Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The logos asarkos is none other than the logos incarnandus


"But that then also means that there is no Logos as such, no Logos in and for himself.  An 'in and for himself' which lacks the determination for incarnation is simply a myth.  But here I must immediately add [that] to say this much is not to reject the concept of a logos asarkos.  The Logos is united to a human person in time, and in fact 'late in time', as Charles Wesley so nicely put it.  And he does not bring his humanity into this world, he does not bring his body down from heaven.  The man Jesus is conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin precisely for the union.  Or, better, to borrow I. A. Dorner’s phrase, 'for this uniting'.  So, yes, the Logos is asarkos before he is made by the Holy Spirit to be ensarkos.  Moreover, one cannot erase the concept of a logos asarkos without completely collapsing God into the history of the man Jesus, without erasing the Creator-creature distinction, without surrendering the otherness of God from the world.  I mention all of this because I have, on a number of occasions, been accused of rejecting the concept of a logos asarkos. . . .  But that is a charge that is completely without foundation.  I have from the beginning of the debate . . . quite explicitly affirmed the existence of a logos asarkos.  But I have done so, please note, in the form of a logos incarnandus, by which I mean the Logos who is eternally determined for incarnation, but who has yet to be united to the man Jesus in the womb of the Virgin.  Thus, the issue for me has never been whether, prior to incarnation, there is such a thing as the logos asarkos.  The issue has always had to do with his identity. . . . his identity in eternity and his identity in time are the same:  Jesus Christ."

Monday, May 20, 2019

'You attacked reason. . . . It's bad theology.'

     'How in blazes do you know all these horrors?' cried Flambeau.
     The shadow of a smile crossed the round, simple face of his clerical opponent.
     'Oh, by being a celibate simpleton, I suppose,' he said.  'Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil?  But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest.'
     'What?' asked the thief, almost gaping.
     'You attacked reason,' said Father Brown.  'It's bad theology.'

     G. K. Chesterton, "The blue cross," The innocence of Father Brown (1910), Penguin complete Father Brown (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England:  Penguin Books Ltd, 1981), 23.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night": Augustine or Pseudo-Augustine?

Koninlijk Bibliotheek,
76 F5 fol. 12v sc. 2B:
The temptation of Christ:
four angels minister to Christ
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give thine angels charge over those who sleep.  Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for thy love’s sake.  Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.  Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake.  Amen.

     Book of common prayer (New York:  Church Publishing Inc., 1979), 71, 124, 134.  According to Hatchett, "Saint Augustine of Hippo is the source for [this,] which is also the first of the intercessions of Compline (p. 134)" (Commentary on the American prayer book (The Seabury Press, 1980), 143).  And that is who Fox attributes it to on p. 161 of her Chain of prayer across the ages (Toronto:  Bell and Cockburn, 1913- ), behind which I have yet to find it, though the phrase "wake, or watch, or weep" does occur here in 1906.  Fox:
Watch, Thou, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep to-night, and give Thine angels charge over those who sleep.  Tend Thy sick ones, O Lord Christ.  Rest Thy weary ones.  Bless Thy dying ones.  Soothe Thy suffering ones.  Pity Thine afflicted ones.  Shield Thy joyous ones.  And all, for Thy Love’s sake.  Amen.
But:  I have yet to find it in St. Augustine, having searched both the 3rd (and therefore admittedly incomplete) edition of the Works of Saint Augustine (WSA) in Past Masters on those terms least likely to vary in translation (weep, angelssleep, sick, dying, suffering, afflicted, etc., and variants), and CAG (which should be complete), also in Past Masters, on angel* within 20 words of (dormi* (dormiunt, dormien*, etc.) OR quiesc*), and variants on that.  (Ps 90:11-12 Vulgate (though St. Augustine may have used the Old Latin), by the way:  "angelis suis mandabit de te ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis in manibus portabunt te ne forte offendat ad lapidem pes tuus".  So angelis tuis, angelos tuos, etc.)

If memory serves, this is the first time I've ever encountered something iffy in Hatchett.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Game of her to admit it

National Geographic
     "Gene sequencing studies have shown that people of European and Asian descent today carry a small amount of Neanderthal DNA, less than 2 percent of their total genome on average.  That may seem like an insignificant amount, but it's not the same 2 percent from one person to the next:  taken together, up to 40 percent of the Neanderthal genome lives on. . . .  Intriguingly, the modern Y chromosome, which determines maleness, appears to be completely free of Neanderthal DNA."

