Post-Marxist critic Slavoj Žižek elaborates on theology- a great inspiration to listen to.
■ To say salvation is from our good works like an economic exchange is an OBSCENITY! No, it [salvation] has to be predestination [by God]- « this I totally agree with, » says Žižek.
■ It is a mystery that a Protestant ethics on « active work, » rather than a passive hedonism, was spawned by this belief in predestination.
Zizek’s take on this, to much of my delight, is close to the one advanced by Teilhard de Chardin, Jenson, Derrida and Barth. Predestination is not determinism; as an extremely refined dialectic, we understand it as being decided chronologically backwards: thing happened now retroactively decides the past. (And the history is predestined by and in the eschaton.)
« Every great work of art retroactively changes its entire past. » – T. S. Eliot
« A great writer create his or her own precursors. » -Jorge Luis Borges
■ True freedom is found in faith in the postliberal sense (free for others, such as a loving act): We are free to constitute our very predestination, to choose our necessity.
■ The deification (theosis) tradition in Eastern Orthodox Church is very problematic to Zizek. It turns Christ into somewhat an idol.
■ Calvinism is the purest form of Christianity.
■ We are part of God’s history. Using a nice Hegelian dialectic formulation, only through Protestantism does Christianity become what it always is through history. Protestantism does not elevate meditation or some kind of inner orgasm. Rather, it is principled by Sola Scriptura (Bible alone) and it does not mean it’s only you and God; it means you cannot bypass the Logos. Church as an institution- the essence of Gemeinde (community)- means precisely that.
■ What Zizek opposes is the Feuerbach understanding of religion, aka a soft religious humanism. True religion is more than man in man. Even in psychoanalysis, « death drive » is not a pursuit of Nirvana; it is an insistence for more life and death. Here Zizek claims himself to be a strict Kierkegaardian (!). What Kierkegaard jettisoned at his time is also the mundane coin with its two sorry sides without a portrayal reflective of Jesus’ lordship: soft religious humanism and state conformism.
■ Man has to be de-centered with regard to God. But there must also be a gap between God and the Godhead (?). In order to fully account men, you must accept that God is de-centered in Himself with regard to Himself. (This sounds Jenson-ian and Moltmannian)