Sunday, July 16, 2006

A passage from Alan E. Lewis's remarkable book 'between cross and ressurection'

...The protest of unbelief is that the world is godless and unjust, a place of lovelessness, iniquity and pain. Faith, by contrast, hears and speaks a word of promise--that nothing, however evil, can seperate us from God's love, so that the world's sure destiny is peace and joy. Yet that confidence itself contains the temptation so to proclaim the world's salvation as to take no longer seriously its distancing from God through suffering, sin and death. There is a 'faith' which has forgotten what it is to doubt; a way of hearing which no longer listens to the silence; a certainty that God is close which dares not look into eyes still haunted by divine remoteness; a hope for some glory other than a crown of thorns. Such supposed but cowardly and inauthentic faith and hope has failed to wrestle with the connundrum of the grave, evading the possiblity that God is God among the suffering and the dying...(98)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Passage from Colin Gunton on Freedom

Some friends of mine have impelled me to start up someting of a legitimate blog, an i have finally relented. So thus i begin:

In Colin Gunton's final and very helpful book "Act and Being: towards a theology of divine attributes' an argument is being cast to take seriously the biblical witness, and thus economic trinity, in our treatment of the nature of God. In service of this larger goal, Gunton produces an alluring passage on the nature of Freedom. Arguing against overly voluntarist ideas of freedom that have plagued theologizing, Gunton writes:

However, without a fully trinitarian construal of the divine freedom, we shall be in danger of being left with a mere voluntarism, a potentia absoluta which appears to give God no reason to create except sheer arbitrariness. On such an account, he creates by sheer will, and not by a will formed by love. We shall also break the analogy between divine and human freedom, or, perhaps better, in Scotist terms, the elemtns of univocity in the uses of the word freedom of God and of ourselves that enable us to undertand both God and ourselves more satisfactorily. Let us pause to consider the matter of freedom. in relation to God, human freedom comes from the divine action that graciously creates, upholds and redeems the creature who has preferred slavery to freedom. To be free is to be set free, by the Spirit of the Father who is the Spirit of freedom. That is to say, true freedom is realized in communion with God, for unfreedom is, essentialy, the loss of a right relationship to God. In terms of the way that freedom which is given works itself out in the world, we must say that freedom is a function of communion at the human level also. our freedom is what we each make of our own particularity, and none of us are truly the particular persons we are created to be except in love and fellowship with our neighbor. In sum, both freedom and its loss are a function of oure relation to the other, and especially the divine other, the creator. To be out of true communion is to be unfree; to be free is to be for and with the other, both the divine and the human other. Accordinly, freedom is never absolute, but always structured and ordered, either wrongly or rightly--as a matter of fact, awlays, this side of eternity, a combination of both (105, emphasis mine)