I have to look for cracks and crevices.
Don’t tell me how God’s mercy
Is as wide as the ocean, as deep as the sea.
I already believe it, but that infinite prospect
Gets farther away the more we mouth it.
I thank you for lamenting his absences—
His absence from marriages going mad,
Our sons dying young, from the inescapable
Terrors of history: Treblinka. Vietnam.
September Eleven. His visible absence
Makes it hard for us in our time
To celebrate his invisible Presence.
This must be why mystics and poets record
The slender incursions of splintered light,
Echoes, fragments, odd words and phrases
Like flashes through darkened hallways.
These stabs remind me that the proud
Portly old church is really only
That cut green slip grafted into a tiny nick
That merciful God himself slit into the stem
Of his chosen Judah. The thin and tenuous
Thread we hang by, so astonishing,
Is the metaphor I need at the shoreline
Of all those immeasurable oceans of love.
I wrote this a couple of weeks ago but for some reason didn’t get to post it. This is Part 2 of a series of reflections on things that bother me about my generation (and subsequently, about myself).
My soul, thou art emerged in sin,
So deep that none can trace;
Look to the ransom God decreed
To clear the guilty race.
Had I the guilt of all the world,
He’s able to forgive:
Why should I fear? The debt is paid.
If only I believe.
The atonement once made on the tree,
Can balance many more
Than all the sins of Adam’s race,
If numbered over and over.
He paid the mighty sum and died
For sinners yet unborn;
From men, the works of his own hands,
He suffered shame and scorn.
William Williams, “Why Should I Fear?”
I started reading through Herman Bavinck’s Essays on Religion, Science, and Society last Friday. Much of his writings (including his Reformed Dogmatics) cover the intersection of theology with philosophy and culture. In that sense, he is thoroughly Reformed. Surprisingly, his insights into modern thought are still as timely as they were when he first recorded them.
I know, the title sounds completely arrogant and self-righteous. Hope you read this anyway.
One of my highlights at the NEXT conference was Kevin DeYoung’s message on the life of Christ (audio here). DeYoung walked us through Luke 8:22-56 where Jesus rebukes a storm, delivers a demoniac, heals a hemorrhaging (thus ceremonially unclean) woman, and resuscitates a dead girl. Such miraculous signs are meant to point us to the greater reality of Christ’s identity as divine Lord. The application of this truth is simple, yet profound: Tremble!
After about 3 months or so without any real updates (besides quotes), I think my summer break from school will give me more time to post on here. So uh, here goes…