Friday, February 27, 2009

Holy Means Whole: Order over Chaos (Luke 1:1-4)

Recently I read the introduction of a book that I enjoyed tremendously back in the early 1990s. It is titled: The Roots of American Order and it is written by Russell Kirk. To paraphrase Kirk, he argues in the introduction that order is the first human need before things like justice, which would be a merely a part of order. I am convinced that being whole parallels the concept of order.

I want to summarize some implications from some of what I have said elsewhere. It is that holiness precedes righteousness, truth, love and good; because it is composed of all of these combined. It is what the whole is to each of the parts.

It is also important to point out that each of these concepts including holy is rather abstract as opposed to concrete. This is not a problem, but it is important to realize that each of these is likely learned from concrete objects that precede learning their meanings. I think every linguist would agree that the concrete things come first in childhood learning.

This is also true I think of kindness, mercy, grace, compassion and longsuffering (or being slow to anger). They are generalizations for many specific instances of forgiveness as demonstrated by God.

This brings me back to the point of agreeing with Russell Kirk that order is a primary need. In Luke’s introduction to his entire book (Luke 1:1-4), he uses two words that point toward he and others putting things in order. I want to argue that holiness and wholeness have done much the same for me and have resulted in at least one of the benefits that Luke points out. It is the benefit of certainty.

I want people to be aware that by bringing things together into order it contributes to the area of producing certainty over uncertainty and a better understanding of what role certainty plays in one’s life. It is not that all uncertainty suddenly disappears, but I think at the fundamental level it pretty much does.

So if for no other reason, I ask that you examine my arguments for holy meaning whole because of the benefit of certainty in some areas that before where chaotic and uncertain. If that alone were its only benefit, then I think it still might be worth examining. I find certainty to be far less taxing on my health than uncertainty was.

In Christ,

Pastor Jon