procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Doors of the Sea - Pt IIa

Just starting part two of David Bentley Hart's the Doors of the Sea, and it was interesting to think about the way our culture views nature.

paganism worshipped nature, believed that it was self-aware, tried placating it with sacrifices and other rites, there were rights of passage to show you were able to live in nature as an equal, not afraid, but watchfully aware.

in this scientistic age, however, we see nature as nothing but cause-and-effect. pressure builds up, tectonic plates move. earthquake, tsunami, 100,000 homo erecti die. there is no emotional involvement - it just is. how could we get upset?

and this is the bind of the world today, in a post-pagan epoch. how are we then to think of nature? benign, simply following the laws by which it was created and continues to exist - or a vengeful, dangerous, awful (in the true sense of the word) force to be greatly feared, never underestimated. we see the debate played out in Australia with the shark-nets, to protect the swimmers at popular beaches - do we fear nature, stay away, let these fearful creatures of the sea alone, or rather do we put up nets to catch them, send out hunting parties with space-age sonar and weaponry to take back our beaches?

can we have to find a middle path, a third way? what is the Christian way of understanding the untameable nature, and at once the omnipotent creator God?

hopefully either you, dear reader, or at the very least DBH will tell me the answer within the last 50 pages!

check out related posts here, and here

i don't think i've used this photo before. if you can guess the location, i'm sure either Byron will grant you a couple of points, or possibly even Dave will give you a warm fuzzy or two.



Blogger Honoria said...

What do you think about Job 38-41?

11:19 am  
Anonymous Dave Miers said...

yep - i'm happy to give a warm fuzzy for correct answers.

my guess - Malibu, California

11:25 am  
Blogger Honoria said...

From Mel's FB page:

"The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli."
- George in "The Marine Biologist"

11:28 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

good on you dave - but your guess was no good.

thanks for that quote Job expert honoria - it is a particularly vivid illustration - my grandfather was a notable letter-writer and complainer, my nan would often be in tears when he would be on his rampages in restaurants, making an excuse to duck back in after they'd left to go apologise to the traumatised staff!

i do think the end of Job presents the 3rd path - that the sea is not out of control, nor is it simply the end chain of cause-and-effect, but is sovereignly under God's control. we are then to not fear the sea, but to fear God - yes?

11:49 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

by that i mean to say, are we right to say the pagan response is closer to a right response, although as all idolatry, the awe is misdirected?

11:53 am  
Blogger Honoria said...

Your poor Nan!

Yeh... when we fear God there isn't anything else to fear.

Job might've become my favorite book ... how is that possible when I barely understand it?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

2:36 pm  
Blogger Wonders for Oyarsa said...

Oh, DBH will give you a third way all right. Just you wait.

10:40 am  

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