thrive in adapting to various location of Christians throughout the Roman Empire?  How can the Hebrew Scriptures be reinterpreted in ways that support and affirm what was happening the Jesus Movement?  The Gospel writers, using a life narrative of Jesus and becoming his oracles in the church, used their writings to anticipate the questions which faced the nascent Christ-Movement communities.

Aphorism of the Day, September 9, 2018

Their need not be an opposition between works and grace though faith, if faith is seen as the main work of being human.  Faith is acting upon the hope of a more complete existence completely supplemented by a Plenitude of which we are a part and which makes up the completeness that we lack in any space-time moment.  Faith is accepting the perfect supplement of Plenitude.

Aphorism of the Day, September 8, 2018

The famous Socrates took an slave boy ignorant of geometry and through "socratic" questioning proved that the boy could be like the granite rock which included the statute of knowing geometry through the art of dialogue.  The Marcan author used a challenging riddle of Jesus to provoke a Syrophoenician woman, the foreigner and stranger to the faith of the Torah, to the event of saving faith.   Thus the Gospel writer proved that Jesus the Christ could draw faith out of all people regardless of their previous status in life.  Faith is nascent to all; it has to be exercised or drawn out by the One on whom worthiness can truly be projected.

Aphorism of the Day, September 7, 2018

The Bible is literature, not to be understood literally in the sense of empirical verification of meaning, but to be understood literarily or artistically meaningful corresponding to human artistic nature, but art done with the morality of justice.  The Marcan dialogue between Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman about the "bread intended for the children and crumbs for the dogs under the table" is a highly staged piece of literature.  The "children" (wink,wink) are the Jews favored by their heritage as recipients of a special revelation of God in their history; the dogs are the Gentiles hoping to get the discarded leftovers of the blessed revelation.  What do the dogs have?  They have faith in Jesus and his healing, saving work.  What does the Johannine Jesus say the work is?  Believing in him.  If believing in Christ or faith in Christ is the "work," how does that not throw a wrench into Luther's seeming riving of faith and works as he seemed to interpret in the writing of the Epistle of James?  Having faith in or believing in Christ's saving/healing works also implies that one becomes in works, an active participant in the saving work of Christ in all manner of active justice toward all, who are our neighbors.

Aphorism of the Day, September 6, 2018

In the Rite One Prayer of Humble Access, said before the words of administration, we say, "we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table."  These words echo the words of the Syrophoenician woman who said to Jesus, "even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."  Such an abject penitential phrase serves to reinforce the equal dignity of all humans in needing mercy.  The family pedigree of "having been chosen" meant that eating bread at the table was a family birthright which did not need faith; those who wanted to be included in the family meal had to have faith to believe that they were included.  The New Testament, in part, is about the social leveling function of "having faith."  The Hebrew Scriptures are such an early profound identity marker of "favoritism" for the Hebrew-Jewish people who were made favored by having such an literature generate in and for one's community identity, it took quite a sea change for others to be convinced of the greater largesse of God's inclusive love.

Aphorism of the Day, September 5, 2018

The author of the Epistle of James asks rhetorically, "Can faith save you?"  Can one have faith in God's grace and mercy without offering in faithful actions grace and mercy to everyone else?  Can faith be about having a confidence that I'm alright with God because of God's intervention, and live as though God does not exists as equally generous toward everyone else?  Where does the division between grace and faith occur?  One might have faith about God's grace but can one also assume that such faith should be gracefully faithful in the fruitful actions of faith?  It is easy to turn the sense of having faith into the sense of being specially favored such that others are not favored in a similar way and with one's faithful neglect one misrepresents God in whom one has faith in the first place.  One should do a playful inversion of the words: one can be faithfully graced and gracefully faithful to express a unity of grace and faith and even if Luther wanted to make a historical correction of emphasis of seeming to replace grace with human faithful works.  However, one cannot throw out the baby of faithful works with the bathwater of grace.  One cannot "de-canonize" the Epistle of James because of the unity of faith and grace.

Aphorism of the Day, September 4, 2018

"Even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumb."  A feisty rejoinder of a Syrophoenician to Jesus.  As a presumed foreigner to God's blessings supposedly limited to the "favored children of God's choosing," she represented the view that the leftovers of God's favor are still enough.  This vignette illustrates the dynamics of faith being a universal attribute of humanity and its exercise is a blessing that cannot be limited to preconceived limitations about who is God's favorite.

Aphorism of the Day, September 3, 2018

In Gospel irony, Jesus opens the mouths of the deaf mutes and then commands them not to speak about their marvelous healing.  Why?  Is this the Gospel writer's Messianic Secret of anachronistically writing silence into the life narrative of Jesus so as to explain why his fame was not recognized in advance of "God's timing" for what would happen to the Messiah?  The Gospel writers, writing decades after Jesus pondered the timing of everything that had happened to arrive at the successful situation of a surviving post-resurrection community totally baffled by their survival, success and their sense of the destiny of the Gospel beyond Palestine.  Having Jesus command silence about his own success was a way of inferring the irresistibility of the timing of God, otherwise called Providence.

Aphorism of the Day, September 2, 2018

When a person of such mal-behaviors is the given the highest place of publicity one can see where what Hannah Arendt called the banality of evil sets in.  The public bar of decency get sets so low and the one in the position of such power gives permission for the worst shadow behaviors of the public to come forth to set up the banal conditions.  "If our leader is behaving this way, then so can we."

Aphorism of the Day, September 1, 2018

Can one who loves music and appreciates it be properly called a musician?  Musicians without an audience are in perpetual "rehearsal," and so the music lover plays a role in the scene, even though musicians probably get the greatest satisfaction in the presence of other musicians.  That analogy does not hold for "justice."  Can one who merely loves justice and not practice it be called a "just" person?  Hearing the word of God and not doing it does not allow one to be but "action" impaired.  The words of Justice are greater and more ideal than any of imitative acts towards those ideals, and yet to be lovers of justice we need to always be doing acts of justice toward the ideal of never ending justice in never ending time.