Friday, August 31, 2012

Marriage and the Cross

From a 16th century Italian book called "The Benefit of Christ's Death"

"We know that the custom of marriage is that two become one flesh; and the goods of both become common, so that the husband claims the dowry of the wife, and in like manner the wife claims the house and all the riches of the husband... In the same way God has married his most dearly-beloved Son with the faithful soul, who having nothing of her own but sin, the Son of God nevertheless has not disdained to take her for his well-beloved spouse. And by the uniting and knitting together of this most holy matrimony, the thing that belongs to the one becomes the other's, so that Christ says then, 'the dowry of the soul, my dearly-beloved spouse, that is to say, your sins, the transgression of the law, the wrath of God against you... the prison of hell and all your other evils, are now under my power, and are mine to order, and it is mine to do with the dowry whatever pleases me, and therefore I will cast it upon the alter of my cross, and make it of no further effect.'
God then seeing his Son all filled with the sin of his spouse, scourged him, and killed him upon a wooden cross; but he because he was his most dearly-beloved and obedient Son, he raised him again from death to life, and gave unto him all power in heaven and in earth, and has set him on his right hand. The spouse in like manner says with most hearty rejoicing, 'the realms and empires of my well-beloved husband are mine. I am queen and empress of heaven and earth, my husband's riches... his holiness, his innocency, his righteousness, his Godhead, with all his virtue and power, are my riches; and therefore I am holy, innocent, righteous, and godly; there is no spot in me...'"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review of Faith and Other Flat Tires by Andrea Palpant Dilley

Another entry into the ever-growing “memoir” category, Andrea Palpant Dilley’s Faith and Other Flat Tires chronicles her journey from being a missionary kid to being a sort-of agnostic back to being some kind of theist. Using Pilgrim’s Progress as a (very) loose outline for her own journey, Dilley walks through the various stages of her own spiritual and intellectual travels and existential crises. And that is probably the central theme of the book (as much as a memoir can really have a theme): Dilley’s dealing with some form of extreme existential crisis.
In case you’re wondering, an “existential crisis” is something that has plagued individuals in the affluent West for the past century or so (at least since the writings of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche). In general it seems to be a sense of nameless despair over the possible meaninglessness of existence. Vague terms? Sure. But vague terms are essential to existentialism.

Read the rest of the review here.