Bezalel's Compass

July 20, 2019

Clouds and Sunshine

How we once imagined._ _ We used to watch clouds, float visions beyond the sky_ _ and sunlight that danced amongst the bricks. We listened to concertos from our back porch,_ in the un-still of the night. Now then,_ we watch TV, and have no imagination.

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Cognito ergo sum

“ I think therefore I am” is a blasphemy of existence. Cognito ergo sum, Man is the I am. It foregoes the creator, not reliant_ but rather a thought_ independent of any revelation_ by God. God is the only I AM. Credo ut intelligam, I believe so that I may understand. It is the passive act of believing THAT which has made itself known. It is a revelation of existence. To be spoken to, called out to, and in turn_ demands a response of one’s relationship to the speaker.

May 20, 2019

Disembodied Moderns and Gnostic PoMos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric G. Ivers @ 9:01 pm

How the devil stooped the world to think the kitsch was cool defies me. The epitome of existential thought has now become a pitiful wasteland of Camus imagined woe, sold to ripoff other unfortunate simpletons that allow themselves to not appreciate how far we have come as civilization. And not give wholehearted thanks to its agent, the creator. Now the wicked take this assessment and make it seem scholarly. They are the “them that know” who say “We, like beasts, our end is the same.

There are two types of secular artists that I encounter. The wicked and the foolish. There’s no way around it. The wicked, always vying for the affections the simpletons, always an appeal to de-baseness. The Christian can affect the simpleton also, if he wills to. This is huge. This is our toil under the son. The battle of the world is over simpletons. We want to disciple them to wisdom, to strength; my enemy wants them to love wickedness, to violence, to become nothing other than a soulless animal.

What am I?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric G. Ivers @ 5:15 pm

I’m not fond of the term ‘classical’ architect or ‘classical’ education for that matter, as if the Greek’s paradigm shift into what we call the classical period was the origin of modern thinking. It isn’t the oldest record, except for Gilgamesh, the bible is; arguably Gilgamesh was a fragment of the final story anyways. Honestly we can claim our literary pedigree is roughly 6,000 years old. Modernists got their chance to try to wipe the slate and create a rational society. Post-mods say “since they failed, everything else will to also. Both forgot the medieval roots, nay the Jewish roots, nay yet the Church’s heritage of civility.

May 13, 2019

Why Build Beautiful Churches

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric G. Ivers @ 7:26 pm

There is a church building that sits on the Quirinal Hill in Rome at the intersection of what was once the Strada Pia and Felice; of piety and joy. At this intersection is the notorious Quattro Fontaine, the Four Rivers that descend the mount to the four cardinal directions below. Symbols carry meaning. In architecture and urban design, the symbols are monumental. They mark time. For this reason the Order of Trinitarians commission Borromini to design a church and monastery for an order of priests that rescue imprisoned Christians in Moorish lands. Similarly, a church building on the same hill a block west stands a Jesuit Novitiate of the same time period. Bernini’s S. Andrea al Quirinal, named for St. Andrews. The columns that support the dome are a rare cottanello marble of deep reds, crimsons and pinks. They recall the color of human flesh. Martyrs of the faith remind the novitiates of their calling’s resolve. Monuments bear testimony.

So when the Order of Trinitarians build, it is with similar testimony that the order sees to monumentalizes space and time. The funding of the project was initially backed by Cardinal Barbarini who lived in the district, but early on that financing dried up. Borromini was instructed to exercise aesthetic restraint and employ frugal financial stewardship. This was Borromini’s first independent commission and for this opportunity he worked without payment. The architect worked on site as master mason. The work exhausting; uncompensated the service was humbling. Nonetheless, the space is incredible.

The audacity of modern critics who say, “why waste such precious stones when those very stones could have been sold and the money used to free so many slaves or have protected young missionaries.” The missionaries and mercenaries are dead and gone but their testimony is monumental. When we walk along the way, children ask why the columns are red.

 

April 18, 2019

Culture and God’s Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric G. Ivers @ 10:53 pm

We are a culture that esteems the wicked barbarianism of Ancient Canaan but is restrained by a historical narrative of God’s covenant and our moral growth. God has directed history so much so that even time is counted by His existence. That in itself is salvation. That’s a common grace…all men know of God. Every judgement for the good, beautiful and true stands in opposition to death. The nations are blessed by God’s dominion of time and space. How else could those who love him be blessed? Why else was the flood so notable a violence. Because man left to himself eventually disavows all of what is good, beautiful and true. Hell is the end of his path. The smoke that ascends is putrid. What good God could allow the growing sprawl of the Death?, but God saved mankind through Noah. God still loves his creation. So God asked them not to be like the other nations. To not make their children walk through the fire of Molech, not to make a cult of sexual, misogynistic frenzy. God saved Jacob’s jackass children and Joseph. God has unrelenting mercy.

 

 

Reflection on God’s promise

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric G. Ivers @ 11:47 am

God’s grace in saving the seed of Abraham. A person without merit called out as a special people from a bunch of blood-thirsty Comanche-like barbarians. The jewish sacrifice stood in contrast to the human sacrifice. That there lies our recorded history. From Adam to John. Unmerited redemption and cosmic salvation. There was and is no other way to save us from ourselves and maintain our freewill. This grace extends to all things in all places and in all times.

