Five-point Calvinism: a contextualization?

The core of the Christian faith is un-systematized and narrative. It is, like the essence of the triune God, relational above all things. Thus something like the Four Spiritual Laws or five-point Calvinism or Anselm’s theory of penal substitution must be seen as attempts to systematize what is fundamentally relational. They are clothing we place upon the contours of the historical person of Jesus to order in our minds—and indeed our collective mind—his kerygma.

From HERE, pp 10, 11.

What do you think?

Comments

John Stringer said…
you are right; painful to admit that what I hold dear is not God's own truth...
Don said…
I think this is essentially correct.

The opposite mistake from systemisation in this way is institutionalisation. And when you get both...
shaw said…
don't agree. relational is only one worldview angle to view the gospel and scripture... others are through the worldview lens of justice, intellect, pain, power, and spiritual realities... I have a nice chart from OMF on this.. if you want, I can email it to you. it's very nice
FrGregACCA said…
Shaw: All of the other "worldview lenses" you mention presuppose relationhip.
shaw said…
FrGregACCA: there is relationship involved, but it is not the main thrust. for instance, take 2 biblical words for salvation: the difference between "reconciliation" and "redemption". "reconciliation" describes a relational truth while "redemption" really describes a spiritual reality.

or to describe Jesus: "the Light"/or "logos" and "Mediator". Both are biblical descriptions of Jesus but one (mediator) is highly relational while the other emphasizes a spiritual reality associated with the intellect.
FrGregACCA said…
Shaw: to address your examples: First, "redemption." This is an interpersonal, relational process. Therefore: "Who is being redeemed?" "Who is the redeemer?" Both questions, of course, lead immediately to "What is the relationship between redeemer and redeemed?"

Second, the matter of "spiritual realities" also throws us immediately into asking about relationships, relationships between God and God (Trinity); God and humanity (creation, covenant, Incarnation, etc.); humanity and humanity (interpersonal and intrapersonal); and humanity and the rest of creation (both sentient and otherwise).

Finally, intellect/light: "Who is the light?" Who is enlightened? What is the relationship between them?

Since God is inherently relational, and God has become human for the salvation of humanity, which is also inherently relational, being created in the image and likeness of God, this category is absolutely fundamental. The others are simply ways of looking at these basic relationships, and to ignore the relational aspect of any of them is to distort them.
Abu Daoud said…
Fr Gregg and I are on the same page. I am not speaking in this passage about the personal Jesus of American evangelicalism. I am making a statement about the ontology of the Trinity. I am with the Orthodox Cappadocians on this one, much more so than Augustine whose Trinity was more ontological than relational.
Abu Daoud said…
Fr Gregg and I are on the same page. I am not speaking in this passage about the personal Jesus of American evangelicalism. I am making a statement about the ontology of the Trinity. I am with the Orthodox Cappadocians on this one, much more so than Augustine whose Trinity was more ontological than relational.
FrGregACCA said…
To expand upon AD's comment: the American "me and Jesus" mentality takes one relationship and isolates it from the rest, thus also creating a distortion. Having a personal relationship with Jesus necessarily implies not only a relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but also with all other Christians vis-a-vis the Church, the Body of Christ. As St. Paul writes, all Christians are "members one of another" and this precisely because all are "members of Christ". But these relationship are not simply social; the Church is, indeed, an institution; therefore, these relationships, if they are fully authentic, are also institutional. Further, these relationships, social and institutional, also mediate my relationship with Jesus.

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