A Blessing on Those Who Hear God’s Word!

 

lo·go·cen·tric [ˌlôɡəˈsentrik, ˌläɡə-]

 

ADJECTIVE: regarding words and language as a fundamental expression of an external reality (especially applied as a negative term to traditional Western thought by postmodernist critics, e.g., French philosopher and Deconstructionist Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004).

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Deconstructionism is taught and practiced extensively in colleges and universities today.  It directly affects our world by removing traditional meaning from texts and, thus, effectively shutting down debate. Here is philosopher Roger Scruton’s take on deconstructionism and Derrida:

“Deconstructive writing refrains from stating anything directly or assertively. It quickly withdraws from any proposition that it sets before us, and spirals off into questions – as to deny a foothold to the skeptical outside…. the deconstructionist critic will not engage in philosophical argument…Derrida is aiming for a radical ‘reversal’ of our ‘Western tradition’, and of the belief in reason that has guided it.”

–Roger Scruton, An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture, the chapter entitled, The Devil’s Work

For Derrida and other decons, there is no authority, sacred or otherwise, except for their self-referential community, the ‘intelligentsia’. For them, there is no truth and no creator and nothing transcendental to be found in texts. Texts contain only words on a piece of paper and they will gladly help you deconstruct those words down into gobbledygook. They are the purveyors of absence of meaning, the dispensers of Nothing. Decons turn language against itself. And, it seems now that Orwell’s 1984 was prescient, presenting us with Newspeak.

But those of us in the Kingdom of God know better. Or do we?

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Scripture as read, in the churches that I grew up in, was just snippets of text meant to support the preaching. In liturgical churches, such as the one I attend now, Scripture readings include Old and New Testament texts, a portion of a Psalm and a Gospel text. In both scenarios, the choir rehearsed, but, sadly, the Scripture readers did not.

As a youth I was encouraged to memorize volumes of Scripture. Scripture memory contests were held over several weeks in Sunday School. I am thankful for such a time as many Scripture texts were imbedded in my memory. I recall memorizing texts like Psalm 103. In my twenties, I memorized the Letter of James.

When I attended Moody Bible Institute the curriculum included Old and New testament Survey classes. I had to read the 66 books of the Bible. These courses, along with N.T. Greek, gave me a broad overview of the Scriptures. I have since read through the Bible again and again. But, when I look at the church today, I see that broad overviews and whole book reading of Scriptures have been deconstructed from our worship.

We certainly live in an accommodation culture. Everything, including church, is abbreviated to fit our lifestyle. It seems that we have Twitter-ized Scripture reading down to one-hundred forty characters. Perhaps this is so that we can get out of church on time to watch the football game or to make a lunch commitment. As such, it isn’t any wonder that the church is crawling along on all fours and being fed with droplets of milk. And, man cannot live by the Four Spiritual Laws alone.

Lacking a big picture understanding of what God began in Genesis and is summed up in Revelation (heaven and earth coming together; God making his tabernacle with man) makes a Christian and a church spiritually ineffective and worse, of little value to the kingdom of God. Those who see the big picture use their talents wisely (see Luke 19: 11-27).

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Reading God’s word in public is an act of worship and not a pre-text for a sermon. Reading Scripture – whole book readings- in public offers the listeners a narrative and a context and, better, an eye-opening understanding of what God is doing.

There are many ways to read the Scriptures. Using actors to read the text is one way. Another is to invert the liturgy. Read the whole Gospel of Luke text and insert the elements of the liturgy into the reading. See The Big Read.

Added 5-22-2017:

Here is one example. Recently deceased, British actor Alec Mc Cowan recites the Gospel of Mark in one evening. This can be done in churches, instead of the deconstruction of texts.

Earthquake Day

Earthquake Day

Tremor was always, before ex Nihilo showed up out of nowhere.

Tremor was there when man finally noticed Big Bang and all of
the little Bangs including mathematics, quantum mechanics, knot theory, string theory, radio pulsars, genetics, music, phi, art and poetry.

