domingo, 24 de junio de 2012
Prolegomena is the First Voice in Theology
Revelation is about condensation of human categories that relate God to man. It is a juxtaposition of spheres and realities that explain the meaning of God for man. All of Scriptures opens with this intention when it says in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gn.1:1). It is not about how God created and populated heaven alone. Nor how he formed and populated earth. This approximation of sorts is condensed in a Hebrew idiom of opposites to convey everything God is concerned with.
It is true that after this God detailed how things are related one by one establishing a primordial difference between creatures among themselves and between him and Man. Man came about as a creature and theology is borne as a creaturely reflection. But a creator is behind the creature, therefore theology is also a gift from above, just as life, wild creatures and every good gift come from a good and kind creator. Theology must start as a reflection on the origins to be also a gift from God the creator.
God begins to speak to a man who after creation begins to hear. Silence without hearers has no meaning. “In the beginning God” is far more than acting and shaping the world. It is also the beginning of a narrative of love, of telling his plans to man and making himself known. In this early stage God is hidden in his words and deeds and also revealed by them as much as God’s love for man permits and man creaturely bounds allow. It is an act of his grace to pronounce the first creative word when nothing had been said before in order to create something where there was nothing. Nothingness is not grace; something is and can communicate his grace.
Nothing is not an object of ponder unless it can be compared with something. Something is an object of ponder precisely because nothing cannot explain anything nor everything. It is the vital coming into existence of every thing that amazes man because Silence, emptiness and nothingness are not expressions of love. The spread of creatures and life on earth is like a man who puts most of his jewelry on a blanket to contemplate it and jealously guard and watch over it. Theology is the telling of the especial kinds of life residing in the creatures of God, God’s jewelry, who by their very existence communicate God’s grace.
Theology has also the limit of the fall. We know nothing in a perfect way, we know about the existence of everything but tainted by a historical man who decided to superimpose his will to God’s. This very same attitude at work in all of us attempts to superimpose our imperfect knowledge of models, natural laws, discrete and concrete languages on God as a path for man to depart further away from him who said “Hear Israel Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one; you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Dt. 6:4-5). The rupture between God and man will always try to superimpose other voices and languages on God’s. Learning by hearing his particular voice and language is the main business of theology after the fall or we might follow strange voices that our nothing but our own.
Theology is also juxtaposition in incarnation of humanity and deity. It is an approximation of God to man and not only of him to an impersonal world. This reveals a deep commitment of God to his creature as man because from the beginning it assumes that there is a perfect match between humanity and deity that merges in the person of Jesus Christ. The Jesus Christ event is a single act of God’s freedom to be like one of us and to partake by his love of everything that he had previously designed for us. Therefore, theology is also a Christian endeavor in a supreme way. There is not theology apart of the incarnation of Jesus Christ in whom all of God’s interest in man is revealed and all of man’s search for God can be understood.
Finally, theology is an act of communication. But it is not a rational communication only, as if God had created brains without a body (Greek, Aristotelian model). It is not a passional communication only, as if God had created only bodies without brain (modern, existentialist model). Theology is a personal endeavor where passion, excitement, joy, freedom, love and doubt take place in order to be in every respect both a question and an answer to whole human beings. This communication is both, creative, open and intelligent as it comes from a sensible and thoughtful God to humans who are searching for meaning, love and freedom in an imperfect world that slaves and deceives even our very search for God.