Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 2/5/08

Whatever else the worst doctrine of depravity may have been, it was a product of spiritual conviction; it had nothing to do with remote physical origins. Men thought mankind wicked because they felt wicked themselves. If a man feels wicked, I cannot see why he should suddenly feel good because somebody tells him that his ancestors once had tails. Man's primary purity and innocence may have dropped off with his tail, for all anybody knows. The only thing we all know about that primary purity and innocence is that we have not got it.
-- G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered
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Let us walk in Jesus' ways, following the paths he has shown us; above all let us pursue the way of humility, since he himself became the way of humility for our sake. By his teaching he indicated it to us; by suffering for us he has blazed the trail. Only by abasing himself was he able to suffer. Could anyone have put God to death, if he had not abased himself? Christ was the Son of God, and as Son of God he was also God himself. It was of him, God's Son and Word, that John said: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning; all things were made through him, and without him nothing came into being. Who could slay the word of God through whom all things were made, and without whom nothing came into being? Only when he had brought himself down to their level could human beings have the power to put him to death.

But how did he bring himself down? John tells us: the Word was made flesh and lived among us. The Word of God could not be slain; and so for the immortal word to be able to die for us, he became man and lived among us. The Immortal put on mortality in order to die for us, and by his death to slay the death of us all. This is the Lord's doing; this is his gift to us.
-- Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 23A, 2-3.

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