Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Augustine-Schmaugustine

It was suggested on another blog that my last post was "emergent". It might have been a compliment but as I don't know what-the-Hades "emergent" looks like it is hard to be sure if I feel the honor. "Emergent" (and I speak as an artist not a theologian) has the sound of bad poetry. It is a word that smacks of the great uncleanness that besets other words like "mentor" or "incarnational". I am sure the advocates these words are dear fellow Christians with whom I will enjoy the things eternal but, c'mon people!, a great thought (like the Gospel of Jesus Christ) deserves words that beatify the "great thought" not so much, and not so self-consciously, themselves. I would certainly like it if someone called me an "actual" Christian. You know, one who had been brought from death to life actually. So "actually" that my life reflected the actual presence of the Holy Spirit in "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control". The creedal among the saints might cling to the confessional animus toward personal, individual holiness and suggest that I am Semi-Pelagian. That would be fine. If Jesus Christ asks of me something that only a Semi-Pelagian can offer, Semi-Pelagian it is. My desire for Christlikeness (along with the verse, "If any man will not renounce all that he has, he cannot be my disciple") has led me to jettison those doctrines of the "fathers" and the magisterium of centuries that make room for sin. " But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men."

5 comments:

Remy said...

Oh know Evan, you are much better than a Semi-Pelagian, you're at least a Semi-Augustinian.

The Oracle said...

Ouch!

Remy said...

Ack. Should read "Oh you know Evan" or "Oh no Evan" or "Now Evan". Nothing ruins a joke faster than poor delivery.

The Oracle said...

Now I get it! And you probably meant "semi-August" as well. That certainly clears up a lot. I guess we can still be friends.
Hi to the lovely Bethany.

Michael Metzler said...

Unfortunately, we inherit some words we think we must use (even if for lack of skill or vocabulary). In order to identify the desire towards genuine ecumenical dialog, instead of our inherited word 'emergent,' what of the word ‘authentic’? Perhaps just plain 'ecumenical' will have to do? Whatever it is, it is in one sense (sadly) a bit new. I ask truly; don’t claim to be a poet.