Friday, February 03, 2006

What Manner of Man ... or God?

A small provocation for Friday afternoon, courtesy of Hall's Why Christian?:
What God? What is this God like? If Jesus "reveals" God, puts us in touch with God, makes God specific and particular, no longer a vague abstraction, then what sort of God do we have here? Is this a God chiefly of power and might, who is primarily concerned for "himself" and "his" own glory? Or is this a God who is out to condemn every sinner -- who, as Dorothy Sayers once wrote with characteristic irony, really hated everybody, but let his wrath fall on his beloved son instead? Or is this a legalistic, tit-for-tat sort of God, who has once and for all laid down the rules for being a "good" human being -- a moralisitic divinity who backs up the moral codes of exemplary citizens (my village!)? Or is this an internalized, gently forgiving, no-hard-feelings sort of God whose "business" as an ironic thinker of the nineteenth century said, "is to forgive"? If Jesus is for Christians the finite one through whom the Infinite is primarily glimpsed, what does that tell us, concretely, about the Infinite -- about "God"? (Hall, 25)


Anonymous said...

James here... I'll take the bait. God is love -- that's something you hear so often it loses its meaning and becomes a catch phrase. But ultimately, it does come down to love -- his love for us, our love for each other. God is all powerful, all knowing, all miraculous and yet loving. To be magnificant beyond imagination and yet love people who are so less than magnificant every day shows the essence of God's great power and awesomeness, to me. He could do anything, yet he loves us.

Anonymous said...

From Bryan: I think that since Christ is part of God then every aspect of Christ, i.e. the love, forgiveness, compassion, etc. is also part of God. I'd like to think the loving God is the greater part...but I think God may be just a little too complex to narrow into a category.

God is the most high, the most wise...he is the creater of everything and is amazing beyond all possibility.

It hurts my brain to think about that...

Cheryl said...

James, I see much wisdom in yoiur post: God is love. The very notion of love, alas, is culturally trivialized -- just watch most any media in the next ten days as we're inundated with "advice" on how to let our beloveds know they're loved.

Somehow, being the one to hop up first in the cold morning and turn on the coffee, or sitting with a sick child, never makes those lists. But clearly, the more you spend, the more you love. We love our cars, we love our houses; no wonder "God is love" sounds like bumper sticker religion more than radical theology.

None of which answers the question, but it was fun to scrawl.