I’ve missed my last two biweekly posts due to work commitments and a seasonal bout with the flu but I am happy to be back with the Infocus team on a weekly basis till the end of the session. From the basis of page views and comments – it looks like many people have been contributing in some way, shape or form to the purpose of Infocus – “to develop the Australian blogosphere, to cultivate serious and useful discussion, and to develop a generation of readers, thinkers, and theologians.”
It would seem that our most fervent discussion grows out of our differences. Posts on Bible versions, Calvinism, or Standards (BCS for short?) attract the widest readership and the most comments. The fact that we have both differences and vigorous discussion highlights the robustness of the Christian faith. I’m choosing the high road here because at times I think that Michael Caton’s quote from The Castle is more appropriate – “Tell ’em they’re dreamin’.”
Whether you are denominational or non-denominational (independent), the overwhelming majority of the readership would be able to trace their faith and culture back to the Protestant Reformation. Consider the role of Scholasticism as a contributing factor leading up to the Reformation. Take a moment to read through this translated quote by the famous Scholastic Thomas Aquinas in his capstone work, Summa Theologica:
“Sin, in so far as it is inordinate, has the character of evil; but, in so far as it is an act, it has some good, at least apparent, for its end: so that, as an act, but not as being inordinate, it can be the cause, both final and efficient, of another sin. A sin has matter, not “of which” but “about which” it is: and it has its form from its end. Consequently one sin can be the cause of another, in respect of the four kinds of cause, as stated above.”
How did you go with that one? The Scholastics were famous for their nuanced semantics and logical arguments. At times I feel like our friend Thomas Aquinas would be very comfortable in our debates. Ironically, during this protracted period of navel-gazing the preservation of the Scriptures flourished in the Augustine and Dominican monastic orders. Here’s a big generalization for the purpose this post – God preserved his Word while people were talking at it – not applying it.
So to adapt a phrase from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – “if disagreement be the food of sanctification, play on.” But I wonder… how many of you are comfortable with reading the Bible in Greek or Hebrew (the language of God’s Word)? How many of you have actually read something that John Calvin wrote (or Jacobus for that matter)? Food for thought eh?