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)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Why Jesus?

Theologians call it the "scandal of particularity." Why incarnation? What does it mean to call Jesus the Word made flesh? Well, before diving into the many why's, how about just a few "who's" to begin with.

Who is this One called savior and lord,

Who was from the beginning, eternal Word?

Who is this One whose birth angels would foretell?

Who is this One in whom the fullness of God was pleased to dwell?

Who is this One?

Who is this One who touched and healed?

Who is this One in whom God is revealed?

Who is this One who calls us here,

Who gathers us in from far and near?

Who is this One?

Who is this One riding in on a colt?

Who is this One, the king of kings?

Who is this One called prince of peace, the hosannas sing?

Who is this One hung on a tree,

Whose life and death and life again somehow set us free?

Who is this One?

Who is this one with a table spread,

Who offers us this daily bread,

Who pours this cup and shares this wine, and calls us out to spread the vine?

Who is this One?

Who is Jesus -- for you?