Saturday, December 16, 2006


In an earlier post I was thinking about how to respond in some thoughtful but not-too-technical manner to basic questions such as "what is Christian faith?" and "What does it mean to be a Christian?” I had a go a the first one. Here is my stab at the second, which - in the way that I view things - needs to incorporate the shape of the first in a coherent way. What I've attempted is a personal answer which tries to show some awareness of the formal categories involved. For some it will be too sinewy, for others too clinical. But we have to go on risking inadequacy in the way that we live and the way we speak. That's what opening ourselves to God means.

A Christian is someone who (through neighbourly commitment, the ritual recollection of narrative hope, deep scriptural reasoning, self-dispossessing prayer and continuous rational exploration-in-community) looks without flinching at the unreserved humanity of Jesus and recognises in it the unlimited commitment of God to that which is not-God. The God who is available in vulnerable, tortured, transformed flesh remains, however, utter creative mystery which cannot, in principle, be reduced to a metaphysical proposition or an epistemological limit. This mystery of God that enables us to reconceive the world and each other as pure gift is at the same time experienced, though never captured, in attention to the connected distance between things (the otherness) that we call love. It is this mutual coinhering of the unknowable God, disclosed by unrestricted humanity and expressed through uncontainable inter-subjectivity, which gets called Trinity in the odd grammar by which Christianity tries to make sense of the divine mystery and its impact on us.

Comment on this post: FaithInSociety

No comments: