Fleming Rutledge is a preacher and teacher known throughout the US, Canada, and parts of the UK. She is the author of ten books, all from Eerdmans Publishing. Her major work, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, is the product of a lifetime and is being described as a new classic on the subject.
Her special favorites among her books are And God Spoke to Abraham, which is a rarity, being exclusively Old Testament sermons, and Battle for Middle-earth, which is unusual among Tolkien books because it is constructed around the plot itself rather than various themes, and concentrates on the hidden theological message that Tolkien explicitly acknowledges in his personal letters.
Theology and Anthropology, Part Two: “Gird up your loins; you will declare to me” (Job 38:3)
Second Hickman Lecture, Duke Divinity School
by Fleming Rutledge, October 2000
Theology and Anthropology, Part Two:
Gird up your loins; you will declare to me (38:3)
I begin with a brief summary of my first address. The mainline churches are suffering from a loss of faith in the reality of revelation. The power of God to bring into existence that which does not exist (Romans 4:17) is no longer our subject. For revelation we have substituted religion, and that includes much of what goes under the heading of spirituality. Borrowing from Professor Hauerwas, for creation ex nihilo we have substituted personal stories ex nihilo. In short, we have exchanged theos for anthropos. This lack of confidence in the gospel is causing a crisis in the church, as those on the theological left and right caricature one anothers positions and dig into their own with ever increasing animosity. The left accuses the right of abandoning social justice and the right accuses the left of deserting the historic faith.
The antidote to this parlous situation is renewal by the Word of God. It is re-creation by confident preaching and teaching of the God who continues to speak to his people and who, in that speaking, is doing a new thing. The antidote is not more didache, we have had enough of being lectured about all the isms that we are guilty of. The antidote is not more bad news about ourselves. The antidote is the kerygma, the unconditional announcement of the good news that by the cross of Jesus Christ the ungodly are justified and the reign of God is inaugurated.
So the first lecture was focused on God in his powerful activity in the world, his apocalyptic inbreaking into our systems and structures, remaking our own stiff-necked, hard-headed selves. See that you do not refuse to hear the voice of him who speaks...let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29, New English Bible)
The second lecture in this two part series is focused on what it means to be human under God. What is the human being that thou shouldst be mindful of him? That was Dean Jones text in chapel on Sunday morning. Notice that the human being is not envisioned as having an autonomous existence. God is mindful of us; that is what makes us human. He has created us to correspond to him, to stand before him, to be addressed by him. Gird up your loins like a man; I will question you and you will declare to me. (Job 40:7)
Once a person has known God, she cannot go back to being anything less than being fully human. One of my favorite Methodists is Emily Herring Wilson. Does anyone here know Emily? She wrote a little op-ed piece that I would like to read to you.
Members of the Board of Stewards of the Walnut Street Methodist Church [checked in to register at a conference]. They were not there to pray. They were there to learn Management By Objectives, a trend whose price is right. For one-tenth of the entire church budget, the stewards hired Creative Management Consultants to teach them how to serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song. In three daysa number whose significance was not lost on the stewardsthey became managerial, able to carry to the congregation a new living message from the Lord, via the consultants...They will be able to state the Key Objective (praise the Lord), the Critical Objective (increase Sunday School attendance) and the Specific Objective (air-condition the Sunday School).
Then, after a hilarious description of the conference which I would love to read to you if we had more time, Ms. Wilson concludes with a few more salty observations: She says she cant tell one consultant from another because they all talk exactly alike, in the Management By Objectives language learned from failed businessmen...[As for me], I will serve the Lord with gladness because he does not give me feedback. I will not be managed by objectives. At the bottom of the page the author is identified: Emily Herring Wilson teaches writing and says she is a thoroughly unmanageable and subjective person.
