Blog Template Theology of the Body: Holy Whapping Strikes Again

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Holy Whapping Strikes Again

Drew had some profoundly beautiful things to say on the recent scuffles with Islam.

It occurred to me the other day that the Christian God is not "Great." To say that God is Great ("Allahu Akbhar") is NOT, as it is in Islam, the central tenet of our religion. The Christian God is Good...and Goodness takes the form of Good Friday and a death on the Cross. The Crucifixion, and the theology and spirituality of the Cross, is what Islam so desperately needs. Because Allah is "Great" and can suffer no dishonor, no harm, Allah's prophets, likewise, can suffer no dishonor. This is why the Muslims are uber-sensitive about Mohammed. It is also why the Muslims abhor the idea that Jesus Christ was Crucified: they believe Jesus Christ existed as some manner of prophet, and because Christ was a prophet, could absolutely not have suffered the ignomity of the Cross.

However, we "lift high the Cross," proclaiming "Christ crucified, foolishness to the Gentiles and a stumbling block for the Jews." (1 Cor 1:23) In Jesus Christ, we see that God is Love (Deus Est Caritas), for in Jesus Christ the Divine Son is absolutely poured out for us, as an icon of the inner life of the Trinity (that the Son proceeds from the Father in the love of the Holy Spirit, One God), and also as a testimony of God's absolute love for us.

The Christian God can, and does, suffer ignomity, dishonor, and shame for the sake of love in the person of Jesus Christ. Muslims, rather, are quite insistent that God is not Love; Allah is Great, and if in Allah's determination Allah saves some human souls, it is less out of love than mercy. Whatever the motive, Allah is not constituted by love. But the Christian God IS, in His essence, Love: that is what the doctrine of the Trinity summarizes, that the One God fully exists (the Father), fully knows Himself (Logos or the Son), and fully loves His Infinite Goodness (the Holy Spirit). The Christian God IS love, not simply "loving," and therefore can relate to humanity only through Love. The Christian God not only can therefore, when He takes on human flesh, suffer dishonor and shame, but for the sake of loving a human race which does not respect love, God must suffer the ignomity of unrequited love.

Just as the Muslim prophet is expected to share in the fundamental greatness of God, the Christian can hope to share in the fundamental love of God...

Read more here.