My last post is a long quote provided by Paul Molnar; since posting that I’ve received an email from this guy who just won’t leave me alone . . . he’s like a theological mosquito who just keeps biting 😉 . Seriously, he gave me some pause on Molnar’s thinking in regards to Molnar’s appropriation of the tradition of the church (church councils and such) versus scriptural categories. This is all relative to how we should conceive of God’s nature, and an order of knowing (both ontology and epistemology); should we conceive of God’s being before acting, and then impose that upon His act? Or should we conceive of God’s being in act or event? I think the latter is the best way forward, and Molnar apparently believes that the former is better; he says (taken from the quote in my last post):
. . . This leads to a more unified soteirology which views incarnation and atonement as a single continuous movement of God’s redeeming love which accentuates Jesus Christ’s ‘God-manward and his man-Godward activity’. . . .
Now that doesn’t sound so bad, but when read in light of his broader theological assumptions, this certainly can be understood as problematic! The problem is, apparently, is that Molnar conceives of the incarnation as a prior reality, “behind the back of the Jesus of Nazareth;” so that the so called logos asarkos (Word w/o flesh) is not eternally shaped by the logos ensarkos (Word enfleshed). In other words, we end up with a Jesus a God who is determined or predicated to be who He is by His creation; or a God who’s being is different from His act (a classic de potiente dichotomy).
What I believe is that the ‘Word without flesh is the Word enfleshed’ . . . in other words: “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” The way to avoid the collapsing of the immanent nature of God into the economic (e.g. maintaining the Creator/creature distinction) is to have a high pneumatology (the kind that James Houston speaks of below this post) — but I digress — the main thing I want to maintain is that the whole Gospel narrative must be allowed to shape who we know God to be; and if scriptural categories are going to be subverted by the tradition (per Molnar’s approach); then we are going to fall into theological error that is really negative versus positive.
I realize this post needs to come with a “decoding key” for some, I’m sorry; this is just one of those posts where I need to get something off of my chest, clear the air a bit 😉 . . . thanks for your patience!