Thursday, October 20, 2011

Theology: class 4

“Maker of Heaven and Earth…”

Prayers for the World
1. For Joy in God’s Creation
O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP, 814

Creation: “Before” . . .? Luther and his switches.
Thinking of the beginning as qualitative rather than temporal.
Importance of the beginning in terms of the Anselmian distinction.
Creation = a unique act of God’s freedom.

Biblical Creation
Genesis, composed around 500BC, contrast with Isaiah, 8th century BC.
Two Creation Stories:
Genesis 1:1-2:4 = newer, more sophisticated, Priestly source
Genesis 2:4ff = J source, older, close to the Enuma Elish.
Political and theological: “The interest [in writing the creation story] was not in causal explanations but in a search for meaning, a framework in terms of which life could be lived.” David Brown, Invitation to Theology, 1989.
Other Ancient Near-Eastern creation stories. What is creation and ancient near East cosmologies? What is creation in the Genesis account?


Two analogies when thinking through Creation:

Making:
Stresses transcendence, God’s distinction from the creation and also His freedom.
Biblically based.

Emanation:
Rays from the sun. Important in Orthodox theology.
Stresses immanence.
Allows that Creation is not arbitrary.

Creatio ex nihilo or creatio ex chao? And why does it matter? A thought experiment.

Books for beginner theologians:
The Holy Bible
The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, especially the Eucharistic prayers and the Catechism.
Hunting the Divine Fox: Robert Farrar Capon
The Peaceable Kingdom: Stanley Hauerwas
Praying Shapes Believing: Leonel Mitchell
Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry: World Council of Churches, free online.

1 comment:

docudramaqueen said...

Since I'm in your class I started reading Hauerwas's book The Peaceable Kingdom. My brain hurts. This poem is a response to all the thinking this book is causing me to do: http://constantpoet.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/on-studying-hauerwass-the-peaceable-kingdom/