Over the last week I have been thinking about uncertainty and language (Gregory of Nazianzus), suffering and responsibility (where does this NOT come up?) and Human Rights (a panel proposal for SCE). In a presentation on icon, ethics and priesthood at this last AAR, I commented John Zizioulas and ethics, which he rejects as inherently reductionistic, based on an inevitable “polarity of good and evil.”John Zizioulas, Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church (London: T & T Clark, 2006), 81.

Location: Multnomah County Circuit Court

Seat: a padded black leather chair, purchased not by the State of Oregon, but by the generous donation of the per diem of former jurors to a Jury Room Improvement fund.

Alternative seat: a hard black plastic thing. Thank goodness for the donations.

I am surrounded by women who love to grow things. Plants sigh in anticipation of a long drought when I venture near. Yet when these friends and family of mine come along, flora everywhere readies itself for a succulent stretch towards the light. These women love their gardens, and their gardens love them back. Which, if a recent conversation is any indicator, is not a commonly held opinion. After all, only people love, not things. Right? Well, the Theologian doesn’t seem to think so:

I recently picked up Gregory of Nazianzus’ famous Five Theological Orations (which are actually Orations 28-32) in which the Nazianzen tackles the relationship of God and Christ. My purpose is to understand how Gregory uses metaphors, so I can then better understand his use of both masculine and feminine metaphors in describing his own priesthood. In these Orations, the orator of Nazianzus beautifully undermines our rather modern assumptions about the possibility of objective knowledge and the certainty of our concepts and the language with which we express them.

I was thinking this morning of the Greek "unity of virtues." Virtually all of the early texts which discuss church order emphasize the importance of virtue, the all presbyters, including the presiding-presbyter (this is Afanasiev's term for the person who eventually became what we now call 'bishop') are models of virtue. The comparison between 1st Timothy and the Onosander's list of virtues appropriate to a general reveals striking similarities.

God is unfair. That is what I learned in church today (see, I am blaming it on my priest - he said it, so it must be okay, right?). In Luke 15:11-32, the prodigal son is welcomed home by an equally prodigal father.prodigal |ˈprädigəl| adjective 1 spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant : prodigal habits die hard. 2 having or giving something on a lavish scale : the dessert was crunchy with brown sugar and prodigal with whipped cream.

I am currently working on church order and the Pastoral Epistles. To no one's surprise, I was a bit distracted by the rather disturbing passage in 1 Timothy 2:8-15. I found Luke Timothy Johnson's comments to be quite thought provoking, especially the final quotation.

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