Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gunton on the Knowability of God

I've been reading On Rowan Williams - Critical Essays (edited by Matheson Russell) and several of the authors talk about Williams 'Negative Theology.' Below is how Colin Gunton finishes Act and Being, the book that introduced me to the ideas (and problems) of negative theology.
"The Man Jesus of Nazarath, crucified, risen and seated at the right hand of God in his humanity, is, to use an expression of Karl Barth's, albiet in a rather different way, the knowability God on our side. IInstead, therefore, of speaking of God's unknowability - a pagan fotm of unbelief - we should speak rather of his incognito. The Son of God comes as one who ' had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was depised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and familiar with our suffering.' (Isa. 53.2-3) We cannot evade that narrow road along which we must pass if we are to know the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And yet we must gloss Isaiah's poem, for tgis man who had 'nothing in his appearance' that we should desire him, is in fact the beauty and majesty of God in action. In that incognito we trully find the attributes of our God, for there is God in action, in the richness of his utter simplicity." - Colin Gunton, Act and Being, pp. 157-158, 2002.

No comments: