This morning I finished Peter Leithart’s illuminating work Deep Comedy. I say “illuminating” because never before have I seen Solomon, Derrida, Homer, Shakespeare, & Jesus compared & contrasted in such a way as Liethart does in this book! A wonderful amalgamation of philosophy, poetry, literature, & theology, Deep Comedy explains just why all of these categories ultimate play off one another.
One of the myriad reasons it’s important to believe in a Trinitarian Creator is the fact that the pattern of the universe begins to take form rather than fall apart on the grounds of subjectivity (i.e. – Evolution, Platonism, Gnosticism). Moreover, when a Trinitarian Creator gives his laws we can trust that these laws do not run against the way He has made the universe to operate but with the grain of the Universe. It is this sentiment that James K.A. Smith captures so well in his book Desiring the Kingdom. In the fifth chapter of the book Smith works his way through the liturgical practices of the church to show the many different ways in which they form a peculiar people.
Yesterday afternoon my wife and I were picking some tomatoes in our back yard. Earlier in the summer, to our great surprise, around five different tomato plants started growing in our back yard! We have adopted them as our own and are now enjoying the fruit of someone’s labor (Although it must be said that Caroline has done quite a bit of work to nurture these plants!)!
Ecclesiastes is often understood to be one of the more dour books in the Bible. The preacher (Solomon) seems to be saying that everything in life is pointless and therefore we should approach things in an “ignorance is bliss” sort of way. Otherwise we will just be depressed all the time.
As I slowly work through James K.A. Smith’s work Desiring the Kingdom I notice him coming back to a familiar theme: Literature, poetry, art, etc. can do a better job getting at the heart of certain truths than theology, philosophy, science, etc. Smith doesn’t write this in order to disregard the didactic transfer of knowledge. To the contrary that’s what his entire book is (as he readily admits). Rather, Smith points out the fact that a theological treatise on courage doesn’t go nearly as far getting at what courage actually is than say J.R.R. Tolkien does when he writes about Gandalf standing down a balrog in Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring.