I am currently reading Andrew Dean Swafford's Nature and Grace: A New Approach to Thomistic Ressourcement. I may post a few notes as I read it. It is concerned with the "nature/grace" debate in Roman Catholic circles, especially in the last 70 years or so. In the background of my interest is an attempt to come to terms with current Protestant dalliance with the thought of Thomas Aquinas. More on that anon.
But in the meantime, here is a fascinating quote from Henri de Lubac, from a 1941 "Letter to my Superiors" (can be found in Theology in History, 432-34; quoted in Swafford, 36):
"It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man cannot organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can ultimately only organize it against man. Exclusive humanism is inhuman humanism."
I hope to put pen to paper, and bring John Calvin and de Lubac into conversation. Calvin could say that man is "homo adorans"--worshipping man. That is, man is inherently, unfailingly, by nature religious, a worshipping creature. Thus, for Calvin, man is going to worship. That is simply who he is. As Bob Dylan could say, "it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but your gonna serve somebody" (sung with one's best Dylan accent). Calvin and Dylan are certainly correct: We will all "serve"/worship. That is who we are as creatures. I look forward to understanding this fascinating debate of Roman Catholic thought (or in attempting to understand it).
Old Testament Survey Students:
Greetings. Attached you should find the Bible Reading Plan for class.
A Few Thoughts on Time, Using Time Well, Relaxing Well, and a Few Other Various Thoughts
1. Paul can teach that we should be “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil”. This can also be translated “redeem” the time. Time is fleeting, and you must be intentional about redeeming the time that has been given you
2. We should think about time as a gift from God which is the backdrop given to us, against which we can fulfill our callings.
3. Do everything in the fifteen minutes, for the hours never come (Albert Schweitzer).
4. In terms of getting things done, do not think you are above setting goals. Set some goals and go for it. You might ask: “How do I envision myself different in five or ten years from now?” Is there an author you want to be more familiar with? Is there a field of study you want to spend time reading in?
5. As you think about setting goals, consider setting some daily disciplines—even if these are not “big” or time consuming. For example, I try to work on all the languages I want to improve at. Most days I meet this goal.
6. Consider ways to disconnect from the internet and from social media. I just read about a 16 year old Australian gal—famous for some reason, with hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers. She has just gone off Twitter. My. This may mean simply breaks from the internet. Whatever the details of your regimen, I would strongly encourage you to do the following:
· Have some sort of regular time when you are not online (perhaps when you leave work, go off-line until the next day?).
· If you are married, do not develop the habit of always being online “together” for you leisure time. Talk together, read a book together, go for a walk together, etc.
Some of the things I have done:
· Get off Facebook.
· Have a work computer that is not hooked up to the internet.
· When on vacation I sometimes decide to go long stretches of internet activity whatsoever.
7. When you read, sometimes it is nice to have relaxing music on. Fine. But I am convinced the brain needs some extend time of quiet in order to process what one is thinking, and to grow intellectually. See A. G. Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life
8. Develop some hobbies that stretch you in certain ways. For example, I live a sedentary life, so I try . . .
· To exercise regularly
· To go for walks with my wife
· To work on projects around the house with the children
9. As you look ahead a few years, you might think: Is God calling me to something? We already know we are called to: Love God, love neighbor, pray without ceasing, do not get drunk on wine but be filled with the Spirit, love your spouse, raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, etc. If you do those, you have done well. I would also encourage you to dream some big dreams, and to pray to the Lord, asking what He would do with your life.
10. Whether you are a true-blue Sabbatarian or not, you would do well to have regular times of rest in your life.