Wednesday, October 04, 2017

mystery... awe & humility

“…advances in knowledge throw up problems that require rethinking the tradition… one of the tasks of theologians is to explore and restate central doctrines in the light of developments in human knowledge.
The doctrine of creation is now rethought in the light of what is taken to be the case in respect to cosmology or evolution or genetics but nevertheless it is still a doctrine of creation when it affirms that the universe and its life as we know them depend for their existence on a divine Creator.”
~Andrew T. Lincoln, Born of a Virgin?:
Reconceiving Jesus in the Bible,
Tradition, and Theology

“In light of our current understanding of the cosmos, the creedal claim 'I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth' is not diminished but magnified beyond comprehension.

“There are billions upon billions of galaxies in our universe, each containing billions upon billions of stars. We cannot remotely comprehend these numbers…  
“And at the other end of the spectrum we have subatomic particles – as if atoms weren’t small enough - and string theory…
“What claim can we have to speak for him (God), to think his thoughts are our thoughts? Who do we think we are, anyway?
“Here’s another thing that unsettles me into silence. According to the Christian tradition, this God who does literally incomprehensible things, is also willing to get very small – to line up next to us, to know us, even love us (as the Bible says again and again).
“If there really is a God like this – a God who understands and controls things so big my calculator has to use a letter to get it across, who is also a God who walked among a tiny tribe of ancient people called Israelites, who allowed them to write about him in their tiny ancient ways, and who subjected himself to suffering and death (what we work so hard to avoid), well…
“I think we’re talking mystery here, people.
“A God who does both. There are no words for this sort of thing….
“One God responsible for the unfathomably large, who is also near us…
“To take this all in, as far as I am concerned, is above our mortal pay grade. Those of us who believe this kind of God exists should feel put in our place, pretty much walking around with that “I can’t believe what I just saw” look in our eye.
“The Bible calls this humility and awe, which, as hard as it is to pull off, is at least something we can understand.”

~Pete Enns

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