I collect stuff like that. Here is a brochure for a clergy-training seminar: This unique program enables persons to use the latest learnings about organizational development technology in their own churches. Here is another; it has to do with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Do you have this ineffable tool in the Methodist Church? We call it the Episcopal horoscope. This is a review of a book by a leading Episcopal dean written by another (cathedral) dean:
His method of research involved the use of a sampling of clergy from four denominations (Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran and Methodist) who were interviewed and tested concerning their personality-types (the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), their world-views and the relationship of feminine to masculine consciousness. This method itself is a revolutionary way to approach theology and, I believe, a sound and exciting one...What is exciting is [the authors] gift of being able to use such inventories as the basis for theological reflection. Part of the reason for his success as a theologian...has to do with the fact that he was also an anthropologist.
[Its wonderful that you laugh at this. Your laughter is a sign of grace.] The amazing thing is that the man who wrote those words had no idea that what he was writing was funny. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a revolutionary basis for theological reflection! Lord, have mercy upon us. This is not just bad theology, its bad psychology. When I was in New York City, I had close connections with some of the best psychoanalysts in the country; they thought the Myers-Briggs was a joke at best and downright harmful at worst. But there is no end to the gullibility of the church these days. Listen, we not only have the Myers Briggs, we also now have a Spiritual Type Indicator. Did you know that? Yes, indeed, by answering twenty multiple-choice questions, you can find out whether you are a Faithful-Rational, Skeptical-Rational, Faithful-Contemplative, or Skeptical-Contemplative. As an example of anthropos-emphasis run amok, here is the description of the Skeptical-Contemplative, which is described as the fastest growing of the spiritual types. SCs are reluctant to commit to beliefs about spiritual things, but they are interested in discovering what there might be to discover...They are intellectually skeptical of spiritual teachings, but at the same time hold great faith in the guidance of the spirit within them to find the truth. In all seriousness, this is a very sad description. This is the person adrift with no story, no anchor, no guide. The instructions that come with the Spiritual Type Indicator, however, recommends that each type is to be affirmed and encouraged right there in its own quadrant of the chart. No saving story is envisioned.
One time I was leading a parish weekend in a midwestern church. I taught my heart out from the Bible all Saturday morning and into the early afternoon. It was Advent, so the theme was conflict and struggle. I poured myself out with as much kenotic passion as God granted me. After the sessions were over I walked out with the rector (the senior pastor) and a group of lay participants. One of the lay people came up next to me and said eagerly, Whats your Myers-Briggs? I was so flabbergasted that I could not speak. I know, said one of the others, Shes an EMPQ. No, no, said a third, shes an EYXR. (One thing they were sure about, I was an extrovert.) Trying to get them to shut up, I told them what my score actually was. That only made it worse. Aha! said the rector. You see? He was happy; he had put me into my little box.
How would you feel if that happened to you? Some people seem to be comforted by the Myers-Briggs; it seems to make them feel that they have been understood. I felt boxed in, dismissed, robbed of my individuality. If we encourage people to categorize themselves and others like that, the precious uniqueness, the complexity and mystery of the individual human being, the astonishing miracle that is each person is homogenized, trivialized, flattened. I ask you to imagine administering the Myers-Briggs to one of Shakespeares characters. Is Hamlet a BTXR or a PYMB? How about Cleopatra? Are we going to understand Shylock better if we plot him out on a chart? What has happened to us? Why are we so captivated by these superficial fads which do not represent even the second or third best of what the social sciences have to teach us? I used to sneer at the whole idea of the Bible as literature, but even though I still see the weaknesses of that approach and would not teach it that way myself, I now believe that we would do well to pay attention to what writers and literary critics tell us about the indelible greatness of the narratives and the characters in the Scripture. Do we want to label Ruth and Naomi, David and Jeremiah as Spiritual Types? or do we want to understand Jacob and Rebecca, Hannah and Abigail, Peter and Paul in the fulness of their original, surprising, sometimes perverse, always unquantifiable individuality? Do we want to retell the stories in the jargon of the business school and the psychology lab? or do we want to tell the story in full rhetorical splendor?
