Saturday, June 8, 2019

Frank Anthony Spina, diversificator par excellence

"diversity is hardly controversial in academia.  Everyone is in favor of it.  I am, too.  Perhaps a few think that my retirement may enhance SPU's diversity[; that w]hen I leave the faculty will be less white, less male, and much younger.  Be assured that I am not offended.  After all, when I became an Episcopal priest after having been ordained by the Free Methodist Church, I made both denominations more theologically conservative.  This summer I will move to Idaho, at which time I will make two whole states more politically liberal.  Not bad, huh?"

     Frank Anthony Spina, "A Professor’s 'Last Stand' for Diversity" (intellectual diversity, that is), Ivy Cutting, Seattle Pacific University, 7 June 2019.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

"Modern pneumatology" as both dogmatically and pastorally perverse

Carl F. H. Henry Center

     "For Christianity it's not everything or nothing.  It's some particular thing.  This.  Sin and all, it's this.  What those who choose to live require, getting back to my opening (and it seems to me we are all asked to choose today), what we require is not another world, but the finality of a choice for this world that somehow stands beyond and beneath our decisions, not only as an enabling power or an inspiration (which the Holy Spirit certainly is), but as a revelation, as an establishment.  What we require, that is, is an Amen to our life that, in its very utterance, establishes its worth, in the face of all that clamors for its inadequacy.  And such an Amen is, we know, a Person:  the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.  The beginning of the creation itself.  An Amen who comes, who speaks and teaches, who lives as a creature, and does indeed die as one in particular ways and forms, and, in so doing, takes to himself what is just this life as it is created and so oddly laid out, and deformed by us to be sure, but nonetheless in the heart of God.  Those who choose to live require first the choice that God has made to live this life that they were given.  And so I confess:  there is no other model, figure, form, or truth than the incarnate person of Jesus Christ.
     "So if the Holy Spirit does not resolve the world as it is, and I think demonstrably, existentially, . . . [if] the Spirit demonstrably does not resolve the existential realities of our life as we live them[,] . . . if the Spirit doesn’t do that and if pneumatology has mistakenly insisted that that's at the center of what the Spirit does, we must move more deeply into the world itself, and into the primary choice for the world that God has made, and in the way that God has made it in Christ.  We shall there discover the form of that choice as that which is therefore most truly of the Spirit. . . . [T]he pneumatological foundations for theology . . . must [therefore] resist theories, metaphysical frameworks, and instrumentalist promises and fantasies.  They must instead approach the Spirit as the God who establishes the world as it is, such that the form of life that Jesus lived and died within it is of God.  Utterly.  And of course the world changes.  We know that.  It will, we can assume and imagine, someday disappear.  While we can assert the Spirit’s life as somehow wrapped up with all this change, wherever it’s going, the purpose of pneumatology cannot be to specify the ways of transformation as such. . . . these attempts are profoundly off the mark.  Just such intractably unspecified change is part of the world we cannot fathom.  Nor are we meant to.  And, in fact, drives too many to run from it altogether.  Rather, pneumatology, austerely chastened, as I would like to imagine it, is, like philosophy, not meant to change the world, but to speak truly of what it is.  In theological terms, to speak truly of the world’s worth, and of human life’s worth, precisely given in the life lived by the Son of God.  It is not for me to offer an apology for life.  God already has.  Such that I can only wonder that I am worthy of it, and must certainly confess that such a life, therefore, is enough.
     "In conclusion I want to suggest that any contemporary theological anthropology resist the allures of modern pneumatology.  And that any theology of the Holy Spirit tie itself to the forms of human creatureliness in the way our Lord did, very specifically.  There are dogmatic reasons of truth, I think, for doing so.  But there are also the deep demands of compassion that dictate such parameters.  And dogmatics and compassion are two sides of the same valuable coin."

Sunday, June 2, 2019

"grant, we pray, that Christian hope may draw us onward to where our nature is united with you"

"Almighty, ever-living God, who allow those on earth to celebrate divine mysteries, grant, we pray, that Christian hope may draw us onward to where our nature is united with you.  Through."

"Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui in terra constitutos divina tractare concedis, praesta, quaesumus, ut illuc tendat christianae devotionis affectus, quo tecum est nostra substantia.  Per."

Almighty, ever-living God, who allow those stationed on earth to handle [things] divine, grant, we pray, that to that place may tend the affection of Christian devotion where with you is our nature [(substantia)].  Through.

     Prayer after Communion "At the Mass during the Day" of the Ascension, Roman Missal.  The core of this "Prayer after Communion" is basically no. 185 (which Vogel, following Mohlberg, appears to date between 400 and 440 (Medieval liturgy:  an introduction to the sources (1986 [1981]), 43-44 and 58n127) in the "Sacramentary of Verona, called Leonine" (Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare, cod. 85 (once 80)).  Text of no. 185 from the 1956 edition ed. Mohlberg, where it is assigned to "nach 440" and later (groups 13, 27, etc. ("Die Datierungsversuche," pp. lxix ff.) is as follows:

Tribue, quaesumus domine, ut illuc tendat christianae nostrae deuotionis a(f)fectus, quo tecum est nostra substantia:  per.
More (less well-organized) here