My Beautiful Bobo

Note to the reader: The last couple of posts have been ruminations on a theme. Sadly, I haven’t had the skills or patience to express myself concisely and the posts, which deal with what is truly Christian, may alienate the majority of people who drop by Zoomtard who aren’t Christians. You are all better looking than the Christians too, have I told you that lately? Much more stylish too. So if these posts bore you, comment on how boring they are, head off to watch the Daily Ze and come back for more inclusive Zoomtard fare at the weekend. Mea culpa to all of you who are confused, angered or bored by the first post on what is and is not orthodoxy, the second post on the impact of Karl Barth or this post on what is the core of orthodoxy. End note.

I realise that yesterday’s post was marred by a dreadful mistake which left a bitter taste in all your mouths. The three points I used to describe Barth’s preoccupations were really 2 points, since the first point and the third point can’t really be seperated from each other. 1) That God can’t be grasped through human efforts is the canvas on which 3) God has revealed himself to us is painted. Or in other words, 1) says we couldn’t know about God without God telling us and 3) says we couldn’t know about God without God telling us.

I remember reading Chesterton’s Orthodoxy once and he said a lot of things. The only man who wrote more words than Karl Barth was GK Chesterton. Anyway, if I remember correctly, he thought that orthodoxy ultimately comes good when we keep a firm hold on the divinity of Jesus. As Bob pointed out, this does imply the Trinity and Resurrection and that implies the Justification By Faith which is the heart of Grace and so on. Maybe if you get any one of the keys that make up Orthodoxy you can deduce the rest of them. But then that might make a mockery of Barth’s 3rd point. We’ll leave that for another day when I am a proper theologian.

Chesterton had some outstanding thoughts in that classic little book. The idea that Jesus was God is the most outstandingly revolutionary claim humans have ever made. There is nothing special about his story if he was just a good man. Good men often get backed into corners. But that God would be backed into a corner is rallying call for all revolutionaries. As I grow older in my faith, I sense more and more that the strangeness of the Gospel is its proudest declartion of its truth. It is too strange to me that a group of Gallilean fishermen would create a god who was incomplete by his omnipotence. It is so strange an idea that it must be true. Who would make it up? What Godlike genius could imagine such things!

Unlike all the other belief systems, Christianity alone has realised that God, to be wholly God, must be a rebel as well as a king. The God of the Christians is alone in having courage added to its arsenal of virtues. I can’t recall Chesterton fully and it is the deepest mystery of all but in the Easter story there is clear implication that the Creator of the Universe (in a way we can’t grasp) went not only through agony, but through doubt. We may be commanded to not tempt God but God tempted himself in Gethsemane. In a garden Satan tempted man and in a garden, God tempted God. We are told the skies grew dark on that Friday we ironically call “Good”. It was not a sympathetic darkness from “Mother Nature” that cried out at the injustice of the crucifixtion. It was the darkness of the earth-shattering cry from the Crucified that brought night into the day. That cry confessed that God was forsaken by God.

Chesterton demanded that all the doubters of the world should choose a god from all the beliefs on offer in the marketplace of ideas. They can not find a god who has himself been in doubt. Chesterton went so far as to say, let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one God who ever shared their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed, for an instant to be an atheist.

On the issue of Orthodoxy, I think I will take my provisional stand at this point: if you preach Christ crucified, I will embrace you as my brother or sister. If you believe that the Ever Living God lived as a man so as to die for you, then I call that Orthodoxy. There is no thought more correct in that whole marketplace of ideas we have built.

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