Tuesday, February 23


The School for Sinners

"No longer is being divine; now the divinity is first being and cause of all there is. [...]

"Why is this important? Because it radically transforms the way in which God is to be thought. Philosophically, it becomes required that God is the first cause, and the ground of all being, and of every particular being in its being. God is the summum ens, highest being. The nineteenth-century return to antiquity overturned this metaphysical settlement in ways we are still living out today. It is this conception of God that Nietzche proclaimed he discovered to have found dead. Insofar as this conception of God lives on, he does so only in the minds of some Christian, or at best theistic, theologians. Perhaps this above all explains the shrill imperative tone, the virulent rage, that infects some contemporary theological discourse: you will believe in God! Moreover, it explains the extreme moralism of much -- especially supposedly entirely 'orthodox' or 'conservative' -- contemporary theology, Catholic as well as Protestant. It is only by 'right thinking' and 'right living' that you can have access to God at all (which is to miss entirely the point of the Church as a school for sinners.)"

--Rev. Dr. Laurence Paul Hemming, deacon of the Archdiocese of Westminster, Worship as Revelation: The Past, Present and Future of Catholic Liturgy, 2008

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