Preoccupation and the Incarnation

Looking Backward, Looking Forward

Nothing heralds something new and exciting quite like a cliché, no? I suppose, therefore, this offers no exception.

I would like to start my first post in a while with an apology for precisely that: waiting so long in between posts. Any excuse I can come up with will likely not hold up; the Theology Corner began as a forum of dialogue for theology students and early-career academics. Thus, most contributors are, relatively speaking, peers. As such, we all are not strangers to the “facts of life” for young people steeped in the academic milieu of Biblical and Theological Studies. My absence does not come with much in the way of justification. That being said, I will offer a few remarks, if ambiguously.

This last semester has proven to be very trying on my family, friends, and myself. Aside from being preoccupied with studies (something we are all familiar with!), there have been additional struggles. Members of my family have been dealing with a bout of alcoholism, and my mother and I have felt much of the full force of this trial which has been taking a toll on the lot of us. There has been the issue, joy, and anger of an on-again, off-again relationship with one of the most wonderful women I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Financial issues have arisen which have caused me to call into question some of my plans for the future. Many of my friends have found themselves in need of a heightened level of support, having lossed the life of a colleague, classmate, and companion to the demon of suicide. Again, all of this is not to say “Woe is me; I need pity.” Rather, I am attempting to lend some context to what has been going on, and why I have not had much of a presence on this site.

With all that has been going on, I have had the opportunity to reflect on where God is in the midst of tribulation. This is not my stab at resolving the problem of theodicy -- I would be a lunatic if I were to claim to have found the solution. However, I have found comfort in one thing in particular: the meaning of the Incarnation. The coming of God Godself to humanity is not only one of the most common vehicles for articulating Christology in the New Testament; it is also a story of hope. The message of the incarnation tells us that God has not left us in the hands of evildoers, in the domain of the Kingdom of Oppression. No, the incarnation says to those who hear its eschatologically upending and subversive sermon “I AM here with you. I feel your pain, I suffer with you. Restoration has come near.” I hope this message will be accepted by those with ears to hear, and that we will be granted the time to further reflect on it.

So, now you know what has been happening which has kept me away in a negative light. However, I have also had the chance to do some really exciting work this last semester, and will have more opportunities to do so in the coming one. I have written papers on lesser-researched Christologies in the second century, the Imago Dei and the problem of homelessness, and the unexpectedly egalitarian message of Ephesians 5.21-33. All of these will likely make their way into Theology Corner posts in the coming weeks. In the Spring semester, I will be in a couple of Seminars (Greek exegesis, and Biblical Studies), which will allow me to look into intertextuality in Mark’s Gospel, and the role cosmogenic agents play in the Book of Enoch and the Synoptic Gospels. Stay tuned for more to come!