An Admirable Life-21-Generosity in the Flesh [Footnoted Material]


  The foundation of religion is the personal presence of God. The personal presence of God mandates human worship of God as the primary focus/commandment/presuppositional statement of religion, insofar as Man is concerned. God exists independent of Human worship but the personal, independent existence of God insists on Human worship.


   If religion is the foundation for morality/ethics (What is the point to ethics without a personal God? Can we have a responsibility to each other without a final goal?) the man who wishes to live an admirable life (and those who would know he is living so) needs to ferret out the preferences of this personal God, so to live by them. 


   In Christian Holy Scripture (including, but not limited to the Hebrew Bible) it is the constant preference of God to be generous to Man and for Man to be generous to his peers in the flesh. Supposed generosity is unquestionably despised by God. One man may not say to another man in need, "Go on. Be warmed and fed." Such a wish makes the first man a double impenitent: he recognizes the other's need and sends the other away so he does not see his need. 


   The God of the Greek philosophers did not create anything, was not involved in anything, did not interact with anyone and did not finally judge anyone (settle accounts). The much-ballyhooed Logos principle of the Greek teachers stood on its head when St. John called Jesus "the Logos," then delivered a long theological treatise on the Logos as made flesh. The Christian Logos created, interacted, associated, directed and consummated. All His works in the flesh fulfilled the prophecies of the Greek philosophy, as well as the Hebrew Bible forth-tellings. Dallas Willard is right (naturally) when he says the (superseded) Greeks (Aristotle, Plotinus, et al) cannot finally tell us how to be a good person, though they have volumes of information on what an admirable life would look like. Perhaps it would be as well to say the Greeks failed to say what a good man would be because they did not actually know what God was.

   Man is in the flesh. According to the Scriptural record the flesh of Man is the will of God. What Man accomplishes in flesh matters most. The cosmos is that place, now, where pain and chaos seem to rule. Yet, the good news of the Logos-in -flesh includes this truth: the painful, chaotic cosmos is currently ruled by the principle of reason, embodied, enacted and so ennobled by the fleshly person of the Christ.

   The Greek thinkers are noble in their quest for objectivity and timeless vision. The founding Islamists showed nobility in their thirst for a universal religion. The Greeks almost all decided there was a reason behind reality they could call God, as a catch-all for what they did not know. The Islamists finally decided God was reason itself. The Christian reality was/is the presence of God in the flesh, reason in a man, for all Man.


Opinions expressed here are mine alone.





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