Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sola Gratia

There is another definition of sola gratia, which may find more favor in the eyes of disgusted moderns who are properly disgusted, not only with the world, but with themselves. Alistair McGrath explored some of this in relation to existentialism in one of his many works (before he went nutters and claimed that the Third World Christian would and ought to replace the "orthodox mainliners" - not that I disagree with the second half of that.

Let us suppose that man, instead of being a pile of dung like Luther argues, is actually made in God's image. Not "man" as we imagine, think, and experience ourselves to be, which is often a dung pile (Luther was not so much wrong, as confused, and stuck in a certain kind of mystical psychism). But the root of our being is what is missed here - Our primordial self. This "self" is connected to the One Self, who is God. In Christian theology, the archetype (at least in Orthodox Eastern theology) is the "Father". The Father manifests first of all (if we wish to nod towards the West) in the Son. The Son before the foundations of the earth is crucified - that is, he becomes man, in the shape of the cross.

Jesus, in submission to God the Father, reunites us to our primordial Self. But this "Self" must still transcend itself and go beyond even itself, into the future of the Father, as one star joins the other constellations, and finally the Star of Stars who gave birth to the Cosmos. In this path, the Spirit leads us, back to the Father. This is the mystery of Recapitulation. Saint Paul spoke of it in Colossians. In the end, Jesus will resubmit himself and all who are with him to the Father.

There are, thus, many levels of Being, and many dimensions, which are (in the end), only One.

No comments:

Post a Comment