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Archive for March, 2010

Psalm 5

Posted by Remy on March 27, 2010

This is my own translation. I’m not a Hebrew scholar, so I rely on other translations and various online tools. My goal is a poetic translation. Comments appreciated.

Psalm 5

Hear my words, Yahweh, consider my groaning,
listen to the voice of my cry, my King, my God, I pray to you.

Yahweh, this morning you hear my voice,
this morning I lay it before you and watch,
for you are not a Mighty One who delights in wickedness,
neither will the wicked one dwell with you,
the boastful will not stand before your eyes;
you hate those who devise lawlessness,
you will destroy the one speaking lies,
the bloody, deceitful man you abhor, Yahweh.

But I in your abundant mercy enter your house,
I bow toward your temple of holiness in fear.

Yahweh, guide me in your righteousness because of my enemies,
straighten your way before my face,
or there is nothing in his mouth,
deep inside there is destruction,
their throat is an open tomb,
their tongue is smooth.
Condemn them, God, and they will fall by their own plot,
for their abundant transgressions cast them out that rebel from you,
and they will all rejoice, those who trust in you, forever they will sing.

Cover them and they that love your name will rejoice
for you bless the righteous one, Yahweh,
with favor, as with a shield, you encircle him.

Click here for my Psalm 1

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On Miracles

Posted by Remy on March 25, 2010

David Hume, the skeptical empiricist, argued that it would take a miracle to believe in miracles.

When the Lutheran philosopher Johann Georg Hamann read this he exclaimed, “There speaks the great voice of orthodoxy.”

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Which is a more accurate depiction of the true God?

Posted by Remy on March 22, 2010

O nobly-born, the Great Glorious Buddha-Heruka, … with three heads, six hands, and four feet firmly postured . . . the body emitting flames of radiance; the nine eyes widely opened, in terrifying gaze; the eyebrows quivering like lightening; the protruding teeth glistening and set over one another; giving vent to sonorous utterances of ‘a-la-la’ and ‘ha-ha’, and piercing whistling sounds; the hair of a reddish-yellow colour, standing on end, and emitting radiance . . . the first of the right hands holding a wheel, the middle one, a sword, the last one, a battle-axe . . . Fear that not

-from the Tibetan Book of the Dead

or

Lamb of God, I look to Thee;
Thou shalt my Example be;
Thou art gentle, meek, and mild;
Thou wast once a little child.

-Charles Wesley

The Answer :

I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid.’

-from the Apocalypse of St. John

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Gratitude : GK Chesterton

Posted by Remy on March 20, 2010

It is dangerous to open a book by GK Chesterton because the man spoke in quips. Tempted by many I post only one:

It is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coalscuttle or the bookcase, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship on to the solitary island.

-GK Chesterton, The Ethics of Elfland

I once went an entire year attributing every quote to GK Chesterton.

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Luther’s Wife and Beer

Posted by Remy on March 18, 2010

To my kind, dear lord, Lady Catherine von Bora, Mrs. Doctor Luther, at Wittenberg. Grace and peace in Christ! Dear Sir Katie!

Yesterday I drank something which did not agree with me, so that I had to sing: If I don’t drink well I have to suffer, and yet I do like to do it. I said to myself what good wine and beer I have at home, and also what a pretty lady or (should I say) lord. You would do well to ship the whole cellar full of my wine and a bottle of your beer to me here, as soon as you are able; otherwise I will not be able to return home because of the new beer.

-Martin Luther in a letter to his wife

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St. Patrick : Confessions

Posted by Remy on March 17, 2010

I am, then, first of all, countryfied, an exile, evidently unlearned, one who is not able to see into the future, but I know for certain, that before I was humbled I was like a stone lying in deep mire, and he that is mighty came and in his mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall. And from there I ought to shout out in gratitude to the Lord for his great favours in this world and for ever, that the mind of man cannot measure.

-St. Patrick

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Shark : a poem

Posted by Remy on March 16, 2010

Shark

Her body a corpse. Teeth a burnt forest.
Cold. Her eyes are like boiled eggs.
Lurking at every corner of the sea. Her house
is the way unto the deep. Watch your legs

if you swim aside into her way. If you
stray into her path, a bird into a snare,
you become her bread of secrecy.
Rage has built her house, has hewn out fear,

the wounded are pulled down into the black.
Relentless, she’s never closed an eye in rest.
Do not descend into her chamber of death,
for her lust is like a fire unto the chest.

She is cunning and hungry as a harlot.
She will clothe the simple man in scarlet.

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Turning Blessings to Cursings : Martin Luther

Posted by Remy on March 15, 2010

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the Sacramentarians, nor standeth in the way of the Zwinglians, nor sitteth in the seat of the Zurichers.”

-Martin Luther

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Why is there no Jewish Narnia?

Posted by Remy on March 10, 2010

A fascinating read from the Jewish Review of Books.

A taste:

To put it crudely, if Christianity is a fantasy religion, then Judaism is a science fiction religion. If the former is individualistic, magical, and salvationist, the latter is collective, technical, and this-worldly. Judaism’s divine drama is connected with a specific people in a specific place within a specific history. Its halakhic core is not, I think, convincingly represented in fantasy allegory. In its rabbinic elaboration, even the messianic idea is shorn of its mythic and apocalyptic potential. Whereas fantasy grows naturally out of Christian soil, Judaism’s more adamant separation from myth and magic render classic elements of the fantasy genre undeveloped or suspect in the Jewish imaginative tradition. Let us take two central examples: the magical world and the idea of evil.

Christianity has a much more vivid memory and even appreciation of the pagan worlds which preceded it than does Judaism. Neither Canaanite nor Egyptian civilizations exercise much fascination for the Jewish imagination, and certainly not as a place of enchantment or escape. In contrast, the Christian imagination found in Lewis and Tolkien often moves, like Beowulf or Sir Gawain, through an older pagan world in which spirits of place and mythical beings are still potent. Nor is this limited to fauns and elves. This anterior world can be dark and frighteningly alien, as Tolkien has Gandalf indicate in The Two Towers. “Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves,” the wizard says, “the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not.” Lewis sounds the same note in Perelandra when, far below the surface of the planet Venus, his protagonist catches an unsettling glimpse of alien creatures, and wonders if there might be “some way to renew the old Pagan practice of propitiating the local gods of unknown places in such fashion that it was no offence to God Himself but only a prudent and courteous apology for trespass.”

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DBH on Revolutionary Christianity

Posted by Remy on March 8, 2010

David B. Hart on Revolutionary Christianity and its alternatives from the centre for Public Christianity.

The Topics:

  • The violence of Christian history
  • The new atheists and an ugly God
  • Ethics and the good life
  • Nostalgia for a pagan past
  • Gnosticism and alternative gospels
  • Suffering and the problem of evil

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