A Generous Orthodoxy
13-08-2007, 05:35 PM
Dear Kirk, Dear John,
There are so many divine avenues present in these last two posts. Both of these take us with great speed to very deep waters. I think in some ways there are multiple conversations here, but in other ways we are speaking of just one dilemma which is 'freedom as love' or 'freedom as negation.'
And, I'm afraid now as I begin to dive into this that this may not be something that can be initiated and developed in a comprehensible way in this post, on my part. However, if we would agree that love is identified with ontological freedom, the freedom to participate in love, or the freedom to reject love then the expression "God is Love" I think ties together all thoughts on prayer/communion/participation and the justice of God.
Or to be more specific and to obtain a little help from my silent companion here, John Zizioulas, to paraphrase we are saying:
1.) Love is God's mode of existence
2.) Love constitutes His being
3.) It is Love which makes God what He is, the One God!
4.) God does not subsist as a property or substance of any kind (Love is not a property)
5.) God subsists as Trinity . . .
and here it is:
Quote:"Thus love ceases to be a qualifying--i.e. secondary--property of being and becomes the supreme ontological predicate!!!" [exclamation points mine]
And, while arguments of such terms as the Triune God or God as Trinity can be helpful at times, here at this place they are transcended and moved beyond in a way that also moves beyond some discussions of behavior (viz, behavior for behavior's sake) and obedience (viz. obedience for obedience's sake). In some ways as we see that 'love is the supreme ontological predicate!' all else is moot, all else is secondary. We exercise our freedom as love for the One who first loved us, or we exercise our freedom as a negation of our image, as a negation of love.
So yes as we explore the idea of God as Love, we see reason for thanksgiving and joy as well as fear and trembling. And, this reminds me of a time a few years ago when my mom told me that she had a problem coming to terms with a God who is a God of Love and a God of justice. She could not reconcile the two. I suggested that she contemplate the crucifixion of the Son of God whereby we see both the Love of God and the Justice of God explained through God's Love for the world.
And, regardless of one's view of what is meant by the word "world" in John 3:16, or what Paul meant when he spoke to those on Mars Hill as being all children of God. We do choose to embrace the Love of God or we choose to negate it. And, I think this is how we can recognize each other, as the Apostle John has written, Just as love is God's mode of existence, as Christ prayed in the priestly prayer in John 17, this is IT. God is Love is the Kingdom of God. God is Love is the Church. God is Love is a Common Ground. God is Love is a Generous Orthodoxy, or a British Orthodoxy, or even what some may call an American Orthodoxy.
So hopefully I have not wasted the time of the reader here. But, as we may possibly continue to consider such things as prayer, or behavior, conduct, and obedience as it relates to the idea of God as Love. Possibly we can also consider what the driving force of these really is. As it relates to the type of union/communion that is spoken of above, how much is our behavior/conduct by means of pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and how much of this is more of a naturally occurring by product or fruit of our participation in the Life of Christ?
I already know what a legalistic introverted fundamentalism says our part of the Christian life is; but, I wonder what a Generous Orthodoxy says our part of the Christian life is? What's the difference between imitating and participating?
|Messages In This Thread|
 - Rick Henry - 13-08-2007 05:35 PM