Wednesday, December 06, 2017

This is my Father's cosmos

From Writers to Read. In the final chapter Douglas Wilson discusses the work of his son, N D Wilson. 

In Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl the fatherhood of God lies behind everything. This apparent chaotic world is not chaotic at all; if we step back and take it all in with the right perspective, we see that it is an intricately designed carnival ride. There is a fatherly purpose in it: it turns out that we thought we were being born into a world full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, but what was happening is that our Father was taking us to a particularly spectacular fair with some really gnarly rides.

In Death by Living Nate spends a great deal of time honouring his two grandfathers, in turn, my wife's father, Larry Greensides, now with the Lord, and my own father, Jim Wilson. And, as Paul mentions in Ephesians (3: 14-15), behind all such admirable fathers is the Father. All fatherhood derives its name from the Father of all things. The heart of wisdom is to learn to see the Father in earthly fathers and not be distracted by their sins and failings. The Father is much more like they are than they are themselves (Heb. 12:11). The window might be dirty because of sin, but we all still need to see through it.

Behind and through all of this is a robust understanding of fatherhood at the source of everything. If we lived in a fatherless cosmos, then little outbreaks of fatherhood here and there would simply be small insanities. In a random universe, everything is random. Fatherhood here and/or there would be just another random event. Fatherhood would be just as random as fatherlessness. But if we live in a world where the Father is behind and beneath everything, then every true adventure has to consist of finding our way back to the place, overcoming the obstacles that came about as a result of estrangement from the Father. Those obstacles are placed by sin and rebellion, and so finding the Father is the archetypal adventure. This is the central reason why Nate's books work as effectively as they do.




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