It has been a hectic few weeks, but I’m back. At least, I think I’m back. Time will tell.
I think that for Christians, the way that we will rise to meet the challenge of Postmodernism is by throwing off the dead abstract propositionalism of Plato, which the church has flirted with since her inception. It is not enough to simply state true things; Jesus didn’t give lectures, he told stories. And our stories are better than anyone else’s because they’re both true and beautiful.
What I’m talking about is enfleshed, narratival Christianity, the sort that Lewis and Wilson and Rigney are always going on about (for a better explanation of this, read Nate Wilson’s book Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl). This Christianity embraces everything that God has made, and sees God better because of it.
I think this is what Psalm 136 is getting at. To describe the steadfast love of God, the Psalmist uses pictures, mostly. Here’s an excerpt from a sermon I delivered last fall on Psalm 136:
So what does God’s steadfast love look like? The Psalmist paints us a picture, if we just walk down through these twenty-six verses. It looks like God in himself, before all worlds, existing in infinite happiness as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, high and lifted up in every way. It looks like 200 billion stars in our galaxy. It looks like the Amazon Rainforest, the Swiss Alps, the Mojave Desert. It looks like a sunrise painting the sky red and gold on a cold, clear morning in Minnesota. It looks like a full moon wreathed in wispy clouds. It looks like a few thousand pounds of Egyptian armor rusting away at the bottom of the Red Sea, and 2 1/2 million pairs of Israelite footprints coming out on the other side. It looks like manna in the morning- every morning- for forty years, without fail. It looks like the armies of the Amorites crashing against the children of Israel like water against a rock. It looks like a field of battle littered with fallen soldiers from Bashan, with not a single dead Israelite warrior to be found. It looks like crossing the Jordan on dry land, like grapes the size of your head, like a land flowing with milk and honey, like peace and rest and safety and security and deliverance and provision-that’s what the steadfast love of the Lord looks like, according to the Psalmist. Twenty-six grand exhibits of God’s covenant-keeping love toward his people.
There will no doubt be more on this later.