Much agreed here -This is what we call "incarnational ministry."There have been many attempts to find a kind of reliable, semi-permanent distinction between sign (us - our acts and words - medium) and meaning of the sign ("message" in McCluhan - or "signified"). The distinction holds up in a preliminary way - it's useful for trying to point out certain things - but it certainly doesn't hold up as a kind of ontological, or bedrock-foundational sense, as a reliable scientific distinction.This has been an important insight in postmodern philosophy - see Derrida's deconstruction of Husserl's attempt at creating a sharp distinction between sense and reference in his book Voice and Phenomena (or don't - it's terribly dense).This is an insight which points us back to the importance of incarnational ministry, and how it us us ourselves who are these "jars of clay."Though it's not a "bedrock" type distinction, it's useful - and notice also how Paul's own metaphor - treasure in jars of clay - points to a kind of distinction. We know that there is the treasure inside the jars of clay - only, we do not have privileged access to it as long as we remain jars of clay. We primarily see the other jars, recognizing the treasure they carry, but do not have the right to claim sight of the treasure itself as undone from the clay.Affixing too much attention on this one metaphor of Paul's is also not likely to be healthy. But it certainly does mean that until we see "as face to face" ... we must pay great attention to these jars of clay as well.Another valuable reference for this distinction would be Christ's words on the Kingdom of God - a similar, yet different distinction - regarding redemption (or lack thereof) of the things of this earth - the clay & the treasure - and the many metaphors Christ uses in describing the tension between His kingdom and our own finite earthly, embodied, signifying existence - never able to finally separate the precious, pure spiritual "meaning" from the earthly, embodied clay "signifier."
Thanks for this I have been researching technology and how it effects us as a culture. I am very excited to read your book about how it effects us as Christians.
Post a Comment