What’s A Remanation?


Remanations is a combination of two ideas: rumination and remanation.

“To ruminate” is to chew on, consider, meditate, contemplate, and ponder. It’s what cows do with cud. Ruminations are the result of ruminating.

“Remanation” is an Edwardsism (as in Jonathan). In reflecting on the end for which God created the world, Edwards wrote:

“The emanation or communication of the divine fullness, consisting in the knowledge of God, love to him, and joy in him, has relation indeed both to God and the creature:.. In the creature’s knowing, esteeming, loving, rejoicing in, and praising God, the glory of God is both exhibited and acknowledged, his fullness is received and returned. Here is both an emanation and remanation. The refulgence shines upon and into the creature, and is reflected back to the luminary. The beams of glory come from God, are something of God, and are refunded back again into their original. So that the whole is of God, and in God, and to God; and he is the beginning, and the middle, and the end.”

To translate, a remanation is an emanation on the rebound. It’s what light does after it hits the mirror. God pours himself into the world such that his glory is pervasive throughout. “The heavens declare the glory of God,” and that’s just the beginning. Nature, science, politics, economics, culture, history–if you can name it, God is in it.

But the glory of God is not content to stay there. It (He!) always returns to the origin. Ad fons! From him and through him and to him are all things.

Putting these two ideas (rumination and remanation) together, we discover an intriguing possibility for a blog: contemplate, meditate, think, consider, ponder and think upon all the ways that God is present in the world, all the ways that he is reflected in the things that he has said and done, his word and his works. Find him in everything. Like a big game of hide-and-seek. Look for remanations. Be a remanation.

Reflections on God’s Spoken World

Reflections, again, carries the double meaning. I’ll be doing some reflecting and I’ll be looking for reflections. “Beholding as in a mirror,” said the Apostle.

The last phrase in the sub-title, I must confess, is a borrowed one. In a soon-to-be-released book entitled Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World, Nate Wilson sets out to explore “the narrative nature of the world and the Poet behind it all.” The world is “His poem. His play. His comedy.” We live in God’s Spoken World.

So there you have it. God is a communicative being. He’s always speaking in his two books: the Word and the world. Which means we must learn to read.

This blog is an attempt to do just that

2 thoughts on “What’s A Remanation?

  1. Mr. Rigney! This is Sarah Johansen who just took your class — I did not get to talk with you after the last class to see if you were able to skim Sayers book nor to tell you thank you for teaching the class nor did I write down your wife’s email correctly. So I have contacted BCS for your email hoping for a way to contact you better than this. I hope you receive this. Even if our families are unable to meet one another for dinner and conversation, I hope to get Mind of the Maker back before 2014 (-: as it is an important copy of the book for me. If not, I will be okay and I hope you get to read it at some point. As I have been trying to further sort through this class, I thought how much two sources have been helpful to me on these matters and I hope you have or will encounter them at some point as you continue to work through these things — Doug Wilson’s sermon series of Ecclesiastes (Joy at the End of the Tether — which is condensed in his book — but the series is so excellent — and a very short book entitled In Tune with the World by a Catholic German writer named Pieper. Just so you know.

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