Monday, May 24, 2010

Homily 3: On God's Transcendence (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"God is our refuge and strength.... Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." Ps. 46:1-3

God's transcendence is a matter of comfort and joy. He is not entangled in the web of our follies; he is not drowning with us. He stands outside on solid rock and thus is in a position to save us. The God whom we serve is not troubled or shaken; moved with compassion and justice, but not shaken. He remains a sure and secure refuge, a solid objective referent to guide our fledgling efforts. It is true that we worship God because He is with us in the incarnational sense, but we also worship Him because He is beyond us in the transcendent sense.

We most certainly need an incarnational God, a God who is with us in the midst of our subjectivity and can sympathize with our weakness. But we also need a transcendent God, a God beyond the troubles of earth and the schemes of men, a God who is not the product of those troubles and schemes. The only hope for mankind or the earth does not lie in mankind or in the earth, for all such things are caught in the net of Sin laid down at the Fall. We need help from the outside, an objective and knowable personality reaching into the midst of our subjective and confused personalities. In fact, the Incarnation implies and requires transcendence in order to do us any good, for if God was and is merely "one of us" then He would be just as lost and helpless as we are. If we are to have a truly incarnational God and all that it entails, then we need a truly transcendent God and all that it entails as well.
-Jon Vowell (c) 2010

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