Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Becoming relevant to Him

Spengler is unhappy about those who see the value of religion in terms of finding "meaning" for their lives and in "I Want Life, Not the 'Meaning of Life'" makes an argument just as relevant for Christians as for Jews:
...I don’t want to hear anything more about the meaning of life. I don’t care about the meaning of life; I want life, not “meaning.” The religion I learned from Rosenzweig and Heschel does not understand the problem of what will outlast my life or survive me, for it tells me that I am not going to die — not forever in any case. ....

This life never will end, not even when God wears out the universe like an old coat and must replace it, as the Psalmist (Psalm 102:25-28) tells us:
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
28 The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.
Judaism does not come to terms with death, find meaning in life that transcends death, seek the meaning of life, attempt to do things that outlast one’s life, or any other such kind of tail-chasing existential idiocy. Judaism hates death. ....

.... God has planted eternal life among us — among the people of Israel — because we partake of the eternal life of Israel. It is we who must become relevant to the service that God requires of Israel and thereby gain eternal life. ....

But it is not each of us who are saved as individuals; it is the People of Israel who are saved, and we are saved by virtue of our citizenship in Israel. Christians believe the same thing, namely that they are saved because they are adopted into Israel through the miracle of Christ’s blood-sacrifice.

If we believe that there actually is a God who revealed himself to us, then we also must believe that the dialogue of that God with his faith community tells us what it is that God expects of us — and how we can become relevant to him. .... [more]
Spengler — I Want Life, Not the “Meaning of Life”

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