New PDF release: A big-enough God : artful theology

By Sara Maitland

ISBN-10: 026467331X

ISBN-13: 9780264673318

Big-Enough God is a e-book by means of Sara Maitland.

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Example text

These are the broad terms within which I am trying to proceed with my theological life. What I am hoping to do in this book is look at one particular source of revelation. To look at, and think about, God as ‘the maker of heaven and earth’, at God as creator. It is sad that this needs further clarification really, but I am afraid that it does. According to the teaching of Christianity, there are three sources of revelation: (1) The holy Scriptures—the canonical writings commonly called the Bible (which means that this source of revelation is already mediated by the second source, since it was the post-apostolic Church which fixed the canon, and not without debate); (2) The tradition—the continual meditation on and interpretation of the Scriptures and the creation within history by the Christian community, more commonly called the Church; (3) The creation.

The difference in scale is of itself awe-inspiring. Little is gained by trying to eliminate time as part of God’s creation: it is not a shadow but an essential, a reality. In using an idealist model of ‘nature’, of creation, as the static, time-free, unmoveable zone of God’s self-revelation, are we certain that we aren’t treating the created order in the same way that we often accuse fundamentalists of treating the Bible, and reactionary Catholics of treating the Church’s tradition: that it is inerrant and pre-inscribed?

God is up to something larger, more complex and more refined than we seem able to imagine. It may also be because of material limitations—just as the physical structure of how it is to be a human being will prevent anyone ever running a 3-second mile, so the physical/neural structure of how it is to be human beings may actually make it impossible for us to frame a language or a thought that embraces eternity. We exist in time, we need time and place to be humans, but that may simply make it impossible for us to perceive, to comprehend in ‘not-time’.

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A big-enough God : artful theology by Sara Maitland

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