Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The Doors of the Sea
I am reading the above titled book in conjunction with an upcoming emphasis on Job, an interest in the ongoing debate on the web about God using weather to punish bad people, and after spending a summer studying the resurgence of natural theology books.
The author is an orthodox theologian who throws 20 dollars words around like penny candy, but he is worth persevering through, and he also reminds me that I am not really intellectual or philosophically well read.
Listen to this beautiful paragraph, and be impressed, very impressed.
"The natural world overwhelms us with its splendor, its beauty, its immensities and fragilities, its incalculable diversity, its endless combinations of the colossal and the delicate, sweetness and glory, minute intricacies, and immeasurable grandeur. It is easy and one of the most spontaneous movements of the soul,to revere the God glimpsed in the iridescence of the flowered meadows, the emerald light of the deep forest, the soft immaculate blue of the distant mountains, the shining volubility of the sunlit sea, the pale cold glitter of the stars. This is a perfectly wise and even holy impulse.
But at the same time all the splendid loveliness of the natural world is attended by and preserved by death. All life feeds on life, and each creature yields its place in time to another, and at the heart of nature is the struggle to survive and increase at the expense of other creatures. It is as if the entire cosmos was somehow predatory, a single great organism nourishing itself upon the death of everything to which it gives birth, creating and devouring all things with a terrible and impassive Majesty."
This is powerful prose, and as the 5th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami approaches I want to get this man's theology of evil, and natural calamity in my head and heart. Thanks to Marc V. for having this on his syllabus in Seminary, I have been looking for this book for a while and did not know it existed.