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In fact, despite always being in Greek, the letters became more common in Western than Eastern Orthodox Christian art. They are often shown to the left and right of Christ's head, sometimes within his halo , where they take the place of the Christogram used in Orthodox art. The Greek letters alpha and omega surround the halo of Jesus in the catacombs of Rome from the 4th century. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Alpha and Omega disambiguation. The words are used by Jesus according to the translation of J.

Philipps, in which he places these words in red to indicate that it is Jesus speaking.

Translation of «diabolic» into 25 languages

Young's Concise Commentary on the Holy Bible. Archived from the original on May 23, Titles of Jesus in the New Testament. Our ultimate faith must be in the process that alone can lead to the successful outcome. We must live today not only from the future vision but from the present rewards of participating in the ongoing transformation that is the urban Effect.

Alpha AND Omega, Beginning AND End

We need the vision of the outcome to nerve us to the subordination of our present desires to transformation by the Urban Effect. But we cannot live from the future alone except as we find in doing so a present meaning and rewarding newness. The eschatological orientation is the basis for present meaning, and the experience of that meaning is required to sustain the eschatological orientation. This polarity is clearly present in Soleri and his association, though it is inadequately developed in his theology. At one level he is quite correct to polemicize against nirvana.

A Buddhist teacher will often begin by ridiculing the remnants of eschatological thinking, arguing that any future will be only another Now and therefore unable to give meaning to the present. The present Now is as good a candidate as any for the fulfilled Now. Hence, the Buddhist concludes, only when we realize this and disengage ourselves wholly from the future orientation can we begin to progress toward the emptiness that is the only true fullness.

If so, then one might see the Buddhist movement toward Buddhahood as another avenue toward the final resurrection that Soleri foresees as the consummation of all things. Furthermore, although the movement toward enlightenment seems to lead first away from involvement in history and hope for future fulfillment, the Buddha or Enlightened One seems to be an instance of the work of the Urban Effect and to be peculiarly contributive to its further working.

Perhaps we need a more pluralistic vision in which we can trace the working of the Urban Effect through the complexity of the many great Ways of humanity even when these ways do not acknowledge it as we do. Although Soleri polemicizes against the concern to return to or preserve the past, he is not unaware of the claim of all things past as well as present somehow to participate in salvation.

In that process his awareness of the need for tough-mindedness in sacrificing the lesser for the sake of the greater prevails. I suggest that reflection on the way the Urban Effect works could infuse our participation in the process with more of the tenderness that is manifested in the final End. For example, in the encounter of two minds which have generated opposing ideas, the Urban Effect does not manifest itself in the sheer victory of one over the other.

On the contrary, it appears in the emergence of ideas that are different from those which either party brought to the encounter. But the new ideas are not simply different from those brought by the two participants, so as to displace them. No, the function of the Urban Effect is to generate novel ideas of such a sort that the preexisting ideas are retained but revitalized and included in a larger, more adequate whole.

From Alpha to Omega: An Overview of the Bible

The rise of the new is not the abolition of the old, but its transformation and inclusion. Of course, this is a one-sided view. There are times when the old is simply destroyed and perhaps this must be, yet it is not mere sentimentality to weep for the permanent loss of some mode of thought or form of life. It would have been better if that too could have been preserved in the larger whole so as to contribute its uniqueness to the complexity and richness of the whole. Soleri presents the Urban Effect as a fact descriptive of what happens.

This is surely not wrong. But it is an astounding fact, so astounding that a great deal of thought has been engaged in the effort to deny or minimize it. There are primordially the myriad of particles, mindless and inert. How can it be? To this question Alfred North Whitehead has given more thought than Soleri. He calls this thrust the Platonic Eros. It is a lure by which what is not yet is made relevant to what is.

Equally primordial with the myriad of particles is the cosmic longing to realize possibilities that are not absent from these particles as such. This requires the ordering of these possibilities so as to serve as lures for all the conditions of actuality. These lures may be resisted by the particles, but gradually they draw the particles into new forms of order through which they are actualized. Thus even matter is not mere matter; for it, too, in some rudimentary way can respond to relevant aspects of what is not yet. As matter responds to the rudimentary possibilities relevant for it, life appears, with its vastly greater capacity for response to a wider range of possibilities.

