Monday, June 24, 2013

Crumbs That Fall From Their Master's Table

I suddenly had the idea today to link the discussion between Jesus and the Cananite woman in which Jesus says “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (Matthew 15:21-28) with A.L. Th. de Bruijne's article Not of this World, contemporary reformed public theology and 'the anabaptist option'. 

At the same time I linked this discussion between Jesus and the Cananite woman with the first chapter of Klaas Schilder's commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism in which he explains that questions and answers in the catechism are allways in the framework of faith. Questions in the catechism are not the questions of the world.

As in the discussion between Jesus and the Cananite woman, the focus in the Catechism isn't on questions the world might have. Any answer that might be helpful to people outside of the Church is  collateral. We could call these collateral blessings. Ad de Bruijne makes a similar point when he writes (Not Of This World, page 135) 'this relativizes the ambition (of the Church) to be intentionally relevant for society'.

Viewing Presbyterian history through this lense explains the thoughtleadership of Princeton leading up and during the American revolution as collateral blessings. Paul teaches in Romans 8:18-25 that creation serves redemption, nature serves glory, the universe serves eschatology—specifically, creation serves the "sons of God" and, as Bill Dennison writes:
'God's providential history is not a "play" in which humans are the spectators trying to rationally comprehend, understand, and put together the "clues" that God has left for us (127). Rather, from God's perspective, the play, if you wish, portrays facts that must be believed without reservation since today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).'
 It might be why Samuel Finley wrote a book on the madness of man.

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