April 13, 2011

Topic and Illustration

Ephesians is not “about” marriage; it mentions marriage as an illustration of the Great Mystery that is its proper theme: how do the two — the Gentiles and the People of Israel — become one.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

5 comments:

Bill Carroll said...

One might go a step further and say that, except as participation in the mystery of Christ and the Church and that of mutual self-giving among the coequal persons of the Trinity, the Church has no interest in marriage whatsoever.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Bill, a careful reading of the New Testament and early church history and canons might well support that conclusion, though I would say "disinterest" rather than "no interest." As with all aspects of life, the church did weigh in on marriage; but it did not treat is as a particularly singular institution or construct. The "theologizing" of marriage itself (as opposed to using it as a metaphor) is of relatively recent vintage.

Christopher said...

Precisely. I just got through making that point a couple of weeks back, that is, that Ephesians is actually about God and God's people.

Rick+ said...

     Three important rules when reading and trying to understand anything: Context, context, context.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Thanks, Christopher and Rick.

The issue of ecclessiology is at the heart of Ephesians -- this wonderful mystery of how many can become one -- and Paul's organic model shines through.