Sunday, July 15, 2018

Clarke: the empty shelf in theology

Sunday, July 15, 2018
    Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862
    Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274
    “Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, I struck them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the LORD.
    —Amos 4:9 (NIV)
    In addition to the general situations in which men find themselves today, there are those things in personal life which have always tested faith: the inexplicable tragedies and injustices; the suffering of innocent people, especially of children; the seeming uselessness of prayer, and so forth.
    It is surely life itself that makes against belief in most cases. It is the contradiction in real life between any image of God as good, whether God is “above,” “beneath,” or “within,” that makes men atheists. Yet how few books and how few sermons touch on this basic problem! Our theological libraries are crammed with books devoted to every aspect of textual and higher criticism of the Bible; but of genuine theological thinking about the things which drive religion from men’s hearts, there is appallingly little to be found. The archaeology of Christian origins seems largely to have replaced genuine theology.
    ... O. Fielding Clarke, For Christ’s Sake, New York: Moorehouse-Barlow, 1963, p. 72 (see the book)
    See also Amos 4:6-11; Job 38:4-7; 40:6-14; Matt. 6:25-30; Rom. 8:31; Heb. 12:5-11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your Gospel is plain—cure our blindness!
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