No one in our time has called upon the power of God and the power of the Biblical story more effectively than Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. In the darkest days of apartheid, this small black man insisted on living as though he had an invisible army. Ill give you an example of the kind of speech he was giving back in the 80s and early 90s when he was constantly having his visa revoked and when no one thought that apartheid could ever be dismantled without a bloody revolution: You will see how he combines the story of the chariots of fire in II Kings with visions from the book of Revelation:
I am a bishop in the Church of God, I am 51 years old, yet I dont have a vote...Well, they can remove Desmond Tutu. They can end the South African Council of Churches. But the Church of God goes on. The government must know that the Church is not frightened of any earthly power...More are for us than can ever be against us. A vast throng no one could ever count, from every nation and every tribe, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white and bearing palm branches in their hands, shout together, Victory to our God! We are joined with angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven.
This is not the language of Management by Objectives. This is not the language of Spiritual Type Indicators. This is not a harangue about victims and victimization, racism or classism or sexism. This is the Word of God on the march, breaking down and building up, causing a new reality to come into being before the unaided human eye can see it happen. Behold, I am doing a new thing, do you not perceive it? In his new book, Faith Works, Jim Wallis tells another story about Bishop Tutu. In the dark days of apartheid the Bishop, with a large band of demonstrators and activists, was attempting to meet with government officials. This was not permitted, so they proceeded to the cathedral where they had a worship service. Standing ranks of police lined the walls, keeping a wary eye on the congregation. As his sermon progressed, Bishop Tutu suddenly looked out directly at the police. You have already lost! cried this little man. You have already lost! We are inviting you to come and join the winning side! I dont need to ask you who was free and who was in chains that day. But God is the one who breaks the chains and lets the prisoners go free. They say that in Belgrade a few days ago, the police half-heartedly fired a few canisters of tear gas, then joined the demonstrators. God is on the move.
What would the civil rights movement have been without the majestic Biblical rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr., learned not from his courses at Boston University but in the heart of the African-American church? Did James Farmer and Bob Moses and Fannie Lou Hamer manage by objectives or did they step into the mighty stream of Biblical prophecy? Read Professor Lischers splendid book The Preacher King if you havent already. Listen to Martin Luther King:
The patter of their feet as they walked through Jim Crow barriers in the great stride toward freedom is the thunder of the marching men of Joshua. And the world rocks beneath their tread. My people, my people, listen, listen, the battle is in our hands.
It has been quite a privilege to be with you here at Duke Divinity School this week. I have a lot more hope for the church than I did three days ago because I have a clearer sense now of the remarkable leadership that is going on here. I met yesterday afternoon with a group of twenty of you and received much encouragement. So I take heart. I think none of us, however, is deceived about the difficulty of the task. The whole culture is going in the other direction. Fewer and fewer people read literature, so the language is suffering. From that standpoint, liturgy is suffering too. I couldnt help noticing in the chapel service on Sunday morning (please forgive this observation from an interloper) how the language of the service shifted back and forth from the cadences of Cranmer to the flatness of the modern prayers. This is partly our fault; we Episcopalians gave Cranmer to the Church and then flung him overboard. Let me give you just one example, which is related to my theme of being fully human before God.
In our baptismal liturgy, the sponsors are asked a series of questions such as Will you see that this child is brought up in the Christian faith and life? The response used to be I will, God being my helper. Now the response is, I will, with Gods help. The people who composed this new response apparently could not hear the vast difference in these two replies. The new one is weaker in every way. Not only is the rhythm of the sentence feebler, but also, and more important, the verb to be has been taken away from God. I will, God being my helper rolls along like a wave, like the rhythms of Dr. King; I will, with Gods help falls flat on its face. Furthermore, in the newer version, the human being is expected to do most of the work; God is not on the move out in front of us; God is just going to add on his help here and there. The loss of power is striking. Which version is most enabling for the baptismal sponsor?
Lets hear from Flannery OConnor one more time.
Theology has been bred out of us by the religious substitutes for religion. If there were in the public just a slight sense of ordinary theology, if they only believed at least that God has the power to do certain things. There is no sense of the power of God that could produce the Incarnation and the Resurrection. They are all so busy explaining away the virgin birth and such things, reducing everything to human proportions that in time they lose even the sense of the human itself...
The point I am hoping to make is that humanity gains in stature precisely according to the greatness of God. T.S. Eliot wrote some apposite words in an introduction to Huckleberry Finn: There is a River God in the book, and it is mans subjection to him that gives man his dignity...Without some kind of God, Man is not even very interesting. What is most striking about the Mississippi River? Its might, its power. How is that related to human dignity?
