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Ascension Theology
by Douglas Farrow

A review by Earle Fox

The Mystery of Lawlessness...

Ascension Theology is one of the finest pieces of theology which I have read in many years.  Farrow was a Presbyterian who became Roman Catholic, and speaks with precision and force from both backgrounds.  There are aspects of his theology which I do not accept, being an Anglican priest, not Roman Catholic, but Farrow contributes to the present discussion on faith and politics, faith and the public arena, not just faith within oneself or in the confines of church walls or fellowship.  Farrow is not a "pietist", one who thinks that Christian spirituality belongs only within oneself, family, and church, not in the public arena.  The Beast is rising both in and out of the Church of God. 

Farrow understands how important the Ascension was to Christian faith and practice, and how sadly lacking that event in the life of our risen Lord is to the whole story of salvation.  Very few churches, even those of a sacramental persuasion, celebrate it anymore.  It is treated much like the Trinity, as an embarrassing bit of baggage which we should keep in a closet, or relegate to historical document status, but not much relevant to today's theological needs. 

Farrow writes about the "mystery of lawlessness" in the context of Christian history and of our present time.  He raises an astonishing issue, that evil is not only dependent upon the good (which is common theological knowledge) but, because evil must feed on the good around, mimic and copy it, to gain credence and followership, that therefore the more good there is around, the more lush the garden upon which evil can feed.  So the very propagation of the Gospel and of good works provides this food for evil to grow.  It copies and mimics to draw the faithful into its trap. 

That is a scary thought, that the very good we do is nourishing evil all around us.  How does one fight that kind of enemy?  How does one fight an enemy whose success is dependent upon our preaching the Gospel and doing good works?  How do we prevent his co-opting our message and using our works for his own ends? 

Part of the answer is that we cannot succeed in stopping that effect, it will happen.  We can expect the mystery of lawlessness to flourish often, and at times brutally.  But this is all part of the plan of God -- I would think to expose the Evil One for who he really is, to draw him into the light which he so much fears.  He will come into the light when he thinks he is safe, that he has conquered the Church of God. 

 

[More to come....]

 

 

Truth-seeking, living in light, learning to die well, rise of science, spiritual warfare, sword of the Spirit, way of cross, going on the offensive.  Pietism.  Hastening the day..., not putting it off. 

Calling good evil, & v.v.   Deceive saints if possible...  Relative truth. 

 

TFullam The only safe place to be is right in the center of the will of God. 

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Date Posted - 10/16/2012   -   Date Last Edited - 10/16/2012