November 06, 2006

still much for discussion--if we're up to it (?)

While we're still here...

You left out verse #14: "The second woe has now passed. But the third is yet to come."

It's rather difficult to pinpoint what that third woe is. Jacques Ellul thinks it's the Incarnation. God becomes a mere human, thereby resigns his absolute power over the universe.

I don't think this Greek distortion of a Hindu notion had entered the author's essentially Jewish mind. For him, as for Paul, I think Jesus is still up there "at the right hand of God," in the royal favor and enjoying ultimate authority, but still distinct from God. But Jacques Ellul, thousands of years later, finds the doctrine there, and who can say that God is only active in the writing?--and not in our later misunderstandings...?

"To the exact degree that the man Jesus is in perfect and constant accord with the will of the Father, that it is not a matter of servile obedience to the law but of perfect response of love to love, to the degree that Jesus is constantly free to be other than God and never-the-less is constantly the voluntarily expression of the will of God, then there is no longer any possible role for [the] powers...
There can no longer be accusation of men before God or separation of men from God (and that is why Jesus is designated the Savior.)

"But these powers are not abolished. They have only lost their decisive power, their power to prevail and to establish definitively chaos or rupture. For a rupture on the part of God--meaning that God would reject humanity--would end in him condemning himself and would be a victory of the powers.

"When there is talk, somewhat thoughtlessly, of the judgement of God, with condemnation and damnation for certain men (and for some theologians, the immense majority of men) it is completely forgotten that this would be not the expression of the justice of God but, rather, the success of the infernal powers. If God condemns, he does what Satan suggests. If he delivers the creation to destruction, the Devil has finally succeeded in his work of breaking decisively the relation between the Creator and the creation. Thus the 'apocalyptic' judgement, which is too often depicted, is not at all the realization of the justice of God but of the victory of the infernal powers.

"And we note in passing that the justice, which (it is declared) demands the judgement of God, is in reality a juridicial concept issuing from the interpretation of the Roman law. That has nothing to do with what the Old Testament calls justice, nor with what Jesus shows us as being the justice of the Father (by example, the workers of the eleventh hour or the parable of the talents.)"

1 Comments:

At 5:24 PM, Blogger david said...

When there is talk, somewhat thoughtlessly, of the judgement of God, with condemnation and damnation for certain men (and for some theologians, the immense majority of men) it is completely forgotten that this would be not the expression of the justice of God but, rather, the success of the infernal powers. If God condemns, he does what Satan suggests.

Now THAT strikes me as an interesting notion. Not sure what to do with it. But an interesting notion nevertheless.

 

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