Friday, April 27, 2007
Systematic Theology and The Body Politic, My Answers to Thomisticguy: 6 of 6, Systematic Theology and the Body Politic
I yesterday quoted McLuhan as saying: "...the visually oriented person stresses matching rather than making in all experience. It is matching that is often mistaken for truth in general." Interestingly, the sons of Korah said in Psalm 45 (The Msg.): "You're the handsomest of men; every word from your lips is sheer grace, and God has blessed you, blessed you so much. Strap your sword to your side, warrior! Accept praise! Accept due honor! Ride majestically! Ride triumphantly! Ride on the side of truth! Ride for the righteous meek!" Speaking of the meek, I'm still wondering what Aquinas was saying there about "liberality to" or "suckling" the "needy." Anywhoo.
"Making" - referenced by McLuhan as a standard of truth along with matching - or "narrative," is about the "handsomness" of the epiphanic. No, not ghosts - its about the ANNOINTING of the BODY of the king! Which by the way happens to be the vessel of sensory perception.
And interestingly, in light of McLuhan and technology, in the previous Psalm the sons of Korah said: "You're my King, O God—command victories for Jacob! With your help we'll wipe out our enemies, in your name we'll stomp them to dust. I don't trust in weapons; my sword won't save me— But it's you, you who saved us from the enemy; you made those who hate us lose face. All day we parade God's praise—we thank you by name over and over."
Also interestingly, regarding the "body politic", that very Psalm starts: "We've been hearing about this, God, all our lives. Our fathers told us the stories their fathers told them, How single-handedly you weeded out the godless from the fields and planted us, How you sent those people packing but gave us a fresh start." That changes the use or role of systematic theology - away from WHO tells things to one of the things our father tells us.
The message "freshly" "starts" from the mouth of the father, who REPRESENTS the Father. And that fact presents another problem with systematic theology. Its a bad REPRESENTATION of the Father. Its pretty good at telling the truth (giving it the benefit of the doubt), but its a horrible father. Again, too, this - being a conversation about systems and God and whether or not we will "set sail in a sea of sentimentality" - is also a question of what holds things together. Its acutally COMMANDED in the scriptures, for the fathers to pass it on to the sons.
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