Posted by: Ascentury | Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Update on recent work.

Of late I’ve spent a great deal of my time for personal writing working on a longer essay which will hopefully be published in an LDS journal. This has understandably cut into the time I’ve spent on RB, but now that it is finished I’ll have more energy to work on the blog and the Neal A. Maxwell Confluence. (Incidentally, the Confluence now constitutes the bulk of my site traffic.) The two earlier posts Excerpt on faith and Excerpt on justification and sanctification are early versions of that work, which is an exploration of nihilism and nihility in light of the restored gospel.

On a related note, an article in First Things by the Eastern Orthodox theologian David B. Hart, Christ and Nothing, is a marvelous parallel investigation with my own. Hart’s argument is that, “our religion [Christianity] is one of very comfortable nihilism.” Compare Barth:

Who does not perhaps–nay, probably–nay, certainly–substitute for the righteousness of this unapproachable God some very refined, very excellent, very significant, righteousness of his own, to which is added, of course, some such phrase as with the help of God or trusting in God? Who does not substitute some plan or programme or method, some new thing, some new ‘interpretation of the truth’, some movemetn or task, which gives us less to create but more to do, less to ponder but more to undertake, tahn does the righteousness of God?
–Barth, Epistle to the Romans, 373.

I won’t spoil Hart’s argument for you by summarizing any further, but I am glad that I didn’t find it until after finishing my own work. What I’ve accomplished is not nearly the penetrating insight into the bankruptcy of Christendom that Hart has had, but I believe this is a nerve, deeply buried, that needs to be exposed in order to allow us to face the void at the center of our being, though hurt it must.

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