A Treasure We Don’t Understand
Phyllis Tickle at Mars Hill – 3rd May 2009
Very funny intro about not being a true feminist because she has seven children.
Spoke about the 500 year cycles of Church history, and being in the great emergence
Also spoke of prophecy of Joachim of Tournee who spoke about history being divided 2000 year cycles
2000 – 0 – the era of the Father
0- 2000 – the era of the Son
2000 – 4000 – the era of the Spirit
And after that 1000 years of the dispensation.
Exegesis of Genesis 1 – the “Let us” of God, the parts of God, including the feminine – this includes the Shekinah (the ineffable glory and beauty of God) and Sophia (the wisdom of God). This is not Trinitarianism.
That in each faith we have to cling to our mysteries, these are the parts that we fall down before.
Best way to think about this is to think of H20 and that this is something that we do not know ever as H and 0, but at different times as water and ice and steam. The best fleshing out of this illustration which I have never been particularly sure of.
Then to Genesis 18 – the three parts of God which visit Sarah
Talks about the three language groups (Latin, Syriac and Greek) that come out of the room at Pentecost, and how these are the forebears of the three great strands of Christianity (Western, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern).
Goes through and Icon which is about this, and explains the meaning of the icon – which is a picture of Genesis 18 and also a picture of the Trinity.
Then talks about the Nicene creed and the Filioque clause (The Filioque clause made interesting, and it’s importance understood – not just an argument over semantics). For Tickle, the Filioque clause created a hierarchy of Father, Son and then Spirit which relegated the Holy Spirit. In addition, the Spirit’s identification with the feminine also relegated its importance in patriarchal Western thought.
Tickle then talks about Bet Qu’ol – the daughter of voice, the voice of God which is replaced by the Spirit, but is still present in the gospels.
Trible then moves to John 14, and the feminine task of home preparation in “I go to prepare a home for you” (not sure how accurate this is, check out Rob Bell here).
There is also a closing section on the Spirit who draws beside (the Paraklete), with a quotation from Kipling’s “Mother of Mine, O Mother of Mine”.
The knowing of the Spirit, is an erotic relationship. Augustine talks about this in his Confessions
“Late have I loved you Oh beauty ever ancient
Late have I love you, you were within me, but I was outside
It was there that I searched for you
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things that you created
You were with me but I was not with you
Created things kept me from you
Yet if they had not been in you, they would not have been at all
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness
You flashed, you have shown and you dispelled my blindness
You breathed your fragrance on me
I drew in breath
And now I pant for you
I have pasted(?) you, now I hunger and thirst more for you
You touched me and I burned for your peace”
That’s the love affair we are invited to.