And Even, Alas, a Vile Meme

Our good friend Jeff has regrettably tagged me with one of those revolting little memes that make their way around the blogosphere like a scourge against everything that is pure and beautiful and good. This particular mutation of that atrocious virus calls for posting some sentences from page 123 of the book that happens to be nearest you. Ordinarily I would simply refuse to comply with such a thing, but given that a) I cannot bring myself to ignore Jeff, and that b) it would give me occasion to mention a most interesting book, I have decided to just post the blasted excerpt.

The quotation comes from the late Alan E. Lewis’ magnum opus, Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001):

“Jewish literature, within and outside the Scriptures, had long before John personified as Word or Wisdom that creative, self-communicating power by which God made and ruled the world, saved and addressed the chosen people (e.g. Ps. 33:6; Prov. 3:19; 8:22; Isa. 55:10-11). But no incipient hypostatization of this divine self-disclosure crossed the threshold of God’s own monarchy to become an independent entity, more or other of God’s self-in-action. It was even less conceivable that the wide ground of holiness and power, guarding God’s transcendence from all confusion with the ceatures of the Maker’s hand, should be trampled and defiled through an identification of Yahweh’s eternal act and being with the immanent, mortal clay of human life. Yet for John it was precisely fleshtransient, grasslike, and dependentthat God’s eternal, creative Word became.”

Of course, one cannot follow Lewis everywhere he leads, but this is a fascinating book on a subject not often addressed in academic theological discourse, and it is highly recommended to all as an original and rewarding contribution to the literature.

4 responses to “And Even, Alas, a Vile Meme

  1. Good thing no one tagged me. At the moment, the two closest books are a Romanian-English dictionary and an atlas.

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  2. Thank you for obliging. I don’t like memes either but this was fairly painless because I didn’t have to think or post about something inane.

    I reckoned you would have something interesting so I picked you. Getting your dander up is also entertaining, especially if it’s pointed at me.
    Jeff

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  3. Hmm… at present I am reading “Imperial Legend” by Alexis Trubetzkoy, it deals with the “legend” that Tsar Aleksandr Pavlovich did not die in 1825, but, went incognito as the starets Fyodor Kuzmich, finally dying in 1864. Most Russians believe it to be true. Me?

    Hmmm… I believe! It does make sense, and Tsar Aleksandr Aleksandrovich referred to it, and Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich of happy memory placed an ornate memorial over his grave.

    On page 123, I found the following:

    “Despite the brilliance of the occasion, Alexander felt little triumph, it was more of a defeat. He had given them so much, yet, they were still displeased. It seemed to him that no matter how hard he sought to serve the people, however much good he tried to do, his subjects always appeared dissatisfied or ungrateful”.

    Certainly, a reason to chuck the throne and become an itinerant strannik. Wow! That was a full paragraph from p. 123. YOWZA!

    Vara
    “sometimes an idiotic thing ain’t so stupid after all”

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  4. Peter> Oh! You should have scanned and posted the map! ;-)

    Jeff> I may have put up a bit of a fight, and I may dangle this like Damocles' Sword over your head for years to come, but deep down I did enjoy it!

    Vara> How wonderful! Many thanks for sharing. I have heard this theory about Tsar Alexander, and I too am inclined to believe it–as you say, the reasons given in your quote would have been more than sufficient to incline that pious soul in that direction.

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