14 October 2010

Another sola?

In this morning's psalter, I noted a sola I'd not heeded before:

My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all the day,
for their number is past my knowledge.
With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
I will remind them of your righteousness,
yours alone.
--Psalm 71:15,16

The Church has a sole righteousness to extol, to tell of, to praise - and it is the righteousness of God, a righteousness that wrought mighty deeds of salvation.  From manger to cross, from empty tomb to ascension, from the pouring out of the Spirit to the glorious Appearing at the Last Day to usher in the Resurrection Age.  And it's not that that righteousness of God has no effect upon us:  our "righteousness" is simply the result of His righteousness given to us, His life given us to live as our very own.

3 comments:

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Thanks, Fr. Weedon, for bringing up this beautiful observation. This is one of my favorite 'solas'. As a concept, if not as a formula, it is also extremely Lutheran (besides also being Davidic & Pauline).

FYI, Coverdale gives that last sentence thus:
I will go forth in the strength of the Lord God: and will make mention of thy righteousness only.

& the Gallican Psalter:
Introibo in potentias Domini: Domine memorabor iustitiae tuae solius.

There is precisely one true justification for the sinner, one righteousness that matters, God's, iustitia Dei, made ours in Christ.

Our righteousness, as Christians (the Christian as Christian), is the righteousness of Him in Whom we are baptized. It is also the righteousness of the One we consume in the Eucharist. We are what we eat. So we should expect our life to be made and shaped a la Christ's life, who is our life (Gal. 2), and our righteousness & sanctification (1 Cor. 1).

I wish there were more images of the face of Christ in the churches (like the old Byzantine mozaics), and crucifixes (as in classic Lutheran churches). For such images would aid our meditation on these truths, of which we sing in the Psalms.

P.S. This brings to mind another thought. The definite article in Christ's claim "I am the way, the truth, and the life" could be said, theologically, to be three more 'solas.'

Lvka said...

"Another sola?"

YES! :-)

William Weedon said...

Father Deacon,

What can I say but amen!

Lvka,

Was just rereading Dr. Bruce Marshall's excellent summary of the Lutheran teaching contra THAT sola and how he quotes Sergei Bulgakov:

"The Church has no dogmatic definition touching on the relation of the Son and the Holy Spirit, which has for centuries remained - and still remains - a dogmatic unknown. On this matter we have only two particular theological opinions which have come together to form two theologoumena, eastern and western: dia and que... There exists no dogma on the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Son. Consequently the different opinions on this matter are not heresies, but only dogmatic hypotheses, transformed into heresies by the spirit of schism which has taken root in the church."