On Eastern Wisdom for Western Christians and the Meaning of the Resurrection in the Face of Death

“Eastern Wisdom for Western Christians,” Timothy Jones interviews Rowan Williams for The Christian Century.

God engages with us, takes an initiative with us, invites us, prompts us, prods us, and disturbs us. As that disturbance in us spreads through our own self-awareness and our own narrative about ourselves, we make the connection a bit better to how God works with us. And in that primal soup of interaction, the insights about the Trinity come to birth. They keep on coming to birth. They don’t come once and for all. I think anyone who has ever reflected on this will realize there are moments where you think, I’ve never understood this doctrine. I’m starting all over again.

Rowan Williams (Photo by Ben Wyeth / Welsh National Assembly / Creative Commons)

“Graham Pardun’s The Sunlilies,” a review by Rod Dreher for The American Conservative

Monet, Waterlilies

From The Sunlilies:

This is a book about Orthodoxy being a challenge to our culture’s pervasive nihilism by being “radical,” in the sense of getting back to our roots. I mean this in two ways: A return to the ancient path of Yeshua Messiah, the root of all human flourishing, and, secondly, a return to the human body and its simple, but deep connections with the garden of Eden.

For me, the image of a lily fluttering in the sunshine encapsulates both: On the one hand, Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow is at the heart of Yeshua’s teaching and way of life, as relayed above; on the other, the earthy, ephemeral beauty of the flower is a primary biblical image for the earthy, ephemeral beauty of the human person, rooted in Creation: “As for man, his days are like grass—he flourishes like a flower of the field” (Ps. 103:15)—and, also, when God comes to Earth as a healing dew, the Children of Israel will “blossom like a lily” (Hos. 14:6)

“How a Cancer Diagnosis Makes Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Mean More” Tish Harrison Warren interviews Tim Keller for The New York Times

If the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened, then ultimately, God is going to put everything right. Suffering is going to go away. Evil is going to go away. Death is going to go away. Aging is going to go away. Pancreatic cancer is going to go away. Now if the resurrection of Jesus Christ did not happen, then I guess all bets are off. But if it actually happened, then there’s all the hope in the world.

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy-Stories,” he says there are indelible human longings that only fantasy, fairy tales or sci-fi can really speak to. He says that all human beings have a fascination with the idea of escaping time, escaping death, holding communion with other living things, being able to live long enough to achieve your artistic and creative dreams, being able to find a love that perfectly heals. Tolkien says: why do we have those longings? And as a Christian, he thinks the reason is that we were not originally created by God to die.

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