When I was in Princeton two years ago, the Czech theologian Jan Lochman described for us the atmosphere in Basel, where he teaches, during the great events of 1989 when the Berlin Wall came a-tumblin down. At one particular gathering for worship, the well-known, often-quoted Amos passage was appointed to be read: Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. In Europe as in America, this text had become over-familiar with widespread use, so that it was reverentially invoked in many contexts with no expectation of anything concrete being actually signified. When the passage was read that day in Basel, however, everyone became aware that there was an event of the Word of God occurring in the very midst of daily events. The famous passage had leapt out of its usual romanticized, even sentimentalized position in the church. Professor Lochman, seeking an analogy for his American audience, said that Sudden, unexpected happenings in Eastern Europe were making us feel the tide of the Mississippi River going down with full power. As God moved the currents, men and women reclaimed their freedom and dignity.
Diogenes Allen of Princeton Theological Seminary has written very imaginatively on the subject of power in the context of human experience. He asks how power can be related to human liberation, since we so often think of power as oppressive and tyrannical.
At the core of the Christian life is the fact that people have allegiance to someone whom they belong and to whom they are obedient. How can people be free if they have a master? How can people be free if they have someone to obey?
Jean-Paul Sartre, like so many in the present culture who claim to be in control of their lives, claimed that the two notionsfreedom and Godcontradict each other. To be human is to be autonomous. So the very idea of God [according to Sartre] is essentially anti-human.
You do not need to endorse Sartres claim to recognize the resentment we would feel at having a boss, a ruler, or anyone else telling us what to do all the time....How would that be human fulfillment? How could that be self-fulfillment?...How can we be free when we are ruled by a master?
Professor Allen draws on Hegels concept of the master-slave relation. It would seem to be an ideal setup for the master (certainly not for the slave). The master dominates the other completely and bends the slave to his will.
But there is an irony in the situation. The master cannot be independent or free. To assert his independence, the master must have something that is not himself. He must have someone to pay him deference, something to subordinate. He has status as master only as long as he has a slave. Thus he does not have perfect independence...
The relation of Jesus to his disciples, though one of dominance and subordination, is very different from the one Hegel describes...
The foundation of Jesus relation to his disciples and to us is that he does not need us. This may sound harsh...at first, but it is really the basis of his ability to serve us and elevate us. He does not need us in this sense: Jesus is Lord because of who he is, not because he has followers...
Hegels master is a master only if he has slaves. His status depends on having subordinates. He cannot afford to serve them, for then he ceases to be master. He cannot afford to have them come to any sense of fullness, for any degree of independence threatens his status [as master].
But Jesus is the Son of the Father whether we like it or not. His position, his status, his authority does not spring from anything human. It does not even depend on our acknowledgment. He is Son of God without a single disciple.
Precisely because he does not need us, precisely because his status does not depend on us, he can serve us. He can wash his disciples feet, and not thereby cease to be the Son. He can free people of demons...and this improvement in their condition does not threaten his status....He can even be slain for us, bearing the awful consequences of human evil, without ceasing to be Lord. Precisely because he differs from us in kind, his lordship does not need to reduce our reality. Because his lordship rests on the Father, he is free to enhance us.....
How different orders and commands are when they are from one that does not seek to deny our person, but to enhance it. By his commands and authority Jesus does not seek to deny our person, but to free us....
The basis of our freedom is that he gives us our status as people destined to share in the life of God, now and always....That status is conferred on us...It is not a gift of this world; for it cannot be grasped by an employment of all our talent, ingenuity, strength or wit. It cannot be attained by gaining prestige, power or status over others. We therefore do not have to compete with each other in order to become ourselves...We can be free precisely because he is free. His lordship is not based on anything earthly. So he can serve us It is by following him that we can enter the kingdom in which we serve each other.
