Advancing the Theo-poets

Good theology can be iconic.  And being iconic it is poetic.  It is an icon put in words.  It is like faithful hermeneutics.  The Patristics were accused of Platonizing and allegorizing.  Not so.  Despite all their excesses, they saw (better than the academic professor today) that the Bible yearns to break through with new meaning and simple, surface level interpretations are not enough.

Not to diminish literal interpretation, but not to exalt it either.

T.S. Eliot is probably the supreme example of a theo-poet.  Indeed, his writing is iconic.  It is indirect and perhaps jarring at first glance, but the awakened mind sees he reveals depth.  Like the icon, we see in Eliot another dimension.

3 Responses to “Advancing the Theo-poets”

  1. Words are Icons. Scripture is an Icon of the Word of God (Jesus), not the Word of God in-and-of-itself. That’s Islam.

    Icons are unavoidable, unless you bury your head in the sand and deny the Incarnation — which is to say, you deny the validity of interpretation.

    • It’s funny you mention that. I was debating a Covenanter on images and he used the argument, “Well, why did God give us a book and not a bunch of pictures?” (what does this argument actually prove, anyway)?. I responded that words are letters which are symbols/pictures of sounds.

      Words, like pictures, point beyond themselves. Words don’t merely exist for cognitive types to have fun with.

      • Not to mention that God didn’t “give us a book,” the Church did. The “Bible” didn’t fall from heaven as God’s Word. Christ did, through the Ever-Virgin Mary, and became flesh and dwelt among us for our salvation. To believe God “gave us a book” for our religion is Islamic and denies the Incarnation (and reality).

        And yes, words are symbols. They don’t have inherent meaning. They are used.

        All these Western arguments are terrible. 🙂

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