Thursday, March 25, 2010

What is critical to the Gospel?

Written on the milk-run from Victoria to The Big Island of Hawaii. I think it is likely that I lost the first two pages or someone borrowed them for a shopping list. I believe the stimulus was the idea of developing a ס Samek program. ס is the 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It occurs after k-l-m-n- but is not 'o'. It makes an s sound.

The answer to the question "What is critical to the Gospel?" is indefinable in words but pressing for definition. It can't be ignored. Is this just a human compulsion? (cf David Attenborough's Life on Earth where he characterizes humanity as the compulsive communicator.)

No, it is more than that. It is more too than just getting started (alpha) or getting finished (omega) or having some complete "confession" of which there are myriad. Start, finish, and complete are important - but strangely "incomplete". What? - is this contradictory? No, you are the piece that makes the start and end matter and the whole complete.

So this ס program - it would be presumptuous to name it תָּם tam after the Hebrew for complete - is named for חֶסֶד chesed. Samek - סָמַךְ meaning support, is the middle letter of חֶסֶד. The letter ס is a rare letter in a key word. An untranslatable word, חֶסֶד encompasses love, kindness, mercy, lovingkindness, discipline, rebuke, covenant, shelter and security. Creation needs it.

I am coming to the conclusion that trying to write simply about my personal theology is going to require something more than simple memory or transcriptions of former thoughts.

Don't miss this one from Richard Beck or this from Targuman.