Saturday, July 2, 2011

Small Thoughts on God as the Mystery of the World.

I've been reading through Eberhard Jungel's God as the Mystery of the World and it makes me feel as though I am taking my first systematic theology class all over again. He takes an incredibly careful and calculated course to define his basic positions. But Jungel, in the spirit of Barth, reminds his audience of very simple yet profound and miraculous truths; namely that God can be known as an object of knowledge, but only through God's own self-revelation. Unless God reveals Himself and becomes the subject of speech about Himself, theology can have no confidence that it is responsibly speaking about God. Thus, Jungel provides a theological orientation that is entirely dependent upon revelation. However, this revelation is a continual unfolding event, which constantly produces new thought about God.

Right after these rather freeing statements, Jungel backs up a bit to say that thought about God can only be possible because God has already revealed Himself. But where? For Jungel, God has "definitely" revealed Himself in the cross of Jesus Christ. Therefore, faith is "the anthropological realization of the fact that God has revealed himself" in the crucified Christ (228). In an effort to avoid God's self-revelation as producing an exclusive epistemological outcome, Jungel is right to affirm that "revelation is, in its facticity, not primarily an occasion for knowledge, but rather an event of self-sharing in the being of the one revealing himself, an event which implies knowledge" (228).

To me, that is sheer beauty.

1 comment:

Matt Frost said...

Among the reasons to love Jungel. :) He is very careful, and part of that care is a refusal to engage in reduction of the irreducible. Of course, you have to write more that way...

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