In short, the Urban Effect as sheer phenomenon is the expression of the power of the not-yet to energize what-is. That power is God. There may be some irony in the fact that as a Christian theologian I urge Soleri to accentuate the deity of the Urban Effect over against the radically eschatological deity of which he more often speaks. I do not do so in order to bring his thought more in line with historical Christianity.

A strong case can be made that Christianity is most true to itself when it is most fully eschatological. Wolfhart Pannenberg , probably the leading systematic theologian in the Protestant world, makes that case today. But he does so on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus as the proleptic occurrence of the End through which the truth of the End is established. Soleri does not want to argue from such a specific historical event.

Instead he argues from the Urban Effect. But in that case it is the Urban Effect and not the resurrection in the last day in which we can put our confidence. For the resurrection we can hope and work. Although this refocusing of theological attention may deepen the gulf between Soleri and traditional Christian faith in one way, it can bridge it in other ways. Soleri does not seem to appreciate the extent to which our human relation to the Urban Effect resembles historic Christian thinking about our relation to God.

Soleri sometimes talks about our role as creators of the Son-God.

That is not false. But he also recognizes that as we work to create the Son-God we are free instruments of the Urban Effect. Our freedom and our capacity to work are all received from the Urban Effect. Our work is effective when it makes possible the creative novelty of the Urban Effect which we cannot control or direct.

When we serve the Urban Effect it works through us to create the Son-God. Only in such service is perfect freedom. Christianity has long been torn between the vision of a new heaven and earth, on the one side, and, on the other, salvation for some in the midst of an unredeemed world. A derivative tension was felt keenly in the sixties, when Church leadership, committed to structural change, found itself out of touch with the pietistic majority among the laity.

Other groups in our society exaggerated this split, some seeking an instant reform of social structures, and others dropping out of society altogether. Throughout his writings, but especially in his critique of the Findhorn community , Soleri makes clear that his eye is set on inclusive transformation rather than on personal salvation now. But he conceives this in a way that radically transcends the recent debate and renews the forms of the early Church.

He offers little more comfort to social idealists and activists than to pietists; for the End on which his eyes are fastened is so remote, so transcendent of any now possible social arrangements, that focusing upon it withdraws energies as much from the public issues of our time as from the quest of personal salvation. It leads to the call for a new community of dedicated believers not unlike the Findhorn community itself. Thus Soleri calls in the end for a new Church and a new religious order. In the perspective of the past two centuries it is surprising that one at the cutting edge of our civilization should call for a new religious order.


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Yet in the larger scope of history it appears fitting and proper. Special vocations of this sort seem largely pointless when there is no convincing vision of excellence that judges and relativizes the patterns of worldly effectiveness and success.


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When these norms require common discipline and shared action, they require new communities in which believers can support one another. Perhaps as the bankruptcy of the conventional affluent style of life grows yearly more apparent, the call will be heard and will touch the depths of spirit which give rise to dedication. If so, the order will grow. In a world hungry for convincing faith, such an order may indeed light the way forward. I accept the idea of God and propose it as the only acceptable model for a significant reality. Because of its inclusiveness, it is a highly improbable model, and improbability which life inevitably pursues in the sense that God is a hypothesis life cannot do without.

It is a hypothesis not because man does not know better, but because as yet it is only a hypothesis, a hypothesis that is in the process of implementing fragments of itself. Once upon a time, the cold-blooded lizard told the egg-hatched baby about magic-endowed creatures of times past whose blood ran warm and kept them alive and active even in the ice-cold hell of glaciations. Once upon a time, the egg-laying creature of water, land, and air told its progeny of industrious divine creatures during times past within whom offspring would develop and grow sheltered in a warm sea of care and attention until the trauma of birth.

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From Alpha to Omega: An Overview of the Bible by Stanley Rasberry, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Once upon a time, the mammal told the simian baby of naked, erect semigods who in times past fabricated fantastic toys and magic machines. Once upon a time, Homo Faber told his children of an incredible God who in times past Genesis Time created the cell, the lizard, the bird, the simian, and man. The mineral cosmos, the vegetal cosmos, the animal cosmos, and the mind of man, all God-worshippers working and slaving away at survival, now and then hosting imperfect genes which generated peculiar offspring who would inch closer to the image of their future God, fulfilling reality, by that new inch.