Halden: “Death, Martyrdom and the End of Words”


One of my favorite sites for theological musing is “Inhabitatio Dei” by “Halden”.

Today he has a piece dealing with the way our “theology” (words about God) fall short of really attempting to comprehend the fundamental changes the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Triune God makes in our reality – if we were to take it as literally as possible:

“Many theologians who have drank from the patristic wells have seen how the Christian naming of Jesus as God, and the doctrine of the Trinity constitute a radical interruption in the history of metaphysics which is incredibly subversive.  To say that life is victorious over death is the to basically crush the larxnx of the entire world’s intellectual history under your boot in one fell swoop.  If Jesus’ resurrection, rather than our inevitable deaths are the true outcome of the world and all human stories, then everything is different.  It is a claim that literally destroys everything we’ve ever thought about the world and resurrects something entirely new in its place.  If life, rather than death is determinative of the being of the world then, quite literally everything is made new.

However, we’re often able to say such things in ways that are so boring and utterly suspect because of the way in which we ultimately fear what it might mean if our radically Christian view of the world might be true.  Do we dare live as if life rather than death will finally triumph?  And not just finally, but now, in my life and in my concrete comings and goings?  The simple fact of the matter is that the wider wisdom of the world constrains our lives in ways that are far to manifold to count.  We live as though self-protection is, at the end of the day, really how things must be done if we’re to really live.  Oh, sure we still play our linguistic role-playing games, and say stuff like ‘being is ek-static’ or ‘personhood is realized in communio’, but such statements are really just words that are thrown out by a bunch of people who live their lives pretty much on the basis of the ‘denial of death.’”

Read the rest here.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...