Thursday, September 28, 2006


... is spread far and wide today, both among the faiths (many forms of Christianity included) and among the non-religious too. Christendom is about 'winning'. Calls for the Pope's humiliation are about 'winning'. Richard Dawkins' attempt in The God Delusion to traduce all religion (as if it was all the same kind of thing, and with more heat than light) is about 'winning'. Not necessarily about flourishing, enduring, and life-giving - which demand more of us than triumphant rightness. With regard to Islam, Rowan Williams put it well a few years ago (2001, to be precise). His final comment is not, I think, a hidden arrogance - it is saying that, if it means anything, trinitarian language is about endless divine dialogue, which (I'd add) can elude Christians as much as anyone else.

"Islam has a wonderful vision of divine majesty, generosity and glory,and its demand for unreserved loving obedience has great nobility. But it is a faith that cannot readily find room either for the idea that God longs to share his [sic] very life, or for the vision of a God who can only win through defeat. It is not intrinsically a violent faith, but it is one that sets high store by victory. And it is not able to pray to God in God's own 'voice', to say 'Father' in the Spirit of Jesus."

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