Christ is Language – Part 6

by | Jul 19, 2022

Christ is Language – Part 6
The New Testament corpus – if it is truly a unified revelation of God – is therefore not a random gaggle of humanistic religious sentiments that must be systematized by some Protestant philosophical scheme or “authenticated” by modern Liberal existentialism or canonized by any Roman Pope. If we are to fully confront a revelation from God, we must throw out these buffering schemes. We must let the historical documents and the historical setting for those documents speak for themselves – just as Jesus of Nazareth spoke for himself. We must let it be possible that God has not only spoken within each discrete gospel or letter, but that he has also spoken through the very arrangement of those literary instruments within a discernible, historical drama.
And we must allow, too, that the New Testament materials and the historical setting for those materials should not require a special charismatic or mystical experience to comprehend them. Though common sense is sometimes wrong, if the New Testament is a revelation from an omnipotent God, especially when it comes to communicating with his own creatures, we should expect that this revelation requires nothing more than the sense of a child – who intuitively understands that the wood is haunted, that the dog that has bitten him once will probably bite him again, and that the moon follows him wherever he goes.
We must also allow that just as Christ was incarnated into ordinary flesh and ordinary blood, so the Holy Spirit has been incarnated into ordinary flesh and blood. His body is a unitary, living organism – complete with its own logic, the logic of the cosmos – complete with its own authentication, the same authentication which authenticates our own reason – and, of course, any epistemology or language theory that we might make. The word of God incarnated as a literary organism is a sword coming from the mouth of God. It is quick and powerful and so sharp in its precision that we are bleeding before we know that we have been cut by it.
Just as the revelation to the world has been progressive and holistic, so is the revelation to the soul and the process of its salvation progressive and holistic. No one, for example, saw in that Arabian desert the process whereby the Spirit of revelation slowly dismantled the intransigent, rebellious mind-set of Saul – who would be called “Paul” – and replaced it, progressively, with the Christian Gospel. We must not think that it did not happen. If we think otherwise, we must deny the truths of human psychology and of our own consciousness and replace them with a mythical conversion theory that simply will not conform to the circumstantial evidence recorded in Acts.
The Gospel of Paul did not fall from the sky – like the goddess Diana of Ephesus. The Kingdom of God is within you, Jesus said. The everlasting Gospel works within, through the Holy Spirit, progressively and subversively casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, inexorably bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.