Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Ultimate Materialist

There is a habit that plagues many so-called spiritual minds: they imagine that matter and spirit are somehow at odds with each other and that the right course for human life is to escape from the world of matter into some finer and purer (and undoubtedly duller) realm. To me, that is a crashing mistake -- and it is, above all, a theological mistake. Because, in fact, it was God who invented dirt, onions, and turnip greens; God who invented human beings, and their strange compulsion to cook their food; God who, at the end of each day of creation, pronounced a resounding "Good!" over his own concoctions. And it is God's unrelenting love of all the stuff of this world that keeps it in being at every moment. So, if we are fascinated, even intoxicated, by matter, it is no surprise: we are made in the image of the Ultimate Materialist

From the "Preface to the Second and Third Edition" of The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Demanding and Rigorous

From a New York Times column by Nicholas D. Kristof.

Centuries ago, serious religious study was extraordinarily demanding and rigorous; in contrast, anyone could declare himself a scientist and go in the business of, say, alchemy. These days, it’s the reverse. A Ph.D. in chemistry is a rigorous degree, while a preacher can explain the Bible on television without mastering Hebrew or Greek — or even showing interest in the nuances of the original texts.