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Being Determined

“We are reconciled to the Father in that the Spirit reconciles us to the Father’s reconciled Son.  Therefore our meaning, our identity and purpose, are determined so: we are what the Son is for the Father.  We are the segullah, the dear treasure, of that sheer unfathomable love that is the source of all.

Again, we do not want this.  We do not want to be determined by anyone’s determinate love.  If we are willing to be loved, it is only insofar as the other, even or especially if this is God, is willing to ‘accept’ us ‘just as we are’; whereas of course authentic love is the willingness to be changed by the other.  It is our passion to be pure spirit, to escape all determination.  It is our passion to be a se, in a way that God himself disdains. 

But neither, of course do we truly want to be free.  We want only an abstract freedom which in fact leaves us unmoved.  As the dismal outcomes of modernity teach, modernity’s freedom is profoundly reactionary.

The problem is the great political problem.  The cities of the world cannot solve it, which is why none finally prevails against the gates of death.  It is solved in the Kingdom, and so, in fits and anticipatory starts, in the Church.  For it is in the Church that it can be said ‘the Lord is the Spirit’; that the reconciliation worked by the Father as mon-arch of Son and Spirit is actual in God’s history with us.  The reconciliation of meaning and freedom is community, and the Church is the foretaste of the community in the triune God for which we are created.”

–Robert W. Jenson, “Reconciliation in God”, in The Theology of Reconciliation, Colin Gunton, ed. (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2003), 166.

One Comment

  1. R.O. Flyer wrote:

    This is a gem. Thanks for posting it.

    Monday, April 21, 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink

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