Archive for July 11th, 2007

The Unity of the Faith

July 11, 2007


It is said proverbially in Orthodoxy that “one who prays is a theologian and a theologian is one who prays.” This intends fully to say that an unlettered peasant may be a greater theologian than someone who holds many degrees and can offer page after page of published articles. There is only one reason this is so: theology is about God as reality and not God as a concept. Subtlety was an ascription given of the serpent, not applied particularly to God. That which is difficult about God is in the human heart. We find God difficult to know or understand because our hearts are hard. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

When I look back over the last day or so and discussions where I know I do not belong (the nuances of the Papal role in the local Church as understood by Roman Catholic Theology) I do not wish to go there again and refrain from it in this posting. There are Orthodox theologians who are called to have these conversations – I am not one of them.

I have had my years of study and can speak knowledgably about a few things – but when I write (as I have a couple of times in my postings on this blog) that I am an “ignorant man,” I speak of something that I long to be in a certain sense. There are many things I want to know and to know well, but only if they serve the greater possibility of knowing God. Many times such knowledge does not well serve such an end.

I see that love gets strained very quickly in learned conversations – even between people whom I know and love. Our learning crushes our patience and lays heavily on our hearts. We need not renounce it, but carry it about us like a miner carrying nitroglycerin. Useful stuff – but it will blow you up.

The faith of Christ is not many things – but one thing – Christ Himself – which is why it has and can have a unity. Our subtlety melts away in the face of Him whose simplicity confounds the wise.

What I wish to urge on myself and on others around me is the simplicity of Christ which comes to us as simplicity of heart. To love God, to love our enemies, to forgive all by the resurrection – these very simple things anyone can do (by grace) and having done them, they will be saved. Glory to God for all things.