Archive for May, 2015

If the conceit of the modern mind is that God is inaccessible to rational investigation, then the self-flattery of our post-modern moment is that I will define for myself who my god is to be.
Both fail to align with the biblical witness, which portrays a God who speaks. For the hungry of heart, this may be un detalle pequeño e importante.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1–2 ESV)

The Gospel of John’s opening declaration—redolent of the Hebrew Bible’s majestic creation narrative—is that God was forever poised to express himself. The Word was with God long before our ears existed to hear. Indeed, John dares to claim, the Word was in some way God.

The modern mind reels, for it so seldom hears God speak. The post-modern mind quakes, or ought to, because if this is true then it does not have the first word and is likely also to lose the last.

A cast of scholarly mind that understood this divine logos to represent a divine rationality deeply impressed upon creation has been largely superseded by a more hebraic understanding that the Word denotes expression, communication, the taking of initiative in relationship. This is almost certainly correct.

Perhaps this bit of solemn poetry is merely that, a religiously intoxicated howling into the dark night’s air. If so, the most that can honestly be said for it is that it is somehow appealing in its archaic sentimentality.

Or maybe this is, as the author of the gospel called John seems to want to claim, the truest thing that he knows how to say.

In that case both our modern silence and our post-modern self-fascination are symptomatic not of the Word gone mute, but rather of our hardness of hearing. This ought to strike us both as deeply threatening and as profoundly promising.

For if the Word speaks still, then we may soon find ourselves hearing.

We would not be the first to plead expectantly for ears to hear.



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