I'm helping my 12-year-old son with his math homework right now. I hated math when I was his age. I still do. But I get along with it pretty well now, considering.
I've also been reading and re-reading the ethics articles from this issue of New Wineskins. Lots of points of view. Lots of fields of interest from which those points originate: Biomedical engineering. Politics. Religion. Social justice. Medicine. Philosophy.
To name a few.
And my mind wanders, because I don't really want to think about the solution to the math question my son is asking me to clarify.
Do you suppose God fundamentally changed the way He communicated His ethic to man between the Old Covenant and the New? Were all the laws and precepts and commands too numerous and still insufficient? Did they not cover every given situation that mankind - with God-given creativity - could invent? Like the addition and subtraction and multiplication and division tables we must know before age 12, did they reveal truths that could be applied to lots of bigger problems? Wasn't the real problem that you could carry sin forward on an infinite asymptotic curve, but still never reach zero sin?
Did the New Ethic require simpler communication; just a few principles ... so that God-given creativity could be turned toward applying them to the next level of problems and questions? Wouldn't each one have to be dealt with individually, one problem at a time? Or could you use a blanket answer for every problem, taken from a test case? If 2+2=4, then 2+361=4? If we're stuck in the mine behind the large lady and we have dynamite, are "dying by suffocation" and "blowing her up" the only alternatives? Is the answer better expressed in decimals or fractions? Are there some problems which have answers that are undefinable? Do they just need clarification, restatement, a few hints from a Father who wants us to turn to Him and ask?
Aren't all of the answers reduced to simplest form when it's true that "sin X us / Christ = whole, positive"?
And "us / sin - Christ = 0"?
"Just a minute, son," I'm saying now; "I'll be right with you.
"I'm done with my questions."