15 april 2013

#103. Robert har ordet...

"The character of a religion is chiefly determined by its identification of deity. We may suppose, for a central matter, that all religions 'save'. But this word is a mere place-maker until the saving reality is identified; 'x saves' asserts only that something rescues us from something. Only when 'x' is replaced by a personal proper name or identifying description does the predicate 'saves' become religiously meaningful. Thus, for example, 'Baal saves' means 'Baal sends rain and restores the city'; 'Buddhahood saves' means 'Buddhahood is our refuge from personality'; and 'The Trinity saves' means 'The Trinity takes us into its ineluctable communal personality.'

That some 'salvations' are incompatible appears from the second and third of these examples. The attempt to avoid this by abstracting a deity and salvation in which all religions can be at one only ends with 'x saves' again, that is, with religious and intellectual vacancy. The real question is, which claimant do we worship and which salvation do we therefore await?

The doctrine of Trinity is Chistianity's answer to this question, its identification of its God. We turn our worship, says the church, to the one whom Jesus the Israelite called 'my Father'; we worship him with Jesus, as the Son he thus made himself out to be; and we are animated therein by that same Spirit who evokes their mutual love. Just and only so we have to do with the one God. To proceed at once to the highest pitch of developed doctrine: the God of the church is the one life that occurs between Jesus and his Father by their Spirit, a life that we can sense only as we are admitted into it." (Robert W. Jenson)

  • Jenson, Robert W., 2000: The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought: Hastings, Adrian m.fl. (red). Trinity. New York: Oxford University Press. S. 715-716

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