Sunday, August 07, 2005

CQOD: 08/08/05 -- Tauler: receiving the Creator

Christian Quotation of the Day

August 8, 2005
Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221
    [John the Baptist:] He must increase, but I must decrease.
    -- John 3:30 (ASV)

    Verily, if thou desirest to have the Creator of all creatures, thou must renounce all creatures; for it cannot be otherwise, but only insomuch as thy soul is emptied and bared; the less of the creature, the more of God: this is but a fair bargain.
    ... Johannes Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), The Inner Way

Quiet time reflection:
    Teach me to love You as You love the church.

See Believer's Desktop Companion 2004

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Blogger Beth B said...

Interesting that this quote comes from the 14th century. It clearly represents the breakdown of the medieval synthesis, which taught that goods must be RIGHTLY ORDERED, rather than renounced.

I've always found it frustrating when Christians think that in order to know and love the Lord, they must reject what God has himself called "good."

This quote mocks the very idea of the Incarnation, which tells us that in Christ, God empted HIMSELF and entered into His creation. It also seems to deny the power of His sacraments, water and wine, to be means of His grace.

All in all, this quote has the sulferous smell of gnosticism to me.

August 9, 2005 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Robert McAnally Adams said...

Thanks for letting my readers read your remarks on Evidently you are not aware of the preacher Tauler, an early evangelical. He was writing and speaking from a Biblical perspective. The things being rejected are those things apart from God that could claim our allegiance. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) Would we express these ideas differently today? I certainly would have, avoiding “thy soul is emptied” because it sounds too much like transcendental meditation, for instance. But what is Tauler’s intent here? It is to generalize the command of Jesus not to love anything above God: “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37) Tauler recognizes that this kind of radical commitment is vital and natural to the believer.

As to “mocks the idea of the Incarnation” and “deny the power of the sacraments,” these inferences seem quite far-fetched to me. I am equally puzzled by the charge of “gnosticism.” Perhaps these critiques would be a good subject for discussion over a more substantial sample of Tauler’s writing, which I am unable to give for lack of space in the current medium.

I appreciate your having written.

August 10, 2005 at 1:51 AM  

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