That is a very long quotation, but I think it is enormously helpful. You may remember the phrase of Augustine of Hippo which translates more or less as whom to serve is to reign as a king. In other words, being a servant or slave of God is the most elevated of all positions. Cranmer incorporated this into the Collect for Purity as whose service is perfect freedom. This is a paradox, of course, since freedom and service are generally thought of as mutually exclusive opposites, but Augustine got it directly from Paul, who proudly claimed to be a slave of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1, Galatians 1:10). The locus classicus is Romans 6:16-17,20-23):
Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart...and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness...
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The natural human being, Paul says, is in bondage beyond his capacity to help himself. Who will deliver me from this body of death? One dead man cannot resurrect another; only some One who is free from death can liberate us. A person cannot be freed from the dominion of Sin except by some One over whom death has no dominion. This is the power that is free, the power that does not enslave but, rather, is able to create completely new conditions:
We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin...[Shifting to the King James Version] Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:6-11)
Freedom, to quote Stanley Hauerwas again, is not the freedom to choose between Sony and Panasonic. Freedom is the choice between life and death, sin and righteousness. We cannot make that choice for ourselves because we are subject to the dominion of death, enslaved by the power of sin. Human freedom is a gift of the One who is not bound by sin, is free from the realm of death, who does not need us because he is in perfect Triune relationship within himself. To serve this One is to reign as a king. Anything less is to exchange one form of bondage for another.
I have saved a letter written to me some years ago by another woman priest. Here is a portion of it.
My daily frustration, indeed my (so far) lifelong handicap is trying to swim my way our of the experience-based theology I was taught. It was largely without regard to either Bible or [classical] theology...Time and again [I have discovered that when I am most in touch with Biblical truth I am then best in touch with my parishs needs. By biggest challenge at my parish so far has been to confront the numbers of people who have rightly entered into therapy and been freed from many emotional bondages but who then become incredibly me centered and selfish. [Sometimes] I have had the guts to say lovingly to them that they have exchanged one bondage for another...The challenge is to convince the seminaries that the Bible has the most radical sociology, psychology and political theory of all.
(Carol Anderson to FR, November 18, 1979)
To exchange one bondage for another: that is what goes by the name of freedom in America today. Freedom from a sagging jawline means bondage to the plastic surgeon. Freedom from having to take public transportation means sitting in traffic on the expressway. Freedom to amass billions of dollars means living behind barriers with bodyguards. Getting the best table at a restaurant is dependent upon someone else having a bad table. Riding first class isnt any fun unless a whole bunch of other people have to walk by you into coach. Only Jesus is free of all this. Only Jesus is able to seat everybody on his right hand without anybody being jealous. Only Jesus can deliver us into that new world where we are free to check our egos at the door. For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1).
The church, too, must be delivered by her Lord from its latest version of bondage. From every side, we are bombarded with voices calling us to all sorts of new freedoms, all of them construed from the purely human point of view without any theological reference point. We are told that the Church must rethink its message for our times. Yes. It must. We should all be able to agree on that. That is not the issue. The issue has to do with the point of departure for rethinking the message. The mainline churches have been taking orders from so many points of the compass for so long that we no longer realize what we are doing. We have noted the shift in emphasis from the social sciences to spirituality without noticing that we have exchanged one type of anthropological bondage for another.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his late writing, calls for a religionless Christianity. He explains that the reality and will of God is not a construal of the human religious imagination. Our faith does not arise out of ourselves, he writes, but from Gods showing forth of himself, the acceptance of his revelation...the self-witness of the living God. The point of departure for Christian ethics is not the reality of ones own self, or the reality of the world. Bonhoeffer goes further; using terms that sound as if they are drawn directly from conservative political platforms in the year 2000. He writes that the point of departure for Christian ethics is not standards and values, but the reality of God as he reveals himself in Jesus Christ.
Standards and values quickly become relative if there is no reality beyond them. Does anybody remember Values Clarification? Twenty-five years ago when I was doing youth work, Values Clarification was all the rage in high schools and mainline youth programs. You got a bunch of teenagers together and asked them what they thought about premarital sex or race or guns or cheating, and after they offered up various half-baked and ill-digested opinions, then you affirmed each and every one of them as whatever works for you and that was the end of that. My experience was that absolutely nothing was clarified by this except further confusion.
