procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, June 04, 2007

mmm. salt.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet." Matthew 5:13

Jesus here is telling Kingdom people, those living with him as their king, that they're to be the salt of the earth.

now, it has been put to me there are two options for Jesus' use of the word salt here:
  • as a flavour enhancer, and/or,
  • as a preservative.

    how do we do that?
    i'm thinking it's a great idea, but is there not a point at which you're no longer tasting the real food underneath? if i'm eating something (chips are probably the exception here), i want to be tasting what i'm eating. i want to know if whatever i'm tucking into is off. roadkill with lots of salt is still road kill. i'm not saying we're not to be in the world, we are, but we're not to be of the world. we're to show that we are different, that we don't value things which will rust and rot and the moth will eat. so does that pretty much rule out the flavour enhancer idea?

    and what of salt being a preservative?
    for what are we preserving this decaying world? we're told the heavens and earth will be renewed - isn't it like putting a fresh coat of paint on a wall you're about to bulldoze?

    comments? what have i missed?

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    Blogger psychodougie said...

    fyi, the picture is oil on canvas by Jacqueline Stork.

    4:08 pm  
    Blogger byron said...

    What about some restoration eschatology? Romans 8 - this creation is waiting and groaning for its liberation from its bondage to decay. Don't be so quick on the bulldozer...

    And even if there is to be sharp discontinuity as well as continuity (think Jesus' resurrection body here - same body, but died first), this doesn't mean it was useless for Jesus to eat because he knew he would die.

    7:49 pm  
    Anonymous eve said...

    how does tasting what you're eating relate to being in the world? i don't get it!

    i think there's a third option with what Jesus means but i can't remember what it is.. maybe it's about salt being valuable, not insipid. i'll look up my notes.

    12:21 pm  
    Blogger psychodougie said...

    thanks byron. that's really helpful.
    it's actually nice to see that insight into how Jesus interacts with creation in his resurrection state.

    ... although it does raise other questions of how one eats in a world without decay... (tho i imagine that is a picture more of the non-fruitlessness of the restored world)

    eve - i think we can sometimes live in this world, surrounding ourselves with nice, pretty, sweet things (like you), but that can mean we don't see the rest of the world, groaning, as byron points out, for freedom from decay.
    there is a point at which salt is a good thing, but there is the danger of overkill, blinding., hearing only that which our itching ears want to hear.

    4:01 pm  

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