Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy


Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

Another full plate, and loose ends on Monday's Jonal

After writing in the Jonal on March 6 that I was likely to be out of commission for an unforseen future while going through the third round of editing on my book project, not much happened; a quick round of revising one chapter, and then a lot of waiting for more orders. Yesterday "the other shoe fell" and now the rest of the project is back on my plate. It's a lot to swallow and what I said on March 6 now will come into play. I'll be back on hiatus from now through the next deadline, which is April 8. Judy Rose has been commissioned to resume the kind of duty she undertook in the writing phase of the book (roughly all of December and part of January), if she's up for it. If she's not, please continue to talk amongst yourselves until I get back.

In fact, I wasn't even going to do a Jonal for today, but then I a response from Bill George to Monday's entry and it was too good not to answer, and since I had to write that answer to him I may as well do it here and make this yet another farewell entry. Indented here are Bill's comments about Monday's, "What (why?) is a Christian?" and specifically why he found it hard to comprehend.

...I still have to confess most of the article is above me. Some of the words follow, and the next to the last paragraph (copied below) makes my brain sore! This may make sense to a theologian, but to us poor laymen of little Bible training it is confusing at best. No offense intended.

Anathematizing

"the substitutionary and penal theory of the Atonement" (My spell checker failed to find substitutionary, and I have the most up to date version of Microsoft Word).

Heterodoxy

The penal aspect of the substitutionary atonement has been debated from the early centuries of the church. Eastern Orthodox theologians have debated with Augustine (the seminal theologian of Roman Catholicism and Reformation Protestantism) since that saint's own lifetime (fourth century A.D.) down to the present, about how much emphasis should be put on the "penal" aspect. Augustine suggests it should be larger; Orthodox theologians say it should be smaller. But neither church has suggested the other church should be anathematized over the difference of opinion. "Penal," when made large, suggests that God the Father was angry with the Son and penalized or punished Him by making Him suffer and die on the cross. Orthodox theology says that the Father was never angry at the Son and that the penalty of the atonement, when referred to in the New Testament, is a legal formulation not worthy of inclusion in a creedal summary like the Apostles' or Nicene Creed (the ecumenical creeds) or determining orthodoxy or heterodoxy.


The final paragraph indented above is the summary of Monday's article.

Touché! Bill is right that I was writing over the heads of readers who aren't theology students, and for that my apologies to all. I was surprised to see these words through another's eyes and also to realize how easy it is for me to fall into those patterns or, to put it the other way around, how hard it is to avoid such falls. So, with no more ado:

Anathematizing = pronouncing anathemas, curses, especially (in church use), condemning; excommunicating. (The most famous example in church history is the mutual anathematizing of the Eastern (Orthodox) church by the Pope in Rome and vice versa, the anathematizing of the Western (Catholic) church by the top bishop in Constantinople in 1054. The mutual anathemas were rescinded in 1965, though the Eastern and Western churches are still not in communion [which means, literally, they do not take communion in each other's churches].)

Substitutionary = having to do with serving as a substitute, serving as a stand-in or a scapegoat.

Atonement = the act or course of actions that make whole again; restoration; overcoming the wages and the power of sin on behalf of those who, once broken, have thus been made whole again or made right with God.

Heterodoxy = the opposite of orthodoxy. Orthodoxy, literally, means right worship, right faith. Hence heterodoxy is worshipping anther god, wrong faith.

Penal = the root of penalty.

Let me know if this helps. Hope to see you in about three weeks.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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Today's chuckle

Things to ponder—

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

— Sent by Trudy Myers


Lenten thought for today

O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth,
faint-heartedness, lust of power,and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience
and love to your servant.
Yes, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors
and not judge my brother;
For you are blessed to ages of ages. Amen. .

St. Ephrem the Syrian (306 - 373)


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