Sunday, September 03, 2006


This is from a comment posted by Dinsy on foolishness-of-childhood

Searching for skandalon I found - James Alison "Jesus was about" ... "not only a salvific revelation" ... "but also as an educational exercise for those as yet unable to understand the non-definitive nature of death."


"The stumbling block that it (the resurrection) will remove is the human impossibility of following and imitating another man in a path of self-donation that regards death as without substance."

I think that nearly 2000 years of teaching has managed to obscure this fact for us today so that we are in a worse position than the disciples on the night of the Last Supper. We know what happened (and what is going to happen over the next few days) but I don't think most of us really believe in it any more. We believe it, or we would have no basis for our faith, but we don't believe in it, to the extent that we live our lives as a demonstration of it. As the disciples did post resurrection. And yet, without that belief-put-into-action, our faith is stagnant and our witness to Jesus is ineffective.

As we were saying last week, we can't generate that level of faith for ourselves. It has to be a gift of God, and God tends to give us good gifts if we ask for them. If we don't know we need them we don't ask, even worse, if we don't know we need them we wouldn't know what to do with them if He gave them to us. This is terrible. Even if we do recognise this, do we really want to live lives of self-giving love that treats death as without substance? I think the disciples did it because they couldn't help themselves. In the same way that forgiveness calls forth forgiveness, the disciples saw Jesus' self-giving life and when they understood, could not help but immitate him. I think we just don't see it.

I think this must be tied in with us not knowing that we rarely ask God for forgiveness, just to accept us despite our sins. (Forgiveness thread below). And with the forgiveness causing repentance out of love and gratitude (Lost Sons thread below.)

Christianity becomes a comfortable add-on, that assures us of salvation and affects our lives a bit round the edges, because we haven't understood "the non-definitive nature of death."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Good blog herein.

This Koine word is an important one for me as I learn to love and live with folks from different backgrounds. The origin is intriguing as it paints a picture that is difficult to ignore.

Strong's # 4625 skandalon

a. properly, the movable stick or tricker ("trigger") of a trap, trap-stick; a trap, snare; any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall Romans 9:33
b. metaphorically, any person or thing by which one is ("entrapped") drawn into error or sin:
– of persons Matthew 13:41
– of things: Romans 14:13

from Thayer's Greek Lexicon

If our actions or words cause a brother to “stumble” we have played into Satan's hand and work for the Kingdom of Earth. “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” (1 Corinthians 8:13 NKJV) Although this word is Strong's #4624, the impact is identical.

Paul gives different additional direction to the Roman church in 14:22 - interesting?

In Christ,



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