Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality by H. Paul Santmire

By H. Paul Santmire

Earlier than Nature caps a collection of topics first delivered to the fore in Santmire’s earlier paintings, so much particularly the vintage The Travail of Nature. right here Santmire keeps the pursuit of a theology sure up with nature and its , specially the fragility and fervent expectation of nature’s redemption. Santmire invitations readers on a theological and non secular trip to a prayerful and contemplative wisdom of the Triune God, within which practitioners are inducted right into a bountiful dating with the cosmic and common ministry of Christ and the Spirit uniting all of nature in one imaginative and prescient of desire and anticipation.

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Blessedly Scything with God | 13 And there is still more. In, with, and under those waters and those sacramental actions, announced by the word of God, I believe that the “God of grace and God of Glory” that one of my favorite hymns announces is bonding eternally with the person being baptized. At such moments, I do not worry about such more or less abstract theological questions as whether all have to be baptized in order to be saved (the gracious answer to that question, to which I wholeheartedly subscribe, is no).

When the swing is right, however, and the blade is sharp, the cutting feels effortless. In my experience, the scyther is then attuned to the rhythm of the field. Such moments always leave me contented. But there are other benefits of scything, too. Scything keeps our backfield from turning into part of the forest, as it would quickly do without that kind of yearly attention. I do not mean to demean the forest by any means. The trees on those slopes north of our field have their own awesome standing, without a doubt, especially the colossal, hundred-year-old white pines.

Freud thought that religion has its roots in this feeling. Be that as it may, I have loved water for as long as I can remember. I was a good swimmer as a child, and later swam competitively in high school and college. In my youngest years, I eagerly spent countless hours during summers, floating and paddling and submerging myself in the shoreline waters at nearby Lake Erie or at inland ponds and streams, where my parents often took me and my siblings. I found a kind of peace and solitude and sense of ultimate well-being in such experiences.

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