September 16, 2008

Life is Too Short

I want to express deep appreciation for the work Forrest has done these last couple of years. But for me life is too short; my time draws near. No more than the hilites, the mountains of scripture seem appropriate for consideration. (Of course my hilites may not be yours.) Feel free to suggest your hilites and put them in your comments.

Northrup Frye in his last years gave a good reference for this concept; he called them types. A type is a passage that will bring forth antitypes in subsequent scriptures. Moses was a type; Jesus an antitype (among many other things). Maybe we could bring up some antitypes for the Garden (the Fall). There are quite a few others in Genesis.

Frye was an ordained minister in Canada, but most famous as a teacher of literature. For several years before he died he worked on a masterpiece in two volumes (The Great Code and Words with Power). Many of us waited for it for years. He finally came forth and went on to the next life.


At 11:06 a.m., Blogger Paul said...

Larry, Periodically I've been checking your "Reflections of a Happy Old Man" blog and wondering how you are doing. It's good to see that your are still writing. I hope all is well with you.

At 3:50 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Couldn't we just say that people tend to repeat themes in their religions?

ie: Moses was a great leader in furthering God's intentions. So when a later Jew sees Jesus as a great leader in furthering God's plans, he tends to portray Jesus much as Moses was portrayed. We see similar phenomena at work in all those recurring story elements like: "Old/barren woman unexpectedly gives birth to great hero." It don't necessarily imply that God was trying to convey something by the parallelisms; it does say: "Hebrews liked parallelism in their stories (as in their poetry.)"

But Hebrew literature is not a "merely literary" study; the point is how powerfully it evokes ideas of God--some of which may well have to be tentative, to be approximations to be refined later--but which serve as beacons to guide us in that ultimate human study: the Spirit at the core of reality.

So if thee finds God better in the mountains of geology, go for it! Don't waste thy time in these studies. But there's another possibility: Your approach to these books has limited what you could find in them? (& might be expanded if you come back to them with more open expectations?) I don't know, because much of this stuff, much of the time, has left me cold too. What was the old Puritan notion?--To understand these books, you have to be in the same spirit as the people who wrote them. And that's the ultimate human endeavor!


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