when in Rome…

…I was getting hooked on Chinotto and reading the Epilogue to Hans Urs Von Balthasar’s majestic systematic trilogy (I know — how pretentious!). Balthasar — one of the giants of Twentieth Century Roman Catholic theology — alternates fascinatingly between being cryptic and down-to-earth. For an example of the vaguely cryptic try this on:

Yahweh remains a God figure who points beyond himself to his own promise, to the God of Jesus Christ.

And compare it with the down-to-earthiness of his (scathing) comment on the prospects of the evangelistic/apologetic strategy of seeking to ‘meet people where they are’ in our hyper-connected Western societies:

[W]here is the famous “point of contact” with the anima technica vacua? I for one certainly do not know. Some tabble-rapping, a séance or two, some dabbling in Zen meditation, a smattering of liberation theology: enough.

My sense is that what Balthasar is after is a way of connecting the seeming obscurities of high theology with the everyday — but without selling out to a pragmatism that will try anything to connect. Which is something we’re all after. Right?

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