Daily thoughts on aesthetics and theology, and the entire world in between.

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The future is always poetical

Two hundred years ago, if someone said something about spreading wings and soaring in the sky from coast to coast, we would say he was waxing poetic.

Today we'd just think the guy works for Northwest Airlines -- and gripe about the in-flight service.

When we were young, we waxed poetic about romance and marriage. Oh, to live happily ever after!

Today Valerie just reminds me to take out the garbage.

Here's my point: the future is always poetical. But we have such a nasty way of taking the events that do transpire for granted.

In our "scientific" culture, we have the added misfortune of not taking anything poetic too seriously.

For instance, when we read in the Bible: "Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path," we think:

What a poetic way of putting it! This is great literature! At least it's Amy Grant! ... Now check the Weather Channel ...

When we read: "A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall call his name Immanuel: God with us," we think:

Poetry! But this can't really be; it's scientifically impossible for a virgin to conceive ...

Then there is that passage in the Book of Revelation about the entire economic system of the world collapsing in one hour.

Surely this is poetry!

But during the financial crisis last October -- when many people lost thousands or even millions of dollars overnight -- I thought long and hard about that verse.


Psalm 119.105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Matthew 1.23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Revelation 18.19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.


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