Instead of asking about standards and values, the question What is the will of God? points us toward a different orientation. When we start asking about the will of God, we have already made a witness or statement of faith that, first, there is a God, and second, that God makes his will known to human beings. Obviously, many people are not willing to speak from such a confessional stance, and we can certainly understand that. The issue is, rather, how the church should pitch its message. More often than not, today, the mainline churches seem intimidated and apologetic about theology, as though there were simply no longer any certainty about the reality of God as he reveals himself in Jesus Christ. Twenty years ago, I would not have believed it possible that we would see actual erosion in the respect that has always been paid to Jesus of Nazareth even by skeptics and unbelievers. Today, thanks to the media skills of the Jesus Seminar and others, doubt about the very character and person of Christ has seriously infected the church. I say infect because the influence of the debunkers is not in most cases overt. Preachers still talk about Jesus and tell the stories from the Gospels. But they do not tell them with the same confidence. In much preaching that I hear, the figure of our Lord is diminished. He has become a wise man, a shaman, a healer and mystagogue instead of the only begotten Son of God. If that is what he is, then he cannot set us free.
Do you remember the beginning of Green Pastures? God looks out over the blank space before the beginning of time and says, Im lonely. Ill make me a world. Whats wrong with that? You know the answer. It makes God dependent on us. It indicates that God is incomplete without us. The doctrine of the Trinity says otherwise. One of the most surprising and unexpected developments in recent theological schools is a revival of interest in the Trinity. To be sure, this has happened in favor of the economic Trinity at the expense of the immanent Trinity, which presents some problems related to the esse of God, but for today I leave that to others. My point is the same as that of Diogenes Allen, that our true, free, restored humanity rests in the freedom of the God who does not need us.
No one has written about this better than C. S. Lewis in Perelandra. This is from the ending, after the victory won by Ransom over the Devil, God being his helper. An eldil (angel) speaks to Ransom, who is overwhelmed by the magnitude of what has occurred:
Be comforted, said Malacandra. It is no doing of yours. You are not great...Be comforted, small one, in your smallness. He lays no merit on you. Receive it and be glad. Have no fear, lest your shoulders be bearing this world. Look! it is beneath your head and carries you.
The angel explains further:
He has no need at all of anything that is made. An eldil is not more needful to Him than a grain of the Dust: a peopled world no more needful than a world that is empty: but all [are] needless alike, and what all add to Him is nothing....Love me, my brothers, for I am infinitely superfluous, and your love shall be like his, born neither of your need nor of my deserving, but a plain bounty. Blessed be He!
Lewis seems to have taken this almost directly from Pascal, who wrote, Be comforted: it is not from yourself that you must expect it, but on the contrary you must expect it by expecting nothing from yourself. (517) That is freedom. I remember one time when I was much younger and had to make an extremely difficult ethical decision involving something I had discovered about the rector of the church. I had to decide whether to resign or not. I went to see an older, wiser priest to seek his counsel. He and I talked together for a long time about all the options. After a couple of hours of this, he and I felt that I could come to a decision. Then he saidthis is the part I have never forgottenJust remember, Fleming, either way, youll still be a sinner. Having girded up my loins, I went out of his office feeling unburdened and ready to meet my responsibilityGod being my helper.
Be comforted...It is no doing of yours. You are not great...Be comforted, small one, in your smallness. He lays no merit on you. Receive it and be glad. Have no fear, lest your shoulders be bearing this world.
For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen (Romans 11). r
I Am Not A Camera, The New York Times 12/10/78.
Alan Jones, approximately 1983, reviewing Urban T. Holmes, Spirituality for Ministry (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1982) in a privately circulated Ascetical Theology newsletter.
I forget what the categories actually are, except for E.
Quoted in Alan Wolfes review of Taylor Branchs Pillar of Fire, The New York Times Book Review 1/25/98.
Habits of Being, 300.
Diogenes Allen, Jesus and Human Experience, The Truth About Jesus, Donald Armstrong, ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 139-155.
Check Your Ego At The Door had been the title of the sermon on the previous evening.