Grenz Ricoeur Shelf

Grenz Ricoeur Shelf

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weekly Reads - 13 February 2016 - Theological Valentine's Day Edition

Hello all. Did you miss me? Its been awhile, but I promise its been for good reasons. After the last 'Weekly Reads' I was busy writing a paper which I had the pleasure of reading here at New College for the weekly Theology and Ethics Seminar hosted by the University of Edinburgh's School of Divinity. The paper was titled, "Is God (Still) Social: The Social Trinity and its Critics in Conversation with Stanley J. Grenz" and it went well. The Q&A afterwards was also good, and my prior decision to answer any hard questions with "Jesus," "because the Bible says so," and "thus says the Lord" seemed a wise move on my part. Then I got sick with the flu, which, though not intentional, wasn't a good move on my part. But, thankfully, I'm back in time for Valentines Day.

Bookworm Valentine

Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Valentine

Far from the commercialised Hallmark Holiday of contemporary Western culture, it seems Valentine's Day takes its name from not one, but three historic Christian martyrs known as St. Valentine and associated with February 14.

St. Valentine

Spiritual Friendship: Wisdom from Eve Tushnet - Being Single Shouldn't Mean Being Alone

Gottfried Willhelm von Leibniz Valentine

The Junia Project: 5 Myths of Male Headship - This is good for a take on what headship doesn't mean. For a start on what we might make of headship constructively, see the next link from Lucy Peppiatt.

Martin Luther Valentine

Lucy Peppiatt: Talking Heads - On marriage and headship in Ephesians (countering the view that sees headship as "authority over."
A woman, finding herself married to a Christian man in one of Paul’s churches, like a Gentile, or a slave, should have had the disorientating experience of being treated as an equal. Not only this, but unlike many of the pagan husbands around them, she would find that her husband had committed himself to be faithful, binding himself to her for life, loving her as he loves his own body, recognising her gifts and potential as a co-heir of the grace of life, and working to see all of that fulfilled in an analogous fashion to the manner in which we are nurtured and empowered by Christ, who above all, is our Saviour.
Peppiatt's take on headship meshes well I think with Sarah Sumner's close linking of headship with the theological notion of oneness in her book Men and Women in the Church.

John Wesley Valentine

Missio Alliance: Lonely Sunday: Single Christians and the Church’s Opportunity - I completely agree, "The problem to be fixed isn’t singleness—it’s a singular view of what it looks like to have a complete life." (HT: Jesus Creed)

Metaphysical Valentine

At 'Uncommon God, Common Good' Paul Louis Metzger has a couple posts on whether monogamy still makes any philosophical sense in our time of cultural upheaval (hint: he thinks it does):
What’s Up with Monogamy? Reflections and Resolutions in a Time of Transition
Monogamous Sex Makes ‘Good’ Sense to Reason, or Does It?
Friedrich Schleiermacher Valentine

Boy meets girl, you probably know how the story goes. First comes love, then comes marriage, and then ... well, life happens. I know it doesn't seem very 'romantic' but in the wake of realities like miscarriage, infertility, enduring depression, unemployment, living paycheck to paycheck, the joys and trials of raising kids or the struggle of being childless - and fill in your own blanks here - marriage tends to be a test of endurance and fidelity as much an anything else.

This seems to be a good look at What Romance Means After 10 Years of Marriage (or more):
Traditional romance is heady and exciting precisely because — and not in spite of the fact that — there are still lingering questions at the edges of the frame: “Will I be enough for this person? Will she stop wanting me someday? Is he as amazing as he seems/feels/tastes?” 
But once you’ve been married for a long time (my tenth anniversary is in a few months!), a whole new kind of romance takes over. It’s not the romance of rom-coms, which are predicated on the question of “Will he/she really love me (which seems impossible), or does he/she actually hate me (which seems far more likely and even a little more sporting)?” Long-married romance is not the romance of watching someone’s every move like a stalker, and wanting to lick his face but trying to restrain yourself. It’s not even the romance of “Whoa, you bought me flowers, you must REALLY love me!” or “Wow, look at us here, as the sun sets, your lips on mine, we REALLY ARE DOING THIS LOVE THING, RIGHT HERE.” That’s dating romance, newlywed romance. You’re still pinching yourself. You’re still fixated on whether it’s really happening. You’re still kind of sort of looking for proof. The little bits of proof bring the romance. The question of whether you’ll get the proof you require brings the romance. (The looking for proof also brings lots of fights, but that’s a subject for another day.) 
After a decade [or more] of marriage, if things go well, you don’t need any more proof. What you have instead — and what I would argue is the most deeply romantic thing of all — is this palpable, reassuring sense that it’s okay to be a human being. (HT: Internet Monk
Augustine Valentine

Branson Parler: Marriage Wasn't Designed to Solve Lonliness - On marriage, singleness and the church.
Our confusion about marriage and singleness has an underlying root: confusion about our call as the family of God. Amazingly, when God first said, “It is not good that man should be alone,” what He ultimately had in mind was the new Eve, the church. When that calling is foremost in our lives, then we - single or married - will be the faithful bride of Jesus and the solution to the loneliness that plagues our world.
Also from Parler:
Stanley Hauerwas on Sexuality and Marriage
J. R. R. Tolkien on Romance, Soul-mates, and Marriage 
Paul Tillich Valentine

Think Christian: “Missed Connections” and a Love Worth Pursuing
First Edition Valentine

Fors Clavigera: An American Lent - I know Lent might seem a little off topic for Valentine's Day (but then again, see the the first link about the original St. Valentines as martyrs!), but this is good from James K. A. Smith on temptations lurking in "an American Lent":
"What are you giving up for Lent?" 
This question tells us a lot about American Christianity. While the question alludes to historic Christian practices of fasting and self-denial associated with the penitential season of Lent, the syntax of the question also points out a crucial shift: even our self-denial is an act of self-expression. Our submission to discipline is converted to act of will power. 
In a more robustly communal practice of the faith, my self-denial is not up to me. The practices of fasting and feasting are not a matter of choice: they are part of the spiritual architecture of the church. It's not so much that I choose to abstain from meat; meat is not going to be served. There are communal commitments embedded in an environment that takes the emphasis off of my choice and will power and instead throws me into the formative power of the practice. My participation in the formative disciplines of Lent isn't another chance for me to show something to God (or others). It is an invitation to have my hungers retrained.
I don't know, that part about having our hungers retrained just might have some application in marriage, friendship, and the mutual life in Christ that we share as the church.

Lastly, I dedicate all of these Valentines to my beautiful wife, Christie, who I love the mostest ostest!

Image credit for the theological valentines to Eerdblurbs here, here, and here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments, as always, welcome.