Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Everything old is new again....

This is an interesting comment from one of the more interesting theologians around just now:

At our first meeting we agreed with Paul Tillich: to the notion that subject matter of theology is taken to be the existence of a First or Supreme Being, an Almighty Agent who does or doesn’t do certain supernatural things, the proper theological response is atheism. But that atheism is entirely theological. It does not spell the end of theology, but the beginning—of a more radical theology.
You have to unpack that slowly, and maybe even put it in the context of the "God is Dead" movement of '60's theology (hey, it made the cover of Time!).  I'd quibble a bit with the "more radical theology" description, but I'm that way.  I think the meaning of the "proper theological response" phrase, however, is dead on.  Moreover, I don't think it's that radical a theology (okay, I will talk about it).  Simply because I think this idea resonates with the thinking of Aquinas, if not Augustine; as well as most of the Christian mystics.

I mean it's sort of like thinking you're being scandalous to refer to God as "she," and then reading Julian of Norwich where God is both father and mother; and she doesn't turn a hair to say so.

I really need to spend a bit more time with this.


  1. The most radical theology was "That which you do for the least among you you do unto me." and "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." and a dozen other sayings of Jesus put into actual practice. There is nothing more radical than that, doing what you don't want to do out of love, especially for people you don't like or really feel anything for.

  2. True. Very true.

  3. Hillel was a radical.

  4. One thing that has always struck me about atheists is that if they're against something, there has to be something to be against. Agnosticism seems quite rational, but atheism leaves me scratching my head. Is it just me?