Friday, July 11, 2014

Automatic response

We are persons and we do not want to be used or mechanically controlled. But that was at the heart of much of the sacrificial system of the ancient Near East. The right words, the right ceremonies, should work automatically in a naturalistic cause-and-effect manner. These same ideas are found around the world. Studies of Polynesian culture have made a couple of their terms—taboo and mana—part of the English language. Both of them are that ex opera operatokind of thing. It does not matter what your motive was; it does not matter what the circumstances were. If you did it so that it is wrong in terms of that other world, then the consequences are automatic. The only way to avert those consequences was for you to do something to counter them.— Lectures in Old Testament Theology, page 251

<idle musing>
Sadly, that same theology is at work in much of the church—a candy machine god. "Name it, claim it, stomp on it and frame it!" "Blab it and grab it!"

What a perversion the promises of God. That kind of theology never wants to put God first. Indeed, it makes the self the center of the world and then uses scripture to try and justify it. That's not Christian theology!
</idle musing>

No comments: