Outline of City of God, Books 1-10

Books 1-4 deconstruct the Roman civic theology narrative that the evils came upon Rome because the people abandoned the Roman gods for Christ. Augustine points out that by Roman standards, the Roman gods were depraved.  And in any case, these “gods” had a history of both failing to protect the commonwealth and in punishing its noblest citizens. 

The earthly city is motivated by a lust for domination (libido dominandi). This is rooted in man’s fallen nature (Markus xvi).

Book 5: refutes astrology.  Jacob and Esau were born under the same sign, yet radically different.

Foreknowledge and free will: the Christian chooses both foreknowledge and liberty (V.9).  There is a fixed order of causes in God, yet our wills themselves are in that chain of causes, and thus in a secondary sense human acts of will cause human actions. True, God causes our wills, but our wills, as causes within that chain, cause other effects.

Roman civil ceremonies and rituals are “civic theologies” (6.7-8).

Roman natural theology: that which is neither civic nor poetic theology (6.10). Augustine has already refuted the civic theology, as earlier Rome’s gods were neither moral nor able to save from attackers.  Augustine is now addressing the nature of the gods themselves.

He quotes Varro to the effect that God is to the world what the soul is to the body.  Yet Varro also states that both Jupiter and Janus are the main god, so why two worlds?

Book VII

One man contains a multiplicity, but that doesn’t mean there are plural men in him.

Book VIII

Knowing: “now when a material object is thus seen in the mind’s eye, it is no longer a material object but the likeness of such an object; and then faculty which perceives this likeness in the mind is neither a material body, nor the likeness of a physical object….this faculty is the human intellect, the rational constituent in the soul of man” (VIII.5).

If our mind is not a physical object, then how can God be a physical object?

Sections 18-24; gods of the nations are demons.

Hermes Trismegistus knew this, and probably knew the demons. 

He knew that Egyptian gods were false, yet he lamented their overthrow.

Book 9

1. Summary of the argument so far.

“Only truth and virtue can offer a centre of resistance against turbulent and degraded passions” (which Augustine previously identified with demons).

Nature of the soul (9.10).  

In this chapter Augustine wants to refute the notion that demons are intermediaries between God/gods and man.  His argument is something like this (9,13)

  1. The demons must have attributes common to both man and the gods, if the Platonists’ (i.e., Middle Platonism) argument holds.
  2. The demons only have one attribute in common with the gods (eternity) and three with men, so how can they be intermediaries?
  3. This is even worse for the so-called “good” demons.  If the demons were both good and eternal, then they couldn’t be intermediaries, since eternal felicity would bring them closer to the gods.

Book 10

This is the final book in the first half of the City of God. It includes Augustine’s sustained attack on the pagan magus Porphyry.

In one sense the Platonists were correct: the soul is the part of man that participates in the highest good. When rightly ordered, the soul uses the body with respect to God, and in doing so the soul itself becomes a sacrifice.

Note: later Christian thinkers would not accept this idea of the body as merely an instrument of the soul.

The Chaldeans, pace Porphyry, could not have been dealing with good gods. And even if they were, they could not reach them.  They needed theurgy–liturgical, magical rites. This was supposed to purify the soul, otherwise they were open to dark gods. This raises a problem, though. Why were not their good gods strong enough to deliver the people from fear (10.10)?

God used Israel to educate the human race, so to move from visible to invisible (10.14).

Christians exorcise demons. We do not propitiate them (10.22).

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Sergii Bulgakov: Towards a Russian Political Theology

Williams, Rowan.  Sergii Bulgakov: Towards a Russian Political Theology.

Rowan Williams has given us a masterful reading of Bulgakov’s political theology. There are introductions by Williams to each section, followed by some of Bulgakov’s most key works. Unlike many annotations and summaries, Williams does not water down Bulgakov’s ideas with artificial selections. The book roughly follows Bulgakov’s own theological timeline, beginning with his slow rejection of Marxism to the more polished Sophiological readings of economics.

In “The Economic Ideal” Bulgakov still accepts many Marxist categories as normative, but already doubt has formed. It is a basic summary of 18th and 19th century European economic thought and a quite valuable one at that. He is able to give a post-Marxist account of Marxism without the usual capitalist arguments.

In “Heroism and the Intellectual Struggle” Bulgakov follows Dostoevsky’s narrative ideas in *Crime and Punishment.* The Russian intellectual of this time is a (so he perceives himself) heroic individual persecuted by the Tsar and religious authorities. But he’s also a revolutionary in whom the seeds of atheism are already sown. As Bulgakov is writing this, Russia is facing a crisis: to whom will she turn in the post-Tsarist age: Father Zosima or Vladimir Lenin?

Over against the intellectual revolutionary is the “podvizhnik,” or ascetic. He is the one who conquers by suffering. Following the Lord Jesus and Dostoevsky in *The Brothers Karamazov,* he is the one who conquers and lays low the powers by taking his cross and dying to himself. This is prophetic for Russia as Bulgakov writes this, for both prophecies come true.

“The Unfading Light” is Bulgakov’s own theological autobiography. Here he introduces Sophia, or the beginnings of Godmanhood. The influence of Solovyov and Florensky is obvious, though Bulgakov will correct both. This essay is not quite as polished as S.B.’s later stuff own Sophia.

“Godmanhood” is the more polished essay on Sophia.Sophia is set as the glory-beauty of the Trinity. It is not a 4th hypostasis (SB later rejects that problematic language). It is the relation of God to the world and God to man. It allows for proper deification of man (the revolutionaries were not entirely wrong in seeking the uplifting of man) by providing the proper channels to him.

The final essays in the book point towards a Russian political theology by critiquing socialism. It is arguable that Bulgakov would have accepted the Christian Socialism of John Ruskin and John Milbank, but given that state socialists in Russia had just murdered 30 million people, it probably wouldn’t have been the best question to ask him!

We see the true, utter brilliance in Bulgakov here. He is known as a Sophiological thinker. And as a truly brilliant thinker, he ties Sophia into economics. Sophia determines politics. Sophia is an active agent in the world (the act of the Trinity loving the love).  Thus, Sophia is God manifesting himself in the world. If this is true, then the world must reflect God and its structures must be called to account and remade.

Conclusion:

This book is called a Russian Political Theology because it fashions a new way to think about politics while remaining firmly committed to the truth and revelation passed down to us. It rejects Enlightenment values and even conservative values that have been compromised. Opening itself to the work of the Spirit, Bulgakov’s project has immense implications for America today. As many are seeing Bush and Obama destroy America with socialism, and (rightly) rejecting socialism, some think the only proper alternative is anarcho-capitalism. Bulgakov gives a sustained critique of both and against both offers to us the Sobornost of the Body of Christ

The King’s Two Bodies (Kantorowicz)

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Ernst Kantorowicz analyzes the development in later medieval political thought by isolating one aspect of it:  the King’s Two Bodies.   By this phrase he means the conjunction of the king’s own natural body with that of the “body politic” (9).   It is not entirely clear exactly what “body politic” denotes, and Kantorowicz’s ambiguity is deliberate:  the phrase shifted in meaning throughout the Middle Ages.   It is Kantorowicz’s further claim that this shift in meaning had theological roots.

Kantorowicz argues, somewhat counter-intuitively, that “The King’s Two Bodies” is a monophysite construction—while purporting to be an analogy between the King and the divine, it actually takes the form of a heretical Christology (14-15; see also p.18).   The charge of monophysitism is somewhat difficult to follow, but Kantorowicz claims it resulted from the indifference (and inability) to properly distinguish the body of the mortal king from the body of his realm (p. 18).    As is evident, the medieval jurists were seeking to imitate their constructions of kingship from Christological truths.   That is nothing new, nor is there anything wrong with it.  The Eastern Romans already were doing that for hundreds of years.   The problem arose when other theological currents changed the way the Church in the West did Christology, and thus changed the way it did politics.

In the early middle ages Western Europe was similar to the Eastern Romans in terms of using Christology to shape kingship.  Both civilizations shared a common faith and used that common faith to understand politics.   They saw the King as imitator of Christ (47).  It should be noted, however, that the Eastern Romans did not use the phrase “King’s Two Bodies” as extensively (at all?) as the West did.  While the phrase wasn’t heretical, per se, it was always attended by many possible dangers.  In either case, both sides saw the King as the representative, not of God the Father, but of Christ.  This reflects the ancient reading of the Old Testament as a revelation of God the Son.   A moment’s meditation on this point will make it obvious:  political theologies are almost always based on the Old Testament simply because it deals with politics more than does the New Testament.  Therefore, one’s reading of the Old Testament will shape the way one does political theology.

The West’s grammar changed, though.   Previously, kingship was done in the context of liturgy.  The King represented Christ’s rule in a mystical way.  He was anointed with oil for the sake of the realm.   He was, in short, an ikon of popular piety.

The watershed mark demonstrating the transition best is the reign of Otto II, and the best way to illustrate this difference is in the ikonography surrounding Otto.  Otto is important for he represents the intersection between the Byzantine East and Frankish West, including the best and worst elements of both.   Kantorowicz contrasts two ikonographic paintings which portray rulers:  the Aachen miniature over against the Reichenau painting of Otto.   The former portrays the Charlemagnic king as the representative of God the Father whereas the Reichenau painting places Otto in the foreground of a Byzantine halo, suggesting he represents Christ (77).

The above is an important point and I suspect the larger part of it is lost upon Kantorowicz.  This ikonography reflects a shift in theology, which probably reflects a shift in the way sacred texts are read.  It was mentioned earlier that the Old Testament was now read, no longer as a revelation of God the Son, but of God the Father.   One could probably take it a step further—it was seen as a revelation of God-in-general.

The Corpus Mysticum

In many ways it is the concept of a “Mystical Body” that contributed to the secularization of Western political thought.   One must avoid, however, overly simplistic reductions regarding the phrase.  The phrase “Mystical Body” originally connoted the interplay between the Eucharist, the body born of the Virgin Mary, and the Church itself.   While the phrase is not Pauline, if left at this stage there is no problem.   As Kantorowicz, drawing upon the work of Henri Cardinal de Lubac, notes, the distinctions between the two bodies hardened into oppositions.   Therefore, the body of Christ per the Church was separated from the body of Christ the Son of God.  While small at first, this opened the door for a secularization of concepts.

The King as Corporation

One suspects that the idea of the “corporation” arrived in the West coterminous with the sharpening of the “King’s Two Bodies.”  Indeed, even if not chronologically accurate, it is logically consistent.  Jurists were puzzled over the problem of whether the king’s other body—his realm—died when he died.  The short answer to this problem was that the king’s other body did not die.  The people were in-corporated into this body and outlived the king.  The canon lawyers coined a phrase for this:  dignitas non moritur—the dignity does not die.

One cannot avoid noticing throughout this work, and if the argument holds then throughout Western history, a progression of concepts regarding political theology.    Like its Byzantine cousin, Western political theology began with liturgical roots (59).  After the Ottonian period, these liturgical roots were translated into secular terms (115).  Therefore, when the King is called a “corpus mysticum,” this cannot be interpreted in early liturgical Christian categories.  Rather, it can only reflect the ongoing secularization.   Because of the hardening of “the King’s two bodies,” jurists had to account for the fact that the second body, the realm, did not die[i], and they could only do this by introducing the idea of the corporation.  Therefore, one can trace the movement of Western political theology along the following line:

Liturgical Kingship à Law-based Kingship à Corporate Kingship à Corporation à The State

Conclusion

This book is a genealogy of political theology.  It traces the rhythm of Western politics through the lens of a highly disputed phrase.   Further, it traces the nuances later attributed to that phrase, and the earth-shattering consequences.  Our only regret is that this was the only book of its kind that Kantorowicz had written.

There are some difficulties with the book, though.   Kantorowicz does not always identify his main point in each chapter, or he might wait until some random moment in the middle of the chapter before he informs the reader of his argument.   Further, there are some portions of the book which do not seem relevant at all (e.g., his extended discussion on medieval English fiscal rights).   On top of all of this is the rather dense style in which he wrote, coupled with the numerous (usually un-translated) sentences and paragraphs in Latin.  One suspects that many of these phrases are indeed central to his main argument, but if one’s grasp of Latin is not on a post-graduate level, the argument will be lost on the reader.

 

Review: Saeculum

Markus, R. A. Saeculum.

Markus offers a reading of Augustine’s deconstruction of previous metanarratives. Markus gives a particularly lucid account of key terminology and moves Augustine made. And I think he is generally correct in his conclusions, though his reading has been challenged by recent Augustinian scholars.

Problem to be faced: Did the “fading night” of the Roman Empire necessarily mean a golden time for Christians? Augustine oscillated on this point. By the end of his life he held a more realistic, sober view. Not only did he make a distinction between pre-Christian time and tempora Christiana, against the Donatists he could distinguish the apostles’ time and the current age (which allowed for the use of the sword in religious matters).

Two Cities (and the time between)

“The two cities are formally defined either in terms of the ultimate loyalties of their members, or of their members’ standing in the sight of God” (59). But Markus hints at a perhaps more radical division: a division of two loves (de Civ. Dei. 14.28). This is a more accurate division and, as Markus notes, forbids any strict identification of a city with an institution (60). This has to be the conclusion if we hold that “membership of the cities is mutually exclusive.” city = citizens, allegiances to values they set before themselves (concors hominem multitudo; Ep. 155.3.9). A city is a “multitude of men linked by a social bond” (Civ. Dei. 15.8).

“Peace” is the realm where the two cities overlap. Yet it is divided into earthly and heavenly peace. The earthly peace is of common concern to all (Markus 69). Augustine’s definition of a res publica allows for this overlap. “The people in the earthly city agree in valuing certain things. They need not agree on the scale of value.”

Ordinata est Res Publica

Markus’s running thesis is that Augustine modified his view on “order” as the years went on. He became disenchanted with the possibility of a good Christian state. The early Augustine held to a cosmic hierarchy and this would be seen in the state. But this was in tension with the biblical view that man was a peregrinus on earth.

saeculum: the historical and empirical interweaving of the two cities (100ff).
a) The two cities can agree in their intermediate principles.
b) This is his sharpest break with the Platonic traditon. The true polis is not a city, but the society of saints and angels.

Criticisms

Markus repeatedly refers to the “ills” of Constantinianism, but it isn’t always clear what he means by it. About the most specific he gets is the “Christianisiation of the empire” (35), but what does that actually mean? And why is it bad? I think he means by “Constantinian” something like Eusebius’s interpretation of Constantine (48ff). But this still begs several questions.

a) Does this mean that church history has undergone a total and official reversal because of Eusebius? That is quite a stretch.

b) Does it mean simply that the Empire is pro-Christian and anti-pagan? But this can’t be that bad. Should we rather hope for lions and stakes?

c) What I think Markus means is that the Empire (and it isn’t always clear whether he means the medieval Latin Church or the Greek East) now sees itself as a focal point of God’s history. If that’s what he means, then sure, Constantinianism is probably bad and points to Augustine for opposing it. But few pro-Constantinian scholars hold that position today.

On another front, it seems rather odd that by the end of Markus’s account, Augustine looks and sounds like a radical Barthian and anabaptist opposing the power structures (177-178)!

A Franciscan Counter to Thomism

This is not a rebuttal or refutation of Thomism.  It is a medieval alternative. I will offer my problems with Thomism in another post.

From the O’Donovan’s From Irenaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Chritian Political Thought.

Notes on Bonaventura.  This follows a lot of my reading on the Thomists.  Basically, I have the same feeling about Thomism as I do about a loose tooth.  I don’t know exactly what’s wrong, but I am scared to bite down really hard.

I suspect that a Thomist ontology is in tension with an Augustinian ontology.  I am following closely the O’Donovans’ reading on this point. (which is basically what I do on everything).

  1. Franciscan poverty was redefined from purely practical to legal terms.
    “The friars renounced, individually and in common, all ownership of property, so that they had mere use, not legal possesion, of temporal goods” (O’Donovans 309).
  2. “The Way of Evangelical Perfection.”  There is an intimate relationship between covetousness and pride in disordered human love: “That the soul’s excessive love of other beings and things, its consuming passion to possess them, is always for the sake of aggrandizing its own powers” (310).

Bonaventure and the Four Rights (311)

  1. The natural right of using necessary things universally available in creation, the community of earthly goods indispensable to sustenance.
  2. The divine right by which all things belong to the just, the community of righteous possession of the whole earth and of the Lord who made it
  3. the Civil Right, the community of private ownership of temporal things.
  4. The Right of Ecclesiastical Donation, the community of holding goods dedicated to God and conferred upon the churches.

For Bonaventure, the Franciscans had nonproprietary or simple use of goods owned and conceded by others per the first two rights.  But this isn’t simply a return to Adam.  As O’Donovan reads it, it is “a restoration mediated by participation in the cross of Christ” (311).

Outline of Desire of Nations

Rev David Field did his own outline.  You are encouraged to go read his.
The Revelation of God’s Kingship (36-41)

Isaiah 33:22:   Yhwh is our king; Yhwh is our judge; Yhwh is our lawgiver.  He will save us.”

Ideas are connected.  Kingship implies judgment, lawgiving, and salvation.

Salvation

The early Hebrews saw this element in the Psalms.   While it included salvation from sin, the term is often used to show God’s victories of his people’s enemies.

What is the purpose of these victories? (Ps. 13:5; 85:7).   They show God’s hesed, his enduring commitment to those in his covenant.  Hesed often stands in parallel to the Hebrew word for faithfulness (Psalm 98.3).

These victories also show God’s tsedeq, righteousness.  In the Psalms God’s righteousness is a public thing.   When he shows his right hand and holy arm, the nations will know (98.2). This is an important point in later Israelite history.   You are an Israelite living in Babylon.   While you are the chosen people of God, you have been publicly shamed by a pagan power (and presumably, so has your God).  Therefore, when God acts to show his righteousness, it must be public:  Is. 45.5; 46.13;51.5-8;56.1;61.10; 62.1).

Judgment

The Hebrew root words relating to God’s righteousness often appear in connection with his shpt, judgment.

This illustrates the problem with ancient Israel’s existence.  They were God’s chosen people yet they often worshipped idols.  If it is true that God vindicates his name among the pagans because he is a just God, how much more true will he vindicate his name among his people?

What do we mean by the words “judgment” and “justice?”  The Hebrew word for “judgment” is mishpat.  When it is used in the Bible it is seen as a judicial performance.  When true “judgment” is present it is not a state of affairs but an activity that is carried out.

The prophet Amos calls for mishpat to roll on like a river.  Isaiah says that the citizens of Jerusalem should seek mishpat by giving judgment in the cause of the fatherless and widow (1:17).  Isaiah even goes on to say that Zion will even be redeemed by mishpat (1:26ff).

The judgments of Yahweh have lasting validity because all of his acts have lasting validity.

This leads into what the Israelites believed about…

Law

If you look at the Old Testament law code, it is strange.   But maybe it shouldn’t be.   For us Westerners there is a sharp distinction between history and law.    This was not so for the Hebrew.  For Israel “history” is the telling of God’s acts to future generations.  Law was the telling of his judgments (mishpatim).

Psalm 119 is a case in point.  There are several terms of importance.   Testimony and decree. Interestingly enough, other Psalmists use the words in connection with a word we have just seen:  judgment.  See Psalm 81:4-5.

When the kingdom of Judah had its reforming moments, it is evident that “testimony” and “law” were in the foreground.  2 Kgs 22:8-13.  Jer. 26:1ff.  In both cases we see that “law” is simply more than a “code.”  It is attesting that God will live out his judgments in Israel’s history.

Look at how Psalm 96:10 unfolds:  the nations are to be told that Yhwh is king, that he established the world on firm foundations, and that he will judge the peoples with equity.

Without the consciousness of something possessed and handed on, there could never be a political theology, since it could never be clear how the judgments of God could give order and sustain a community (48ff).

In other words, something needs to be possessed and handed down.  This traditional possession was not always identified with “The Law.”  Originally, the existence of Israel was mediated through the Land.  Possessing the land was a matter of observing the order of life which was established by Yahweh’s judgments (Psalm 37:29ff).

