This World Is My Home -- By: Thomas N. Smith
RAR 7:3 (Summer 1998) p. 23
This World Is My Home
It sure feels like home. From the air we breathe to the reassuring pull of the earth’s gravity, from the delight we take in the perfect harmony between the colors of nature to the pleasure given by the sound of rain on leaves or the sight of snowflakes the size of goose feathers, we feel at home here. This is our home, our place. Air, water, sunshine, breeze, the smell of flowers or leaf-rot, the touch of familiar skin or flannel sheets, the wonder of the rainbow’s transcience or the Rocky Mountains’ permanence—all of these, and much more like them, speak comfortingly to us, saying, “You belong here.”
In contrast, we fear and dread the nonearthly. From primeval times, the void, the abyss, the sea, death, and the afterlife have made us humans singularly uncomfortable. (And with the advent of extra-terrestrial exploration, we may now add deep space to the list.) They are so strange. Something of this can be felt even in this world. Anyone who has traveled for the first time to a foreign country knows what I mean. The very air and light are unfamiliar. The sun rises and sets in odd directions. Even familiar things like Coke taste different. All of this produces a sensation of unease, of not being “at home,” and when our stay in such places is prolonged beyond our wishes, the inevitable “homesickness” sets in.
RAR 7:3 (Summer 1998) p. 24
There is no radical disjunction between
Christ, who redeemed the world, and
Christ, who created it. Thus, there is none
between the creation and man, the image
of God. Early in Christian history this
point was debated and established. Against
Marcion and the Gnostics, who posited a
radical chasm between God and creation,
the Fathers maintained the biblical
testimony to their essential unity and
harmony, and this without making the
creation an extension of the divine essence.
None of this comes as a surprise to the Christian. After all, God created both the world and us. Indeed, He created each for the other. Creation is not just a “glorious theater” (Calvin) in which God displays His glory, but a home, well furnished and felicitous in every way, for His human sons and daughters. This understanding is at the heart of the Christian assertion, “the Redeemer is the Creator.” There is no radical disjunction between Christ, who redeemed the world, and Christ, who created it. Thus, there is none between the creation and man, the image of God. Early in Christian history this point was debated and established. Against Marcion and the Gnostics, who posited a radical chasm between God and creation, the Fathers maintained the biblical testimony
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