All posts tagged: davidfagerberg

Asceticism as Healing Art

Healing takes many different forms because it is a response to many different kinds of threats. A cut and a broken leg are each healed differently because the damage is different; nevertheless, the same end is sought in both cases. The root of the word “heal” in old English (haelan) means to cure, to save, to make whole, sound, and well. That must further explain why we can apply the word metaphorically to matters other than the physical body. We can say that both a heart attack and a broken heart must heal, although one is physical and the other spiritual. The sense that healing is required arises when we have the sensation that the whole is not sound, an integrity has been lost, a quality has been lessened by some damage. We are not wholesome. I am going to claim here that asceticism, as it is practiced in the Christian tradition, is a healing discipline. I am going to do so because asceticism also arises from the same sensation that something is not sound, …

The Desire for Salvation

Brothers and sisters: Work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation. It is God who, in his good will toward you, begets in you any measure of desire or achievement. In everything you do, act without grumbling or arguing; prove yourselves innocent and straightforward, children of God beyond reproach in the midst of a twisted and depraved generation— among whom you shine like stars in the sky while holding fast to the word of life. As I look to the Day of Christ, you give me cause to boast that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose. (Phil 2:12b–16) A hard passage to meditate on in the presence of historical theologians. Thus saith Pelagius: “work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation.” Rise up, tradition of grace and mercy, and dispute the idea that we must achieve our salvation, or be anxious over it. Rise up, Augustine, and smite your foe. Rise up, John Cavadini, and be Augustine’s caddy, handing him clubs. Salvation is supposed to be given with …