Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Son, grace, and contemplative prayer

    What empowers us to embrace a contemplative faith which listens, which beholds, is fundamentally grace; grace as our election, calling and justification by God the Father, and the resultant faculty and liberty to gaze openly into his truth made manifest.

    But the manifest truth of the Father is the Son.  In the Son, the Father contemplates us from before all time, and is well pleased.  It is in the Son that the Father can predestine and choose us to be his children, fellow children with the one, eternal Child, who, from the beginning of the world, intervenes as sponsor for his alienated creatures.  It is in him that the Father justifies us, viewing and valuing us in the context of his Son’s righteousness which pays all our debts; he ascribes the Son’s righteousness to us; he gives it to us as our very own.  Finally, it is in the Son that the Father glorifies us, by permitting us to participate in the Son’s resurrection and finally, by grace, setting us at his right hand, the Son’s rightful place.
                                                       - Hans Urs von Balthasar, Prayer, p. 51

Friday, 5 January 2018

Christian Education - As Sheep Among Wolves

      In recent book on Abraham Kuyper, Craig Bartholomew comments on Kuyper's view of the Christian parent's duty to ensure their children have a Christian education, from his 1899 address, As Sheep Among Wolves:  
      “He invokes the example of Jesus and his disciples.  In order to form his disciples, Jesus did not send them to the academy of the Pharisees and Sadducees!  Yes, they needed to be sent out into the world, but only once they were properly formed and ready.  It is the same with children and education.  Children are called to fight the good fight of the faith, and one cannot do that if one remains isolated from the culture.  But it is essential that one be properly prepared first.” 
“And so Kuyper argues, ‘So this is the secret of Christian education.  Keep your children in the company of Jesus and educate them under the shadow of his wings until they are ready.  And when they are ready, send them out into the world, among the wolves, but as sheep—as young people whose shield is the Lord.”
                    - Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction, 296