Rooted + Radical

Exploring faith from the margins of culture

4 notes

The resurrection - far from liberating Christ’s otherworldly essence from the servile form in which it has hitherto been hidden - vindicates and imparts again the whole substance of Christ’s earthly life, the shape of its particularity, which is, precisely in its humble and slavish form, an overcoming of earthly powers. His is a pattern that sinful history cannot accommodate (which is why pagan critics from Celsus to Nietzsche can find no way properly to account for the figure of Christ or for the force of his presence in time), but this is not to say that he must in consequence withdraw from history; rather, he initiates a real counterhistory, a new practice and new form of life that is - as it happens - the true story of the world. Thus the recapitulation of humanity in Christ - resurrected humanity - has all the particularity and variety of a concrete historical act: it is a practice, a style of transmission, susceptible of variation, analogical imitation, extension, and elaboration.
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite (via onancientpaths)

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The center, the day, that gives meaning to all days and therefore to all time, is that yearly commemoration of Christ’s Resurrection at Easter. This is always the end and the beginning. We are always living after Easter, and we are always going toward Easter.
Alexander Schmemann, Easter in the Liturgical Year (via invisibleforeigner)

(via invisibleforeigner)

57 notes

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall. It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours. The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose. Let us not mock God with metaphor
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door. The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day. And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom. Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.
Though Much Is Taken, Much Abides: John Updike, “Seven Stanzas At Easter"  (via invisibleforeigner)

(via invisibleforeigner)

31 notes

Simply said, we have reached a moment in Western history when, despite all appearances, no meaningful public debate over belief and unbelief is possible. Not only do convinced secularists no longer understand what the issue is; they are incapable of even suspecting that they do not understand, or of caring whether they do. The logical and imaginative grammars of belief, which still informed the thinking of earlier generations of atheists and skeptics, are no longer there. In their place, there is now—where questions of the divine, the supernatural, or the religious are concerned—only a kind of habitual intellectual listlessness…
The current vogue in atheism is probably reducible to three rather sordidly ordinary realities: the mechanistic metaphysics inherited from the seventeenth century, the banal voluntarism that is the inevitable concomitant of late capitalist consumerism, and the quiet fascism of Western cultural supremacism (that is, the assumption that all cultures that do not consent to the late modern Western vision of reality are merely retrograde, unenlightened, and in need of intellectual correction and many more Blu-ray players). Everything else is idle chatter—and we live in an age of idle chatter. Lay the blame where you will: the internet, 940 television channels, social media, the ubiquity of high-fructose corn syrup, whatever you like. Almost all public discourse is now instantaneous, fluently aimless, deeply uninformed, and immune to logical rigor. What I find so dismal about Gopnik’s article is the thought that it represents not the worst of popular secularist thinking, but the best. Principled unbelief was once a philosophical passion and moral adventure, with which it was worthwhile to contend. Now, perhaps, it is only so much bad intellectual journalism, which is to say, gossip, fashion, theatrics, trifling prejudice. Perhaps this really is the way the argument ends—not with a bang but a whimper.
David Bentley Hart, from “Gods and Gopniks” (via onancientpaths)

1,857 notes

The Church is founded on Peter who denied Christ three times and couldn’t walk on the water by himself. You are expecting his successors to walk on the water. All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.
Flannery O’Connor, letter to Cecil Dawkins, 9 Dec 58 (via habitofbeing)

1800 notes?!

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For the truth is that since we are God’s good creation we are not free to choose our own stories. Freedom lies not in creating our lives, but in learning to recognize our lives as a gift. We do not receive our lives as though they were a gift, but rather our lives simply are a gift: we do not exist first and then receive from God a gift. The great magic of the Gospel is providing us with the skills to acknowledge our life, as created, without resentment and regret. Such skills must be embodied in a community of people across time, constituted by practices such as baptism, preaching, and the Eucharist, which become the means for us to discover God’s story for our lives.
Stanley Hauerwas, “Preaching As Though We Had Enemies” (via jamesataylor)

(via sheddenm)