The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Category quotes

LeGuin on theology

From the introduction to Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness:

The artist deals with what cannot be said in words. The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words.  The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.

If you replace the concept of fiction with the concept of theology, LeGuin (an atheist) has unwittingly given a fairly eloquent definition of the task of theology. The introduction itself is a rather fascinating treatise on science fiction, and the novel is an excellent read.

Category: quotes Tags: sci-fi

Pelikan on the scriptures

I have just finished Jaroslav Pelikan's Whose Bible Is It?, which is "a short history of the scriptures." But there is a bit more than history found in its pages. First:

The very familiarity of the Bible after all these centuries can dull its sharp edges and obscure its central function, which is not only to comfort the afflicted but to afflict the comfortable, including the comfortable who are sitting in the pews of their synagogue or church as they listen to its words.

And again:

The language of the Bible is to be read and reread, to be pondered and scrutinized. To the eyes and heart of faith, after all, it is a love letter, one long love letter. . . . The great commentators of the sacred text have been set apart from the run-of-the-mill exegetes by their having leaned to exploit its very strangeness to probe beneath the surface.

White knuckle orthodoxy

I have quite enjoyed reading Origen so far. Here is quote concerning the church's adoption of the Jewish scriptures into its canon:

If therefore all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable, we ought to believe it is profitable even if we do not recognize the profit.