Thursday, November 8, 2007

Woohoo! A new Latin phrase!

Homo incurvatus in se

I apologize for not knowing this earlier. I stumbled upon this phrase in discussion and study about the blind narcissism that seems to strike good Christians down and cause them to behave and think... foolishly. At the source of most well-intentioned bad doctrine and behavioral misjudgements, you will find the ancient mythology of human reason (and works) as it attempts to blind a person to objective reality and Scriptural revelation. At the heart is the need to please ourselves. We all fall for it over and over again. Fancy Lutherans call this temptation "the love of the self", "me worship", or "idolatry".

Here is another good example of wheel reinvention. Please suffer patiently through my theological learning curve. I had no idea that when St. Augustine and our beloved Dr. Luther had covered this ground before we were given a neat Latin phrase for the single men to use to impress the ladies in Bible class:

"Homo incurvatus in se" meaning "humanity curves [or turns] in on itself"

Luther said, "Our nature, by the corruption of the first sin, [being] so deeply curved in on itself [incurvatus in se] that it not only bends the best gifts of God towards itself and enjoys them (as is plain in the works-righteous and hypocrites), or rather even uses God himself in order to attain these gifts, but it also fails to realize that it so wickedly, curvedly, and viciously seeks all things, even God, for its own sake."

That is good stuff. Of course my wonderful pastor words the description of this obsession with personal perspective and consumption differently: "Our sinful flesh always thinks with our belly. It's all about us."


Bruce Gee said...

Beware, lest the single ladies in Bible class look you over and go, "too incurvatus in se" for me!

Mike Baker said...

Well, as a married man, I am out of practice. Disregard my advice. :P