Land = material cause of Yahweh’s Kingly Rule

judgments = formal cause of Yahweh’s Kingly Rule

Victories = efficient cause of Yahweh’s Kingly Rule

Mediators of Yahweh’s Rule

Yahweh’s authority is image-less, like Yahweh himself.   However, Yahweh is immediately present in conquest, judgment, and law.  Israel still had a problem in its history:  it could never consolidate.  It had land, judgment, and victories (though never absolutely), but it had no stable means of passing it down.  Even acknowledging the sacred writer’s criticism of monarchy (1 Sam. 8), it must be acknowledged that monarchy exercised a stabilizing influence when contrasted with the Judges period.  Most importantly, monarchy allowed the passing down of the tradition (Land, Judgments, Victories).

Dual Authority

Two cities; two rules.  Israel and Babylon side by side.

The foreign sword, exile gives Israel a chance to separate from idolatrous connections (84).

Empire is necessarily unstable

The fulfilling of time

Jesus’s words of God’s reign were confirmed by power.  The point: instruction runs parallel to authority (Mark 1:22, 27: Luke:  4:36).

The previous duality is transformed: The Two Cities (Babylon/Jerusalem) were indicative of Israel’s alienation.  They were soon to be replaced by the Two Eras (93).  Israel previously owed its existence (30-49) through Yahweh’s victories, Judgments, and gift of Land.  This is transformed in Jesus’s ministry

 

  • Works of Power;  demonstration of God’s rule.  Their function was to draw attention to his preaching.   

 

  1. Jesus proclaimed the coming judgment of Israel:  Matt 8:11; this judgment creates new situations and new conditions.
  2. Jesus, Israel, and the Law:
    1. Sabbath:  The law is reinterpreted so man could fully realize God’s welfare for him.
    2. Disciples:  Forming a new community.  Authority has been refashioned on how God models his own authority.
    3. Fulfilling the law:  Law is treated as a kind of promise.  It anticipates a righteousness for which the faithful hungered.

Triumph of the Kingdom pp. 120-157

The Representative (120)

Jesus proclaimed Kingdom; apostolic church did not.  This is no accident.  The latter proclaimed/illustrated what happens when the Kingdom came in conflict with principalities.

Progressive mediations: “God’s rule was discerned through the judicial tasks of angels and kings in all the nations; it was discerned in special covenant through the vocation of the Davidide line.   But now the last layer of the veil is drawn back”(124).

In Ezekiel we see the immediate disclosure of Yahweh’s rule in the Davidic line (Ez. 34:1-31).

OO’s critique of classic republicanism:  127.

Representation and Authority:  our life under Christ’s resurrection is service to righteousness (129).  Resurrection establishes authority of new life (NB: Note the important connection between resurrection and reigning).

Representation of Israel → Representation of human race:  OO rejects “replacement theology” (131).  Jesus is Israel’s identity.  Servant passages in Isaiah.  Israel’s public tradition (Romans 9:1-4) is continuous.

Moments of the Representative Act (133)

  1. Advent:  Jesus mediates kingdom in his personal being.  Fulfills all God intended (Isaiah 42).
  2. Passion:    judgment has two acts:  separation of innocent and guilty; and affirmation of the innocent.  Both are seen in cross/resurrection:  Christ is set in opposition to guilty Israel and vindicated before Israel.  Pilate’s irony:  “The answer to his (Pilate) question is that his own authority, which he tries to assert by threatening, is also dependent on a source.  Is that source Caesar, or is it God?  The question is left open for the moment, but the answer will come:  because it depends on Caesar, it depends on God, since Caesar is destined to fulfill the role God designed for him…(continuing 141).
  3. Restoration of Christ:  judges Israel’s sin and reaffirms Israel’s new identity in Christ.
  4. Exaltation:  royal imagery (Ps. 2:1).  Power put forth, judgment effected, gift of communal identity.

Subjection of the Nations

To what extent is secular authority compatible with the Christ-mission?

Romans 13:1ff; government’s purpose is judgment.  To this degree is secular authority compatible with the Christ-mission:  it has the role of judgment.  Mishpt.  This reflects the New Christian situation.

Secular authorities do not mediate the rule of God (rule = judgment, victory, law); they merely mediate his judgment (151).  Their victories and such are rendered irrelevant by Christ’s victory.

The church has no distinct social presence:  its witnesses call back to the Holy City.  Interestingly in Revelation 18ff we see a converging of Israel, the Eschatological Church, and the Antichrist Empire.

