We prefer to think that evil is something “bad people” do, and that these bad people are easily recognizable. We see a mug shot on the news and say “Oh, he looks like a child molester, like a mass shooter, like a serial killer, like a bad person. Or as often as not today we think of evil as that perpetrated only by our political opposites. We describe such people as “inhuman” or “deplorable”, descriptors that gives us the relief of distance. The guise evil wears is, of course, always that of someone else.
By saying this prayer, those of us who are Gentiles become like the Syrophoenician woman. We admit we are dogs, unworthy as Gentiles and those who chronically forget God’s promises to the Jews to sit at God’s table, and yet we go on to ask for God’s food all the same, trusting that our host is merciful.
Del Noce perceived that this combination of destructive skepticism and romantic optimism was unstable, and that skepticism and relativism were bound to defeat and consume the romantic and optimistic revolutionary side of Marxism. When the proletariat didn’t rise up in revolution but instead were able to buy toasters and refrigerators and automobiles that were not available in socialist countries, the doom of the Soviet Union was sealed.
When Nathan Jennings says that liturgy is an “organic analogue of reality,” he means that the connections between the divine life and human life are not arbitrary. He also means that liturgical theology is something more than history (how liturgy developed) or anthropology (how people happen to behave in the liturgy). When we are doing liturgical theology we are encountering the very nature of God.
It is doubtful whether any devoted student of Old Testament can fully explain, let alone justify, the justice and ways of God portrayed in the Book of Deuteronomy. However, it must also be said that Cook’s commentary clarifies many of issues at stake and does so with striking insight, grace, and wisdom.
Review: Modern Kinship: A Queer Guide to Christian Marriage, by David and Constantino Khalaf (Westminster John Knox Press. Pp. 232. $16) By Victor Lee Austin The Khalafs are a norm-busting, deeply traditi... Read More...