Abelard – The Look of Love

logs on fire

In the previous post we looked at the Satisfaction Theory of the atonement. As we saw, this was developed by Anselm who drew heavily from the honour based culture of the middle ages in which he lived. Now we turn to look at a theory which does not seem have its focus in any cultural setting at all, and as such has a timeless, culture -free quality to it.

When I first heard about this theory I reacted in a strongly negative way. In my youthful ignorance it seemed faintly ridiculous. I flatter myself by thinking I have grown up since my mid 40s! Either way I am less black and white in my thinking , and a lot happier as a result…

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Anselm – On being Satisfied

a knight looking satisfied

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)[1] – considered by some to be one of the greatest Christian thinkers – wrote a much loved book called ‘Cur Deus Homo’ – ‘Why Did God become Human?’ In this he has a dialogue with one of his students, who goes by the superb name of ‘Boso’. Boso wants to understand the doctrines of Christianity, and I therefore consider him my rightful ancestor. He is a clever chap, trained in philosophy – which is where, on both counts, the relational similarity between us breaks down.

Anyway, Anselm sets out to explain various Christian doctrines in as easy a way as possible.[2]

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Made for worship…

chameleons vox

First published this post in October 2011…. having re-read it I figured it deserved another shot.

Just had an interesting  moment!

Running “Spotify” on my phone, plugged into the Hi Fi, listening to “What does anything mean, basically” by The Chameleons  – and its been a number of years since I heard it. Nearly every song evokes a strong, significant emotional response in me – you know memories of college, old friends that I haven’t seen in years, feelings of studying physics in the uni library, drinking in the student bar, playing in bands, the optimism of youth etc etc.  Every song a winner, wave after wave of pleasure. Some of the musical arrangements are frankly beautiful; stunning almost – shimmering veils over pounding rhythms that wont let up. They should have been just MASSIVE. Bigger than the biggest thing ever.

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Irenaeus Explains the Atonement.

ball of tangled wool

This post carries on the introduction to the recapitulation theories that were framed by Irenaeus (130-202). Irenaeus was taught by Polycarp, who in turn heard sermons preached by a certain John the Evangelist. Imagine what that must have been like – to meet first generation apostle – someone who knew Jesus the man? So, we are right back almost at the source.

When I was at school I read Shakespeare and Chaucer; perhaps I should say I was ‘forced to read’ Shakespeare and Chaucer. To be honest, I did not understand much of school, and English Literature classes were some of the most boring of all! (ha ha, the irony!) I could read the words of these old books no problem, but put the words together and they didn’t mean much to me.

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