so far away from me

There is, namely, an infinite chasmic difference between God and man.

Practice in Christianity, Hong 63

I have been thinking about transcendence a lot in the last couple of days. I think I have moved to opposite poles on the discussion between knowing God in imminence and God’s complete “otherness”. I was in the “you can know God by reason” camp for a long time. So the task of theology (and apologetics) was to give a reasoned argument for God (like such a thing is possible) and people would see the error of their ways and do what God wants. Or, the other side of the same argument, if we have beautiful churches and divine liturgy, people would be converted.

Experience has taught me that neither of those two positions are valid or viable. The most well argued piece of logic will not create faith. Reason is not beyond faith. And beautiful churches in themselves do not draw people but only the beauty of Him who is present. (The Absolute Paradox is part of my movement away from imminence.)

I know I have been influenced in that move by reading Kierkegaard. Not so much his theological or philosophical works. But rather his discourses, his “sermons”. I find these full of grace and love – allowing God to be God. And I will write about them in a future post.

But today a quote from Practice in Christianity. I like how Kierkegaard says it: “infinite chasmic difference”. God’s love is what “motivates” Him to move close to us. And even my desire to know Him is God reaching out – He has placed the longing for Him in my heart.

I find it a very comforting thought that God has reached out (and reaches out everyday) to me personally. It is only in God’s free choice to come near to me, in love and the Absolute Paradox, that I can know Him and have a relationship with Him. So God by nature is completely other but in love is close to me.

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