Judgments That Are Not Sentences. Of Christendom.

  • Wearing a wedding dress to a battlefield—the summary of American Christendom.
  • A new world with the same sins following.
  • “New soil! Any need of that old Vine?”
  • Christendom: trying new hats, headless. The Church: never apart from Christ, not for a moment.
  • Being penetrated versus comprehending. Truth versus the lie. Revelation versus Gnosticism. Humility versus hubris. Victory versus vanity. Rest versus “rage, rage.”
  • All things for Christ or some things for Christendom. Absolute conflict.

Apothegms. Of Concision.

  • A concise sentence and a vapid sentence often have in common their size and form.
    • Many love short sentences but find concise ones distasteful.
      • For ease of reading, most prefer the short over the concise.
      • For the same reason, most dislike reading from someone who takes too many words to get at a thought. “Better not to say it if it takes too long to say.”
        • Most prefer sentences to repeat their own thoughts and not to say anything at all.
  • A short sentence might not be concise.
    • A long sentence might be concise.
    • A concise sentence pregnant with meaning has no certain size.
  • The advent of the meme is the downfall of concision.
    • Concision is not for the sake of the reader’s thinking quickly. Rather, it is for the sake of the reader’s thinking much and clearly.
    • If a meme demanded too much time, as a concise sentence might, it would not become too popular.

Three Turns of Thought. Of Bitterness. Of Oppression and Confession.

  1. Bitterness of soul arises from words, seeming too sharp for speech, that ferment in the mute dark. Would speech be the uncorking that releases thoughts to the open air and sweetens their effect? What if they are indeed poison—a cure for the speaker to pour yet new bitterness for the hearer to drink? Is there no one who can drink this cup to the dregs and still live?
  2. In “getting things off the chest,” one lays burdens on others. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches that one must not seek healing at the expense of another, for one already has healing at the expense of this man who endured all burdens beyond death. Has he been crucified in vain? Has he overcome death without effect? One must confess without oppressing—that is, confess to this Wonderful Counselor who can bear and has already borne all burdens.
  3. Bitterness of soul arises in the absence of confession. The Father unwounded hears and in the wounding of his Son heals.

Four Meditations on Milton.

Sin opens the gates of Hell and she with Satan and Death peer out:

Before thir eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark
Illimitable Ocean without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth, & highth,
And time and place are lost; where eldest Night
And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise
Of endless Warrs, and by confusion stand.
For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce
Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring
Thir embryon Atoms; they around the flag
Of each his faction, in thir several Clanns,
Light-arm’d or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift or slow,
Swarm populous, unnumber’d as the Sands
Of Barca or Cyrene‘s torrid soil,
Levied to side with warring Winds, and poise
Thir lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
Hee rules a moment; Chaos Umpire sits,
And by decision more imbroiles the fray
By which he Reigns: next him high Arbiter
Chance governs all. Into this wilde Abyss,
The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt
Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th’ Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more Worlds,
Into this wild Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look’d a while,
Pondering his Voyage: for no narrow frith
He had to cross.

—Milton, Paradise Lost 2.890-920

  • God, the Lord of kosmos, is necessarily the Lord of chaos. But then again, once order is established, can there be disorder at all? If there is disorder that threatens the order, then is the order anything but an illusion? It is, unless the Lord of order is also able to define order the way he would—beyond our theoretical powers—separate light from darkness.
  • What would Lucretius say about Milton’s cosmogeny? Of course, he would deny the Almighty Maker, but would he not see such a “maker” in the “high Arbiter Chance” ?
  • The doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, which Milton rejects here to some degree, is very difficult to penetrate. Is there a biblical support for it? Or is it merely a hasty reaction to Platonism the same way that limited atonement is to Arminianism? How much biblical language must be explained away in order to make sense of it all?
  • Creation as ordering. Milton might clarify what C. S. Lewis’s cosmogeny has in common with Mormonism.

An Aside. Of the Single.

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy [ἁπλοῦς], your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad [πονηρός], your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

—Jesus, Matthew 6:22-23, English Standard Version

The adjective ἁπλοῦς (single, simple, without folds, uncomplicated) is opposed not merely to διπλοῦς (double) but also, here, to πονηρός (evil, wicked, toilsome).

A Quote. Of Hell. Of Self.

For the one principle of hell is—“I am my own. I am my own king and my own subject. I am the centre from which go out my thoughts; I am the object and end of my thoughts; back upon me as the alpha and omega of life, my thoughts return.”

—George MacDonald, “Kingship”