Friday, October 17, 2008

This one stopped me cold

Recently I pulled out a book I've had for a few years, but never actually read: Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. I love his writing, but it is not light reading. And he uses a lot of big words sometimes. And you have to think. However, it is always worth plowing through all of that because Manning can just whomp you over the head with truth sometimes.

That happened to me two nights ago. I read the following excerpt and I'm still pondering it now:

"It is of immense importance to understand that every word spoken and written about God is delivered in the language of analogy. In any divine analogy, there is a similarity between the human words used about God and the reality of God himself; there is also, however, a radical dissimilarity. What is affirmed in one breath must be denied in the next. For example, we liken the divine love to human love. The similarity induces us to think that we are getting a grip on God's love. And yet, though human love is the best image we have, it is utterly inadequate to express the love of the Infinite. Not because human love is too sugary and sentimental or because it is too passionate and emotional, but because it can never fully compare with that source whence it came - the passion-emotion love of the Totally Other.

The more we let go of our concepts and images, which always limit God, the bigger God grows and the more we approach the mystery of his indefinability. When we overlook the dissimilarity, we begin to speak with obnoxious familiarity about the Holy, make ludicrous comments such as 'I could never imagine God doing such a thing,' calmly predict Armageddon, glibly proclaim infallible discernment of the will of God, and trivialize God, trimming the claws of the Lion of Judah."