|River walk path on the River Raisin|
In preparation for my Inner Healing classes at Redeemer one of the books I am reading is Yale theologian Miroslav Volf's The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly In a Violent World. For Volf there is a remembering that reenacts and punishes anew, and there is a remembering that transforms and redeems.
For Volf, who has had his share of suffering, he is interested in how we can "remember rightly" so that the end game is redemptive, healing, and reconciling. Memory must be initially framed by his (and my) Christian worldview. I really like how Volf has done this, so I'm quoting it in its entirety.
Volf's five core convictions of the Christian faith are:
- First, we don't just happen to be in the world as products of chance or necessity; the God of love created each one of us, together with our world.
- Second, we are not in the world just to fend for ourselves while pursuing suing lives filled with as little pain and as much pleasure as possible; God has created us to live with God and one another in a communion of justice and love.
- Third, humanity has not been left by itself to deal with the divisive results of our deadly failures to love God and neighbor - a fissure of antagonism and suffering that taints all human history and scars individual lives; in Christ, God entered human history and through his death on the cross unalterably reconciled human beings to God and one another.
- Fourth, notwithstanding all appearances, rapacious time will not swallow us into nothingness; at the end of history God, who took on our finitude in Jesus Christ, will make our fragile flesh imperishable and restore store true life to the redeemed, so that forever we may enjoy God, and each other in God.
- Fifth, the irreversibility of time will not chisel the wrongs we have suffered into the unchangeable reality of our past, the evildoer will not ultimately triumph over the victim, and suffering will not have the final word; God will expose the truth about wrongs, condemn each evil deed, and redeem both the repentant perpetrators and their victims, thus reconciling them to God and to each other.