Tremor was in the apple bite’s rude awakening.

Tremor showed red when murderous Cain fled.

Tremor, as Plumber, called Noah and told him to ship out. Later, when things were settled, Tremor threw a palette of watercolors at the sky indicating a watershed moment.

Tremor used a slingshot against incredible bull’s-eyes.

Tremor gave the startled stars something to blink about.

Tremor was magnified in the womb of Mary, there was room for Him there.

Tremor sat in the temple teaching Rabbis everything a Father has said before.

Tremor whipped up a tempest, the Sea of Galilee provided support.

Tremor caused a stir at the local water fountain by saying, “I am He who is to come.”

Tremor gave the blind a new outlook and the lame a leg to stand on.

Tremor received a farewell gift of pure nard and a woman’s tears.

Tremor stood at the death’s door and said “Lazarus, come out.”

Tremor did an exposé on white-washed tombs.

Tremor broke the loaves, divided the fishes, according to old math.

Tremor broke the bread, drank the cup of sorrows and poured itself out.

Tremor was nailed down, pierced, forsaken and crushed. Violent insurrectionists like me were set free.

Tremor tore a curtain from top to bottom under orders from the Weaver.

Tremor woke up those staying in catacombs.

Tremor angels shook the rug under a rocky patch of earth, happy to find nothing there.
Seismic joy and fear were recorded that day.

Tremor decided to walk through walls and then tell everyone not to be afraid.

Tremor walked out to sea and back again for a fresh fish lunch with his friends.

Tremor had to move on but did send Another Tremor for everyone who loved Tremor.

Tremor will one day separate the wheat from the chaff and the sheep from the goats. Tremor will make the lion and the lamb see eye to eye. Hold on, Tremor is beginning again.

© Sally Paradise, 2011, All Rights Reserved

Gethsemane

 

What does faith tell us? Before all else who this man is there on his knees – the Son of God in the simplest sense of the word. For that reason he sees existence in its ultimate reality.

 Wherever we encounter Jesus, it is as the Knowing One, as he who knows about man and world. All others are blind; only his eyes are all-seeing, and they see through to the very ground of human depravity.  The forlornness Jesus beholds there embraces the whole of human existence.  And he does not see it as one who has broken though to spiritual health and clarity with the help of grace.  Jesus’ knowledge of sin is not like that of fallen mankind;  he knows about it as God knows – hence the awful transparency of that knowledge.

Hence the immeasurable loneliness.  He is really the Seer among the blind, sole sensitive one among beings who lost their touch, the only free and self-possessed one in the midst of general confusion.

 Jesus’ consciousness of the world’s corruption is not grounded in the world and therefore the prisoner of existence.  It springs from above, from God, and enfolds the whole globe, seeing as God sees:  around existence, through existence, outwards from existence.  Moreover, Jesus’ divine consciousness, before which everything is stripped and lucid, is not extrinsic, but intrinsic, realized in his living self.  He knows with his human intellect, feels the world’s forlornness with his human heart.  And, the sorrow of it, incapable of ripping the eternal God from his bliss, becomes in Christ’s human soul unutterable agony.  From this knowledge comes a terrible and unrelenting earnestness, knowledge that underlies every word he speaks and everything he does.  It pulses through his whole being and proclaims itself in the least detail of his fate.  Here lies the root of Christ’s inapproachable loneliness. What human understanding and sympathy could possibly reach into this realm in which the Savior shoulders alone the yoke of the world?  From this point of view Jesus was always a sufferer, and would have been one even if men had accepted his message of faith and love; even if salvation had been accomplished and the kingdom established alone by proclamation and acceptance, sparing him the bitter way of the cross.  Even then, his whole life would have been inconceivably painful, for he would have been constantly aware of the world sin in the sight of a God he knew to be holy and all love; and he would have borne this terrible and inaccessible knowledge alone.  In the hour of Gethsemane its ever-present pain swells to a paroxysm.

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Selection from the chapter Gethsemane, in the book The Lord by Romano Guardini