The Authorisation of the Church

The dual authority assumes a distinct form. OO is somewhat confusing on this identity.  He says he isn’t defending Christendom, but its hard to see otherwise.

  1. OO asserts the church is a political society.  At the very least this means that the church is an independent society (161).  It is authorised by Pentecost.
    1. The church prolongs the ancient faithfulness of Israel, not replaces it.
  2. Its essential nature as a governed society is hidden, to be discerned by faith.  This helps protect us from claims that such-and-so a church government is the essence of the bride of Christ.  OO rebuts Ignatius on p. 168ff.  Ministerial orders are derived, not posited.  They are disclosed from heaven.
  3. The relation of the church to Christ is a recapitulation of the Christ-event (171).  The church’s sacraments authenticate its ministry, not the other way around.

Moments of Recapitulation

The Christ-event is the structuring principle for all ecclesiology.

  1. In response to the Advent, the church is a gathering community.   (Some thoughts on unity form 176-177).  The unity inheres in the confession of Jesus as God’s Son.  This is only possible by the Holy Spirit (177).   [NB:  Unity is a spiritual thing, not a material or tangible thing.  Therefore, Protestants should not be embarrassed by supposed “fractures”]
  2. The church is a suffering community.
  3. It is a glad community (181).  A Delight in what God has done in Christ.
    1. Moral life of the church:  vindication of God’s rule in Christ’s resurrection.
    2. Keeping of the Lord’s day:  Ground of all moral principles in the church (Barth).   OO tries to steer a mediating path between the Patristic denial of the Lord’s Day = Sabbath (radical newness) and the Reformation identifying the two (conservative sameness).
  1. It is a prophetic community.  The church is authorised to deploy the powers of the kingdom of God.  These powers are displayed through speech.
    1. The presence of prophecy directs us to the charism.
    2. To prophecy: to speak a word from God to the church in the here and now.  OO denies that it is merely synonymous with preaching.

Our narrative of the church is the inner logic of the sequence of the kingdom of God (191).

The Obedience of Rulers

Christendom: The Doctrine of the Two

OO:  society and rulers have different destinies:  the former is to be transformed, shaped in conformity to God’s purpose; the latter to disappear, renouncing their sovereignty in the face of his (193).  Nice statement, but Revelation speaks of kings being healed by the New Jerusalem.

Contrary to critics, OO is not advocating Christendom.  He is merely noting it is a historical response to Christ’s witness (195).

OO offers good reading of Constantine and the interpretations that followed.  Per Eusebius, Constantine filled the place of the Parousia (which seems to echo Moltmann’s contention that the church ceased being premillennial because it became Constantinian).

Redefining the Boundary

Church contrasted the roles of emperor and bishop as a transition from old age to new (199). This is best exemplified in Ambrose of Milan.

Two Rules

Gelasius deconstructed Augustine:  he translated the duality from the level of society (two loves made two cities) to the level of government (two there are by whom this world is ruled; 203).

Problem arose: who inherited the kingly aspect of Christ’s ministry, emperor or bishop?

Supremacy of Spiritual Authority

soul of Christendom is church.  body is king.  Soul superior to Body.   highly neo-platonic (205).

The Authority of Word Alone

What does spiritual authority mean?  property meant power; power meant jurisdiction; jurisdiction meant authority, and authority meant a proper role for the church’s shaping society (207).  Franciscans rejected this line of thought.

Marsilius of Padua offered a good, even eschatological perspective:  since Christ’s judgment is still future, it is impossible to represent it now by any single icon of political government (208).

Restoring the Balance

Calvinism?

Mission or Coercion

The doctrine of the Two was best seen as a doctrine of two ages (211).

State forms outer circle; church inner circle; kingdom the center.  The Church reminds the state and the state bears witness to Christ’s rule (per Barth, OO, 213).

Antichrist: the convergence in one subject of claims to earthly political rule and heavenly soteriological mediation (214ff).

Martyrdom is the witness of an alternative Lord.

OO is at pains to say that a Christian state need not be a coercive state.  Logically, he is correct.

Christendom and the Liberal Tradition

OO gently rebuts Chesterton’s Catholic neo-Medievalism.  OO notes that the sources of modernity lie within the Christendom tradition and not simply Protestantism (228).