Monday, April 20, 2009

The Holy Spirit in the World

I recently finished the book entitled, "The Holy Spirit in the World," in which Kirsteen Kim sets forth a compelling assessment of a few different pneumatologies present within Western theological construction, Greek Orthodoxy, India, and Korea; all of which are used to complement each other in some fashion. She addresses the question of "mission" or missio dei, i.e., how is God at work in the world? We live among a plurality of faith preferences which presently color the earth with social and contextual differences that, unfortunately, have been silenced and kept out of the global theological conversation, furthermore, labeled "demonic." Not until recently has the term "reconciliation" risen to the surface of local Xn theologies, but now the recognition of the Pauline introduction of katallaso (reconcile) and katallage (reconciliation) has started to create waves in the pool of private and exclusive ideologies.

If we are to have a balanced Trinitarian theology, we must continue to affirm the Spirit as an individual within the hypostatic union of the Trinity and also capable of acting on its own behalf contra creation's demand. The Spirit doesn't hear ABRACADABRA and 'poof' onto the scene in Acts 2. Rather, the Spirit participated in creation and must be given credit. The Holy Spirit is the ‘divine power’ that is the cohesive force perpetuating the creation act and maintaining its dependence and sustainability (Gen 2:7; Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30). We must travel the Scriptures from beginning to end while looking for not only explicit evidence of the action's of the Spirit, but we must also acknowledge the active presence of God as the source of all.

"...A biblical theology of the Holy Spirit involves more than a study of the passages in which "the spirit" is explicitly mentioned. The theology of the Holy Spirit is a study of God's involvement with the world. The Spirit represents the presence of God, which is throughout the whole creation (Ps 139:7), and the mighty involvement of God in earthly affairs (Isa 63:10-14; Job 26:12-13). The New Testament also bears witness to God's involvement in the world by the Holy Spirit. This involvement is focused in Jesus Christ and those who are in him, and yet it holds out hope for the whole creation, as the Spirit bears witness (Rom 8:1-27)."
-Kim, 16

"Now the earth was a formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." Gen 1:2

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fake Bonanza

"Hip hop, modern time, flossy and raw so self-absorbed, immature
I can't remember being this bored
Fake bonanza, become real wars
Bullets burn through the candy on the driver side door
Long investigations and no firm lead,
billion dollar flow and black life is still cheap
Where rent skyrockets and job prospects plummet
Ten murders, ten days, this summer
Talk about today's mathematics,
a eighth, an O, a key and the caliber on your ratchet
The inmate number, a centerfold's measurements
As close as a cold cell come to some tenderness
I heard them say it was all about the Benjamins
I don't believe it now, didn't believe it then."

-mos def

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Christ the Eternal Tao"

"In Christ is the fulfillment of the expectation of the ancients. Christ does not abolish what came before Him; instead, He brings it to fulfillment by disintegrating the false and upholding the true in the Light of His ultimate revelation. The truths in all ancient religions and philosophies shine forth in this Light, but they are not this Light, nor are they equal to it. If seen with the eyes of faith, they can bear witness to the Light of revelation, just as can the souls of today's seekers when, through the eyes of Lao Tzu, they find and behold the Undistorted Image of Christ, shining with all His brilliance in the ancient Christian East."
-Hieromonk Damascene

Since finishing a paper that compared Augustine's "original sin" with Andrew Park's "original han," i have been fascinated with Eastern religions and their profound impact on culture, specifically within Korea. Through my research I stumbled upon the reflection of a living "theology":

"In the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with God, and the Tao was God."
John 1:1

Just as the author John affirmed and unveiled the fullness of Heraclitus' "Logos" so does Lao Tzu with his introduction of a glimmering philosophy, the Tao Te Ching, which is inspired and assumed by Christ. Tao describing "the Way, Path or Pattern of Heaven, the Course that all things follow. The Way is the Uncreated Cause of all things," (Christ the Eternal Tao) represents the path of creation in the universe and colors the eternal active presence of the Trinity throughout the world. Instead of marginalizing the contributed glimpses that peer into the eternal presence of God, depth and solidarity grow throughout the beautiful shimmers of truth as humanity opens up its heart to divine actions in different contexts which desire to connect all of creation with the eternal reality.

"There exists a Being undifferentiated and complete,
Born before heaven and earth.
Tranquil, boundless,
Abiding alone and changing not,
Encircling everything without exhaustion.
Fathomless, it seems to be the Source of all things.
I do not know its name,
But characterize it as the Tao.
Arbitrarily forcing a name upon it,
I call it Great..."
-Tao Te Ching (ca. 1500bc)

"I am the way and the truth and the light." John 14:6

"About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way." Acts 19:23

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands...For in him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:24ff.