Wednesday, January 17, 2007


"We have to be careful about the level on which we place the infinite. If we put it on a level which is only suitable for the finite, it does not matter much what name we give it". Simone Weil, quoted by D.Z. Philips in The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God (SCM Press, 2004). Good God-talk is generative, imaginative and life-reforming, but is also careful not reduce the infinity of the divine to a superannuation of human being, its conceptions and fantasies. One of the challenges of theology at the moment (confronted with popular non-sense such as anti-Darwinian Intelligent Design, which I have to talk about on TV this weekend) is that it needs to aspire to creativity, to enable us to be surprised by God, so to speak; but it also has a regulative function in requiring us to discipline our speech, so that it does not reduce God to - in the case of ID - a projection of our own understanding of reality which is somehow in competition with the natural processes of the world, rather than donative of them (which is what is meant by 'creation'). This is put well in a recent Times article about God-talk (sadly mis-titled by an editor) from the redoubtable Brian Davies, an English Dominican and Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University, New York, USA. Also worthwhile is 'emerging chuch' scholar Peter Rollins on How (Not) to Speak of God (SPCK, 2006). I've had a brief look at this, and read a few reviews. I want to give it more serious attention when I get some time.

Comment on this post: FaithInSociety

No comments: