procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

love, providence & Doors of the Sea

love is not:
a reaction. in God, who is its transcendent origin and end, it is the one infinite and changeless act of being that makes all else actual, and so is purely positive, sufficient in itself, and without any need of contrariety to be fully vital and creative. As trinity, God [...] has not need of any external pathos to waken or fecundate his love. We are not necessary to him: he is not nourished by or sacrifices or ennobled by our virtues, any more than he is diminished by our sins and sufferings. [...] though he had no need of us, still he loved us when we were not. And this is why love, in its divine depth, is apatheia.
David Bentley Hart, Doors of the Sea 2005: p77

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10

providence is not:
a small town in the midwest. well, it might be. in fact it probably is. i need to go to bed so can't be bothered checking.
but the point is, i never really considered what providence meant until quite near to the end of the Doors of the Sea.
to paraphrase Hart, Providence is the idea that God will not allow evil to subvert the bringing about of his Kingdom. it is not to say that he must use evil to bring it about, for that would be to grant evil a place it does not deserve. nor does providence collapse the transendence of God, and the rest of the created order, into one homogeneous amalgam, where God is not only sovereign over, but also one with, the evil deeds.
i think this is starting to make sense of what i've been struggling with for a while; this book along with conversations with friends, has been really helpful in trying to nut some of this stuff out.

scroll down to look for other posts about my thoughts on this book. there should be one more soon - the last.

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