Glory and Shame in the Incarnation

1200px-fra_angelico_-_conversion_de_saint_augustinI’m working through the Gospel of John with a friend who pointed me to Frederick Bruner’s commentary on John. This is how a commentary should be written! Bruner not only tries to capture the history of the church’s interpretation with each passage by quoting extensively from commentators of various times and traditions, he also takes modern critical issues seriously.

One quotation that he offers on the prologue of John is from Augustine. He quotes: Continue reading Glory and Shame in the Incarnation

Athanasius on the Hidden God

Steven Paulson writes beautifully on Luther’s understanding of the God who hides himself in the world:

Why would God do this? Why does anyone hide? One hides initially, of course, so as not to be found. Yet, even in the game of hide-and-seek a child initially hides so as not to be found in one place, only later to reveal herself in the safe goal, with a cry, ‘Here I am!’ The game would have no point if remaining forever unfound were its goal. God’s game of hide-and-seek is not far different, though the ‘game” is a matter of life and death. God hides so as not to be found where people seek him, and reveals himself where he is not sought. In the safe goal, so to speak, God can declare a new sort of victory over hapless seekers for meaning, certitude, affirmation, fame, success, and whatever else humans have determined to be of worth to themselves while breaking the the first commandment.

img_5224God hides himself from sight in the places of this world that we might expect to find God so that we don’t slip into the mistake of making idols out of good things and thereby miss God altogether. What he rather does is reveal himself in impossible, weak, and unacceptable things so that his own glory might show forth. He willingly puts the treasure of his glory in jars of clay (2 Cor. 4:7). He comes as a baby in a feeding trough. He reveals himself as king by being crucified as a criminal on a Roman cross. Continue reading Athanasius on the Hidden God