Monday, September 10, 2012

To See The World

As Alison was reminded of earlier this year, we live in a beautiful world that has been marred by evil. Even the wide open vistas of regional Australia carry the stain of sin. What we see today is, in the words of David Bentley Hart, the 'long melancholy aftermath of a primordial catastrophe: that this is a broken and wounded world." Yet the hope of the Christian gospel helps us to see the world rightly. That although this world 'languishes in bondage to the "powers" and "principalities" of this age' (Hart), it will be made new; that the trajectory of this world lies in the body of the resurrected Jesus Christ. That this world is not merely "nature", but God's creation, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

'To see the world as it should be see, and so to see the true glory of God reflected in it, requires the cultivation of charity, of an eye rendered limpid by love...But what the Christian should see, then, is not simply one reality: neither the elaborate, benign, elegantly calibrated machine of the deists, smoothly and efficiently accomplishing whatever good a beneficent God and the intractable potentialities of finitude can produce between them ; not a sacred or divine commerce between life and death; nor certainly “nature” in the modern, mechanistic acceptation of that word. Rather, the Christians should see two realities at once, one world (as it were) within another: one the world as we all know it, in all its beauty and terror, grandeur and dreariness, delight and anguish; and the other the world in its first and ultimate truth, not simply “nature” but “creation,” an endless sea of glory, radiant with the beauty of God in every part, innocent of all violence. To see in this way is to rejoice and mourn at once, to regard the world s as a mirror of infinite beauty, but as glimpsed through the veil of death; it is to see creation in chains, but beautiful as in the beginning of days.' - David Bentley Hart, The Doors of the Sea, pp. 60-61.

1 comment:

Jonathan H said...

That's one of my favourite bits from Door of the Sea. Thanks for the chance to reread!