     Natalie Angier, "Serengeti on the Seine," a review of Europe:  a natural history, by Tim Flannery, with Luigi Boitani (Atlantic Monthly, 2019), The New York review of books 66, no. 8 (May 9, 2019):  28 (27-28).

[providence] ordered and sure, wisdom unerring [and true], love unbounded [and eternal]

"Teach us, O God, to trust your providence, ordered and sure; to accept your wisdom, unerring and true; and to rejoice in your love, unbounded and eternal; through Christ our Lord. Amen."

     Charles Simeon, supposedly (hat tip Kendall Harmon).  But though I have not yet completed an exhaustive search, I suspect that this prayer was rather constructed by someone else on the basis of these words, pronounced from his sick bed on 22 October 1836 (Simeon lived until 13 November):
What is before me I know not; whether I shall live or die.  But this I know, that all things are ordered and sure.  Everything is ordered with unerring wisdom and unbounded love.  He shall perfect everything; though at present I know not what He is about to do with me.  But about this I am not in the least degree anxious.
Memoirs of the life of the Rev. Charles Simeon, M.A., . . . with a selection from his writings and correspondence, ed. William Carus (London:  Hatchard and Son; Cambridge:  Deightons, and Macmillan & Co., 1847), 808, underscoring mine.  Please let me know if I've overlooked the prayer in Simeon himself, as I think it lovely.  But I see that Lesser feasts and fasts 2000 (and probably also, therefore, Holy women, holy men: celebrating the saints (2010)), hews more closely to the text I've discovered (more evidence of its fame, unknown to me before undertaking this research):
O loving God, we know that all things are ordered by your unerring wisdom and unbounded love:  Grant us in all things to see your hand, that, following the example of your servant Charles Simeon, we may walk with Christ in all simplicity, and serve you with a quiet and contented mind; through. . . .
By contrast, the Church of England's Common worship (under Lesser festivals) makes no use of it:
Eternal God, who raised up Charles Simeon to preach the good news of Jesus Christ and inspire your people in service and mission:  grant that we with all your Church may worship the Saviour, turn in sorrow from our sins and walk in the way of holiness; through. . . .
     Here, by the way, is an unrelated mid-19th-century occurrence of "wisdom unerring and true" (apparently missing in Simeon himself):  "Mysteries," The Ladies' magazine and album 11 (November 1848):  113 (112-113).

Friday, May 10, 2019

"How can it be said without impiety that the truth of those things which are the work of an excellent God Is sad?"


     THE KING.  Lord-Chancellor, whose hair is white while mine is but beginning to grizzle,
     Is it not said that youth is the season of illusion,
     Whereas old age, little by little,
     Enters into the reality of things as they are?
     A very sad reality, a little faded world that goes on shrinking [(Une réalité fort triste, un petit monde décoloré qui va se rétrécissant)].
     THE CHANCELLOR.  That is what the ancients have always taught me to repeat.
     THE KING.  They say the world is sad for him who sees clear?
     THE CHANCELLOR.  I cannot deny it against everyone.
     THE KING.  It is old age that has the clear [(clair)] eye?
     THE CHANCELLOR.  It has the practiced [(exercé)] eye. . . .
     THE KING. . . .
     Sad, is it?  How can it be said without impiety that the truth of those things which are the work of a transcendent God
     Is sad [(Comment dire sans impiété que la vérité de ces choses qui sont l'œuvre d'un Dieu excellent Est triste)]?  And how without absurdity say that the world, which is His likeness [(resemblance)] and His rival [(emulation)],
     Is littler than ourselves and leaves the greater part of our imagination in the void [(sans support)]?
     Now I maintain that youth is the season of illusion, but that is because it pictures things as infinitely less beautiful and manifold and desirable than they are, and of this delusion we are healed by age.

     Paul Claudel, The satin slipper, or The worst is not the surest, trans., with the collaboration of the author, by John O’Connor (New York:  Sheed and Ward, 1945), First day, Scene 6, pp. 24-25.  I have not yet read The satin slipper, but was put onto this passage by Rémi Brague.  French from Paul Claudel, Théâtre II, ed. Didier Alexandre and Michel Autrand, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade (Paris:  Gallimard, 2011), 279-280.