The fall Angst Lectures by the Professor of Dialectical Theology from Zwischen den Zeiten were fabulous. Einstein didn’t touch this chap for extrapolating in another dimension. His polysyllabic prose inspired me to try a cadenced reply:
Do you find it essential to be existential
Since you’ve been up-ended in time?
Dialectical tension describes your suspension
For you dare not ignore Kierkegaard’s either/or nor
Expect to find reason or rhyme
In a life where the moment foments that sheer torment,
The crisis of being in time.
But before such deep pathos descends into bathos
And poetry drowns in a shriek,
I would venture to ask if this temporal casket,
Inner lined with red woes, is the cause of neurosis
Which we existentially seek?
As we trace all our crime to this framework of time, since
We’re for the time-being too weak.
We are told that the blame must be ours just the same though
The fall did not happen in time.
By the sheerest invention we hold fast our tension.
Sharing Adam’s declension outside this dimension
In new super-temporal time.
But in all this two-timing our ego is climbing …
Existence! So tragic-sublime!
Blaming time and existence, we keep at a distance
The guilt of primordial crime.
We are evil and covet, we sin and we love it
As did Adam before us; but Christ to restore us
Lived sinless in calendar time.
Both our fall and salvation took place in duration
In that frame of creation, that time of decision,
That daily and commonplace time …
Momentous significant time!
How you are going to bundle together the World Christianity of today, and unscramble it, I don’t yet see. It certainly needs doing. I only wish some Power might be given, a la Omar Khayyam, to “Shatter ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more