The Chair and the Desk, 9/17/15

The chair:

26 “And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

-Jesus, to the Sadducees, “who say that there is no resurrection,” Mark 12:26-27

The desk:

Death at the grave mocks the survivors: ‘Now you speak!’ And to this one must answer: ‘Love is the victor!’ This statement is a postulate. And this postulate is the postulate of faith. 

-Ernst Fuchs, “The New Testament and the Hermeneutical Problem,” in The New Hermeneutic, eds. Robinson and Cobb, 1964, p.140.

My first class presentation will be on Ernst Fuchs, and there are aspects of his thought that I agree with and aspects I don’t. However, most of what I find most true and beautiful in Fuchs emerges in this graveside scene. Death challenges us; it challenges us not to love. “I win,” death declares. “‘Survival of the fittest.’ There’s no time for you to love.” At the grave, it laughs at the living: “Do you still dare to live as if anything other than me has the final say in this world?” Fuchs calls us to retort, “Love is the victor!” This is what we believe: We believe that love has won in Christ, love is the way to live in the present despite all signs to the contrary, and love will win in the future that only God can control. If we believe that love is the victor–in other words, if we have faith–then we will release our grip on self-preservation and instead entrust ourselves to the God who is love.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

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