Rethinking the Rethinking of Transcendence

A defence of the traditional ways of looking at God that takes seriously the Church Fathers’ own commitment to Scripture.

‘The oppositional contrast between the “God of the Bible” and the “Hellenistic God of the Church Fathers” simply will not do. ‘

Eclectic Orthodoxy

In his recent article “Rethinking Transcendence,” Greg Boyd invites us to reconsider our understanding of divinity in light of God’s self-revelation in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ:

Consider, would it ever occur to anyone to think that God is “above” experiencing things sequentially, or that God is “above” experiencing any kind of change, if they anchored all their reflections about God in the Word who became flesh (Jn 1:14) and who then offered himself up on our behalf? And would it ever occur to anyone to imagine that God is “above” being affected by others and “above” experiencing passionate emotions or suffering if their thinking about God was consistently oriented around the one who suffered humiliation and death at the hands of wicked humans and fallen powers? I, for one, do not see how. The revelation of God on the cross runs directly counter to the divine attributes…

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2 thoughts on “Rethinking the Rethinking of Transcendence

  1. My two cents …. (Probably worth just about that much LOL)
    Transcendence is a “going beyond” and implies a kind of movement. It is what the material/passible aspect of the creation was created to be and do.
    The universe is not two-storey. The ground floor reserved for the material/passible and the second floor for the spiritual/impassible. The material is referential. Likewise, the spiritual incarnates. It is the way God designed it.
    Any oppositional or mutually exclusive conceptualization or presentation of the material/passible and the spiritual/impassible is, to put it bluntly, error.
    Transcendence is the movement of all things material/passible. This movement is not one that implies a negation but a fulfillment (the manifestation of identity).
    Likewise, the incarnation of the spiritual/impassible is a movement that in no way implies a negation but rather a fulfillment (the manifestation of identity).
    The union, is not a balance or equilibrium, for those terms implied that the two aspects are inherently oppositional or incompatible. No, the union material/passible and the spiritual/impassible aspects of all that is, can only be realized and lived out in the third place. The place of union “without confusion and without separation.”

  2. St. Hilary of Poitiers (300 –368) certainly struggled with this whole matter. See “On the Trinity” (Book II), 6-7.

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