Eyes of Faith, a Study in the Biblical Point of View

Eyes of Faith, a Study in the Biblical Point of View

Eyes of Faith, a Study in the Biblical Point of View

Eyes of Faith, a Study in the Biblical Point of View

Excerpt

This Life's dim windows of the Soul
Distorts the Heavens from Pole to Pole
And leads you to Believe a Lie
When you see with, not thro' the Eye.

-- William Blake, Complete Poetry, p. 614. Random House, 1941.

THIS is a book about perspectives, those "dim windows" through which man receives and gives the primal impressions of life. In a painting, perspective may be dissociated -- at least for the sake of analysis -- from the objects depicted. One does not need to be an artist to distinguish some of the elements which combine to shape this perspective. It includes background and foreground, and their intricate and intimate interaction which conveys the actualities of depth and dimension. It involves the interplay of light and shadow, contrasts in colors which communicate the selectivity of vision. It incorporates a single configuration of line and pattern, which one eye discerns among the many patterns which each setting affords. And these are unified by a single center: the point at which the artist stands. Unless the onlooker stands at that center he does not see the painting as the artist sees it. If there is to be communication, the onlooker need not share the painter's views but he must share the painter's point of viewing. He need not agree with his standpoint, but he must stand at the same point.

This analogy is of course too simple to cover adequately the complexities of man's history and his relation to the Eternal. It omits what Gerard Manley Hopkins called "inscape," and envisages man as an onlooker only. Yet it may suggest the object of this book, that of coming to terms with the Biblical perspective. We assume that there is a recoverable unity in the outer and inner dimensions of Biblical experience. This assumption will be challenged by some as untenable, but that issue can be resolved only by testing the results to see if they do represent a universe of vision. We assume also that this unity can be grasped only by outlining the perspective in its wholeness. This necessitates a concentration upon the frame of reference, rather than upon the details which find their significance within that frame. Our desire is not to . . .

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