Saturday, April 17, 2010

Radner on unbenedictability

"for this reason, these elements, perceived as 'goods' by some, are not 'benedictable,' I would argue, because they are goods perceived and explicitly received apart from the grace given in the scripturally regulated particularity of God's Incarnation, death, and Resurrection in Jesus as commonly understood by the church.  All these goods fall into areas where private conscience alone can and ought to order Christian prayer. . . ."

Ephraim Radner, "Blessing: a scriptural and theological reflection," Pro ecclesia 19, no. 1 (Spring 2010):  27.

Radner on the untenability of a fashionable distinction

"Neither the Old nor the New Testament knows any clear difference between 'moral' and 'doctrinal' reality.  The terms 'moral,' 'doctrinal,' and even 'ceremonial' have no scriptural basis.  When St. John writes that 'by this you know the Spirit of God:  every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God' (1 Jn 4:2), he is not limiting truth to a 'core doctrinal' message (e.g., about the Incarnation), for he immediately goes on to say that 'knowing' God is inseparable from 'loving one another' (4:7ff).  More integrally, he summarizes his argument at the beginning of 1 Jn 5 by writing:  'By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.  And his commandments are not burdensome' (1 Jn 5:1-3).  Keeping the law and knowing God cannot rightly be separated, even in New Testament terms."

Ephraim Radner, "Blessing: a scriptural and theological reflection," Pro ecclesia 19, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 22.

Radner on the blessing of progeny

"When Jacob blesses his grandsons, he does so not to provide them with a new ring of protection in a dangerous world but to bring on them the 'name of the Lord' in all of its full purpose, that they might recieve with grace what is done by the One who will do what he will do in any case, that they might be wholly God's, wholly and utterly, even in the face of evil.  That they might be redeemed and made pure in faith."

Ephraim Radner, "Blessing:  a scriptural and theological reflection," Pro ecclesia 19, no. 1 (Spring 2010):  15, italics mine.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What chance in dreams?

"if we do not know ourselves in the waking world what chance in dreams?"

The mysterious stranger in the Epilogue to Cormac McCarthy's Cities of the plain (The Border trilogy:  All the pretty horses, The crossing, Cities of the plain, Everyman's Library 261 (New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), 271).