~the dead faith of the living~
~the living faith of the dead~
The definitions come from Jaroslav Pelikan, who said this:
"Tradition is like an icon (not an idol or a token) that points beyond itself; we look at it, but also through it and beyond it to the reality it represents."
What a good and faithful and wise tradition -- passed down to us by our good and faithful and wise forefathers -- points us to is the Savior Himself.
Good tradition points beyond itself to Christ. Traditionalism merely points to itself.
"Without a focus on Jesus Christ, the living fountain, without Him as the centerpiece of our mission and Him as the source of our motivation and strength, we will quickly become advocates of a dry, wooden, dead tradition.... When we drink from the Living Fountain, we will bear fruit. When we stop, we will become barren."
~Dr. J. Derek Halvorson, new president of Covenant College~
Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
~The Prophet Jeremiah~
St. Augustine described God as a being of eternal beauty -- ever ancient, ever new. His paths are ancient. Yet they are new. And they are full of shining purpose and abundant life.
Let us walk in them and find rest for our souls.