tortured wonders

March 2, 2005

Tortured Wonders is the second book I’ve read by Rodney Clapp. I’m fairly certain he some amazing things to say, because the portions of the his books I actually connect with are great stuff. Here’s some thoughts from his latest, which a few thoughts from me in italics:

· Pg 39 – The first and original sin, then, was a sin first and foremost of the soul, not the body. It was sin prompted not by the physical quality of hunger (or sex) but by the spiritual qualities of greed and avarice. As St. Augustine put it, ‘It was not the corruptible flesh that made the soul sinful; it was the sinful soul that made the flesh corruptible.’ – Christianity has become skewed in talking about how evil our bodies are. We still have remnants of gnosticism in our orthodoxy, where we believe that flesh is primarily evil, and our only goal is to help the soul escape. The original sin itelf came from the soul, not the flesh.

· Pg 74 – For instance, noting chronically high rates of stress, we might ask if the community, the social body, is sick. And we might wonder how it could be changed so that members of the social body might adjust to a standard of health rather than illness. – I love this. A good doctor will understand that they shouldn’t treat the symptoms of an ill person, but they need to understand what is causing them. So, something displayed in one part of the body might actually be caused by something that is wrong elsewhere in the body. We should look at society, the social body, the same way. When so many people are dealing with physical, mental, and emotional illness, perhaps we need to see this as symptoms of illness in society, not just as people who aren’t quite functioning properly as individuals.

· Pg 251 – If trusting in and following Christ is participation in the healing of the cosmos (“physical” and “spiritual” of a divided world, and of the whole person (body as well as soul), there is every reason to proclaim it immediately and enthusiastically and to invite others to ultimate life and health sooner rather than later. – Our motivation to live as Christians and tell others about Jesus is far greater than simply eternal destiny. The most pure form of following Jesus and sharing him with others will come when we understand that following Him in the here and now means true and full life — life as it was intended — right now. The most appealing thing to a person who doesn’t know or follow Jesus is not a red and black printed track with the flames of hell on the front, but someone who is living in health and wholeness.

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