Maundy Thursday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric G. Ivers @ 11:41 am

Maundy Thursday comes from the latin and its where we get the word mandate. Christ’s mandate to us, “this commandment I give to you…that you love one another.” All of the old testament’s bloody sacrificial system and all the burdensome laws are fulfilled in this singe mandate. This just struck me with wonder.

February 2, 2019

Huguenot Church Buildings

An interior of a Huguenot church building. It is a great example of a early protestant church buildings. There are no remaining structures, that I am aware of, to serve as an example of this building type.

After the repeal of the Edict of Nantes by Louis the 14th (Edict of Fontaineblaeu) in1685, protestants were required to meet in buildings that were not reflective of the established precedence of ecclesiastical buildings. This was so protestants could not be associated/ or poetically co-mingled with the established decorum of the cultural language.

The multi-tiered ,congregational presence centered on the pulpit and table, the division of parts in congregational singing and seating; communities with a community. It had radical effects on what we architects refer as a building-type.  The church building belongs to a building typology call Templum. Building types change over time, sometimes subtlety; other times in radical paradigm shifts.

 

 

 

 

In the same way, the exterior responds to the practical requirements of liturgical and supportive program as well as circumstances of time and place. Enjoy and blessings.

 

 

 

 

 

November 8, 2018

Liturgical TIme, Ashes and the Failure of Lent

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric G. Ivers @ 10:56 pm

PieterBruegelWhat is time? An ever rolling stream a lyricist said. How is it marked, made important, memorialized? In reality, the everyday one, it would seem to be punctuated by the NFL/AFC Championships, March Madness, political campaigns, market cycles, the local school year and tax deadlines. This is the real world and its measure in degrees, minutes and seconds. In that balance we are always found wanting beneath the modern tyranny of the clock. Punch in at 8 o’clock out at 12, in at 1 and out again at 5. Unless there is a deadline. Plausibly tolerable compared to the schedule of the ‘soccer-mom syndrome’. LORD have mercy.
I took a break once, maybe twice. A sabbatical rest so to speak. Definitely not part of a ladder climber’s itinerary, “No rest for the weary!” But I did, so be it. From my perch it was the best decision I ever made. It’s one of those life events. I have never been closer to God than when I walked in the woods care-less-ly at the beginning of an elk season in Idaho 2008. I communed with the creator and His creation. It was a habitual season. My brother’s birthday inaugurated the beginning of elk season and we made a point to load up the wagon and travel vertically into the mountains. To abide menially for a time, touch the handiwork of God, and maybe, possibly, accept the lottery offering that God would give. This animal offering evidently was my brother’s benefit. But I received the better portion I’m sure. I got to appreciate deeply the art of God’s very worldly craftsmanship. I spend many hours on hills over-looking the valley below asking, “What is man that you are mindful of him, who am I that you are sacrificial toward me?”
My brother makes the best sausage. Always in early winter and they become gifts he gives at Christmas. But those gifts are more than the tangible enjoyment of earthly produce. The stories of birthdays and camping, amateur butchers next door and the advice they shared, friends who came to offer brandy to share your joy of hauling that beast up a frozen ravine. The gift was communicating the communion of community. Those are joyful times, like Christmas and Easter. Other time are no less endearing but much more sober. Like when my brother enlisted in the army after 2002. And how I prayed. Like when my father passed into eternity and left me here timeless, watching the wind blow printed leaves into fall.
Joy is easy and it should be, as should be Easter. Culturally, these days are accepted readily as occasions for festive celebration. But advent and more so, Lent are less appealing to our immediate sense of gratification and hence unwantingly embraced into our cultural assessment of what is good, right and beautiful.
So here we are with our lifestyles and our timelines… Where does Christ fit between the manger and His resurrection? What is the point of the church calendar? Are they empty traditions of a sacerdotal era or are they pedagogical in a time when we have lost all sense of time? And how should we respond to the yearly cycle of liturgical litmus tests, twittered tauntings and Facebook flippancies where one ought to be commended for giving up chocolate. Truly? Twenty-one Christians die a horrid beheading last week in Libya and we walk the streets with ashen crosses on our foreheads in rent clothes bemoaning our life without Starbucks? It just seems so unreal, pretentious, hollow.
But what then, is the observance structurally flawed? Absolutely not! Yet here the sign has been made to be the signified. It has become the law devoid of the spirit and hence a stumbling block for many. I love the church calendar! But Christ alone and all else be laid to waste! The calendar was made for man, not man for the calendar. I love Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent, but if it masks our sins in the veil of piety, then damn it to hell!
How then, should we be observant as Christians? By the way of the cross and the path of self-sacrifice. By way of humble yet steadfast and resolved reliance upon Christ. As I said, I love the church calendar, I love Ash Wednesday, I love the season of Lent. But I love those days specifically because I vow what I cannot do. I AM ST. PETER’S LENTEN FAILURE. Those favorite things which I abhor, desire to give up and be rid of…those most hideous vile secrets of which I am ashamed to confess except to my LORD in a closet. What I would commit, [bracket] and set apart, make holy in the most dreadful sense is a lost cause from the moment of its betrayed kiss. That pledge I utter is structurally flawed. Every year I fail to accomplish what my heart longs to defeat. Every Lent is as a January resolution broken. This is the winter of my own New Year’s hell before the dawn of a glorious Resurrection Day. LORD have mercy, this is the point of Lent.

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