About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Reformation with Kathy

Reformation Sunday 
"We tell our Lord and God plainly, that if God will have the Church, God must maintain and defend it; for we can neither uphold nor protect it. If we could, indeed we should become the proudest asses under heaven." This is “Tischreden CCCLXII ” one of the Table Talks, Luther’s famous pronouncements at the dinner table. Luther was a down-to-earth and witty entertaining speaker and writer. At home, at his table, he was relaxed and immediate and captivating. Luther was indeed a child of medieval superstitious and prejudiced thinking, but by the grace of God he was given a chance to glimpse a spark of the divine light of freedom. He stuck with it stubbornly, and regardless of his idiosyncrasies and flaws, that made him great. At the table he was not alone; he had the company of interesting interlocutors and above it all he had Katie, his beloved wife who kept that table in place and well supplied for all his friends and guests. Without Katie, we would not have Tischreden and there would not have been any reformation as we know it. At Katie’s family table we may observe the birth of a new culture, theology and mentality.
     Join us this Sunday for worship and a unique and almost revolutionary celebration; liturgical dance based on a hymn by Martin Luther -- "A Mighty Fortress" after the famous Cantata 80 by Johan Sebastian Bach. The dance and the homily will center on the wife of reformer Martin Luther, Katherina von Bora, an unsung heroine of the Reformation.


Friday Message from Rutgers Church 2011-10-21

Do you have impression that people (our global civilisation) have been getting progressively less and less brutal over the past centuries and even more so in most recent decades? I think that we would need some serious convincing, and that is exactly what Steven Pinker wants to do in his new book “The Better Angels of Our Nature, Why Violence Has Declined” which is causing quite a stir in intellectual circles. This Harvard professor of experimental psychology needs no less than seven hundred pages to make this point thus indirectly acknowledging that his claim is not that self evident.
    I have read about half of the book and it seems to be well-written, well-researched and full of statistical data. Even when the atrocities of recent genocides and world wars are counted in, Pinker observes that the general level of human violence has been declining. He claims that this process has been propelled by the social and cultural development of our species.
    At this moment I don’t think I am ready for any detailed argument. Yet, I would like to make two meta-observations.
    First, I am concerned. Whenever we humans start to speak loudly about our cultural, civilizational or political progress in eradicating violence, soon afterwards something bad has happened. For instance, the era of self-confident progress at the end of XIX century was followed by World War I. Thus, whenever we speak about eliminating violence I fear that it is just our wishful thinking; we might be subconsciously trying to persuade ourselves about our changing, developing and maturing nature.
    My second observation is positive and connected with our Sunday lectionary reading. Steven’s book indirectly documents that violence has a contagious nature, violence breeds violence directly and indirectly. How could this observation be positive? Because it implies that violence can be discontinued! The circle of violence can be interrupted. Anything we do which removes any form of violence from circulation will have a great positive impact down the road. This Sunday the apostle Paul and Jesus of the Gospel of Matthew will encourage us and teach us exactly that - how to model God’s motherly loving nature in our macho world and society.


Coinage of blasphemy and coinage of hope

Coinage of hope.
This Sunday will be about money.
I hear it in my head:
     Click clank, swish,
     Click clank swish,
     Moneyyyy!, Get back!...
Now you know.
I grew up in the seventies
with Pink Floyd in my first cassette player.

This Sunday will be about money,
but differently, not about mammon,
not about those signifiers of value.
This Sunday will be about money
and its service to the ideology of power,
about its use for propaganda.

Just look at our own currency,
a directory of power-possessed males,
generals, politicians, wagers of wars.
And all of it is sanctioned, God forgive,
by “Trust in god”?!
This is a quandary not unlike the one faced
by biblical Jews and early Christians alike.

Can we live without this blasphemy?
Using plastic money? Is it any better?
Is there any way out of these snares?
I believe there is!
This Sunday we will hear
about a different coinage of God,
the ancient-new coinage of hope.

Jesus will teach us
how to deal with this manipulation,
with these imposing socio-cultural images.
They present themselves as the only truth,
and force us into binary options
of obedient soulless robots or exaggerated rebels.
This Sunday we will hear about another option,
God’s option,
about the divine coinage of hope.
Together we will return it into circulation.
        (Mark 12:13-17 and Genesis 1:27+28)