Monday, February 09, 2015

The Hidden and Triune God

Excerpts from Robert Jenson's essay.

"The problem about God, I have insofar long agreed with Luther, is not his [sic] metaphysical distance from us. After all, mere distance, however great and metaphysical, could not hide him but could only attenuate his visibility, and such a distancing of our view of God might very well only clarify the picture. Rather, God is hidden, and our problem with him is constituted precisely by the character and importunity of his presence."

"Faith, [Luther] says, is a very peculiar sort of perception, not so much a light in the heart as a darkness, within which Christ is present as was God in the darkness over Sinai. Faith is precisely the hidden indwelling of Christ; indeed it is God hiding himself from us by entering that most obscure of locations, our own hearts."

"It is not even quite right to say that the ultimate fact is God. There is not God, who then happens to love Israel. there is the One who raises Israel from Egypt; and the ultimacy of his election, to be demonstrated finally only when all nations flow to Zion, is the fact that there is God. There is not God, who then happens to be fatherly to the one Israelite Jesus; rather there is the Father of this Son, and the ultimacy of this Fatherhood is the fact that there is a God. And that God is thus in God a source of God is the possibility of God vein also the source of things other than himself, of creatures, and the impossibility of there being anything other than God that is not created by him."

"We are bound to practice religion as Karl Barth describes it, the recruitment of the absolute to our finite ends."

"Current research suggests that Martin Luther's initiating problem was not in fact that of finding a gracious God to meet his need as sinner--which would, after all, have been a prime piece of idolatry. It was rather the traditional Augustinian problem of knowing whether he indeed worshipped the true God, defined as God you cannot use; it was the problem of avoiding idolatry."

"The Spirit frees God to surprise himself."

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