No man would find an abiding strangeness on the Moon unless he were the sort of man who could find it in his own back garden. – C. S. Lewis, On Stories.
I’m beginning to despise “Calvinism.”
Oh, I still believe that infants are born into the Covenant of Grace and are presumptively regenerated. I still have a vague notion of an Augustinian metaphysical view where God’s nature is some infinite spiritual thing, forever motionless in all its glorious attributes, (the Reformed dogmatician is quick to point out that He is still a person, despite His immutability!) I still have some modicum of respect for the Puritans and Reformers, especially the Westminster Divines and I am still, (when the occasion inspires me) known to quote a bit of catechismic wisdom.
No, what I despise is the dissection of the body of Christ on the autopsy table of science. I hate the popular practice of discussing God as if he were nothing but a system –a suspended and (at times) convenient explanatory mechanism for human experience.
But God is never One to stay convenient.
In this world of shifting ages and aging sages, dramatic doctrines and hallowed pages…the one truth that emerges is that no man is righteous, not one! There is no one who understands! No one who seeks God! All have turned away and have, together, become worthless!
The perceptive Christian who keeps up with his studies knows that I’ve just alluded to Romans chapter 3. And, being inquisitive (as most perceptive Christians are), he will wonder how, if at all, I’ve been able to ascertain the meaning of the passage in Romans 3, if Romans 3 is true?!
If it’s true that none of us at all seek the truth in sincerity and Romans 3 is the truth, then how could I have read it just now and correctly understood?
Well, I don’t wish to downplay the importance of hermenutics or the philosophy of perception. I am equally opposed to addressing the various theories of knowledge posited in the past to surmount such problems (at least, in this blog). What I would like to do instead is point out how appalled I was that the Apostle would so ill-charge me!
Despite all my miserable attempts at seeking the truth and despite all the error I’ve stumbled into concerning doctrinal minutiae, God did, at one point in history, become a Man and it is my faith in that man that alleviates all dissatisfaction in face of error. He’s my Father, my merciful King. And on that basis alone, I am comforted. No father would leave his child lost for long, at least no real European father would.
It is this fierce loyalty to a real being that comprises my Christianity…not all the abstract ideals about the preconditions of human intelligibility. This is what causes the true Christian to act. This is the fuel that stokes the flame of a true antique-European! This is the Flame of Anor! We are the true guardians of the Sacred Fire of Udul! And Satania SHALL NOT PASS!
But that’s all a bit lofty for me. I grew up working around the county on various farms, picking watermelons, gathering up chickens and chucking tomatoes at school-fellows. I don’t have anything more than a vague notion of the good and right. I’ve only just now begun to grasp what Tolkien and Lewis meant by “Myth” and only now am I wandering the edges of Faerie-Land.
The term “sam-wise” supposedly means “half-wit. Tolkien could not have chosen a more suitable description for the true hero of the Lord of the Rings saga. The half-wit, bumbling farm-boy who nevertheless loved the Good in the world! Samwise was a real antique-European:
Sam did not wait to wonder what was to be done, or whether he was brave, or loyal, or filled with rage. He sprang forward with a yell, and seized his master’s sword in his left hand. Then he charged. No onslaught more fierce was ever seen in the savage world of beasts…
This is the sort of theologian that I respect.
His is the sort of faith I want to call mine.
God bless the sam-wise European and may he continue his charge so long as the blood endures!