Comments: In the Beginning was the Word

As a followup to this ‘just thinking’ piece, you may like to listen to this morning's ‘In Our Time’ on BBC Radio 4 about the Nicene Creed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/inourtime_20071227.shtml

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 10:08am GMT

For me, a sad thing about the RCL is that we DON'T read John 1 every year at Christmas. We all know about the shepherds, the angels, the inn, but we, especially in the West, tend to forget that we are celebrating God becoming a human being.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 1:30pm GMT

Interesting and useful way of creating parallels between science and divine literature.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 2:06pm GMT

John's gospel with its Greek cross-references and its mystical tendencies has long been a fav ... thanks. Happy New Year

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 3:43pm GMT

An interesting note: John's Gospel uses the word "love" twice as many times as all the other Gospel writers put together!

John is the only Apostolic example of what happens in some possibly 60 years (at least two generations) after a personal experience of Jesus's life, death. and resurrection -- in addition to being Jesus's special "beloved disciple". All the other Evangelists were Johnny-com-latelys compared to John.

As tends to be true for other long-lived saints, the mystical dimension becomes more and more important the longer one lives....and the center of that dimension is love, not just dogma or factual history!

Posted by John-Julian, OJN at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 4:05pm GMT

Simon -

Amidst all the carrying on in the Anglican Communion, I just want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours. You have created a great place here at TA and I thank you.

TA has been a beacon for lots. Thanks for all you do.

Posted by andrewdb at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 4:19pm GMT

"An interesting note: John's Gospel uses the word "love" twice as many times as all the other Gospel writers put together!"

I hope you all realize Greek distinguishes between Agape, Eros, Porneia and Filia. Sometimes I seriously wonder if the deficiency of English in this regard is the root of most liberal misconceptions.

Posted by JND at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 5:18pm GMT

"TA has been a beacon for lots. Thanks for all you do."

I want to echo that. Every time someone asks about what's going on in TEC and the Anglican Communion, this is where I send them.

It is especially helpful to have full texts or links to full texts of documents, since the secular press, constrained by space and time, almost always presents excerpts.

Having the documents from the Virginia lawsuits has meant that I can direct lawyer friends to this site and then ask them to let me know their professional take on things.

And although we can be sharp with each other, on the whole, the quality of comment is excellent, especially in comparison to some of the venom and crudity I've seen in other places.

Happy New Year!

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 6:51pm GMT

I remember integrating the big-bang theory with God with my daughter. I said that God said "Let there be light". My daughter told me I was wrong, God said "Bang!"

She was right, of course.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 6:55pm GMT

"Sometimes I seriously wonder if the deficiency of English in this regard is the root of most liberal misconceptions."

No. My native language isn't English and I labour under the same "misconceptions".

Any chance we could agree that they are a "different way of interpreting" rather than "misconceptions"?

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 6:56pm GMT

dear JND;

please spout your ignorance elsewhere if you want to take cheap shots. To the best of my knowledge 'porneia' is not conventionally translated as 'love'. I think whatever tatty little document you have in front of you is selling you a line. Try 'fratria' and be grateful I got to you before Goran!

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 7:37pm GMT

I too would like to thank Simon, Simon and Peter for TA. You have created an outstanding and very precious source of information and a safe place for exploration and conversation.

To the three of you and all you thoughtful and often witty contributors - Thank you all very much!

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 8:58pm GMT

“I hope you all realize Greek distinguishes between Agape, Eros, Porneia and Filia. Sometimes I seriously wonder if the deficiency of English in this regard is the root of most liberal misconceptions.”

2nd Commandment porneía of course has got nothing to do with love in any sense; prostitution, whether Cultic or not, always is oppression and coercion, but n o, Greek does not distinguish between Agape, Eros and Filia. Instead they are virtually indistinguishable and inter-changeable the way the early anti Moderns into “Dynamic Equivalence” imagined OT Greek (and Latin and Vernacular) words to be.

Pace a certain 1950ies Bishop at Lund Eros is not fleshlier than Agape or Filia. So this is not a “librul” misconception, but an anti Modern one.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 27 December 2007 at 9:52pm GMT

"Sometimes I seriously wonder if the deficiency of English in this regard is the root of most liberal misconceptions."

Most times, I believe that most conservative misconceptions are based on their not understanding what 'metanoia' means. That and what 'sin' means. And just because Greek has four different words for 'love' is no excuse for conservatives not practising love with any of those meanings..

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 28 December 2007 at 1:06pm GMT

Simon: Many thanks for your meditation and may the blessings of the Incarnation be upon you this season and in the new year. I will be quoting you in my Christmas 1 sermon. (And I'm saddened and sorry that comment on your lovely piece has devolved into bickering and shown once again how broken we are.)

Posted by Eric Funston at Saturday, 29 December 2007 at 2:58pm GMT
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