Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Understanding and hidden secrets

I took this picture yesterday (when it was sunny!) As you can see me photography skills are still quite limited and I managed to get the flower out of focus, but I still think it is quite interesting.

Newman's opinions on poetry are of course, highly controversial. They may lead to the idea that atheists are all bad people and that it is impossible to debate with unbelievers the purpose of belief. I can understand that these ideas may seem unpleasant but I think they all grow and reflect the huge contradictions that Newman had to live with. He was also an extremely capable academic. How could someone so academic still conclude that reason had no role for faith?

Gilley continues to explain Newman's fascination with the Church fathers and his ideas that would anticipate his conversion to Roman Catholicism, all of which are highly intriguing. The Early church had withheld teachings from the church because of the(somewhat dubious idea, I think) that they did not think the church was ready for the complete teachings. This was known as 'Disciplina Arcani' - discipline of the secret. This led to the idea that the church has the greatest authority. This comes from the idea that Jesus did not speak plainly, he did not give his wisdom to whoever, he spoke in parables so that those who were wise would understand.

This comes from Luke 8:9-10, one passage that has always puzzled me:

'9His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
" 'though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.'

This idea that certain people have been given authority and understanding over the church is something that I would completely disagree with.

Anyway, Gilley also gives the following quote from Newman about a holiday in Devon:

"the extreme deliciousness of the air and the fragrance of every thing ... really I think I should dissolve into essence of roses, or be attenuated into an echo, if I lived here"

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