Saturday, 25 September 2010


Christianity is a religion of consumption and materialism, discuss. I'm reading Bishop James Jones' short book on "Jesus and the Earth" at the moment. He is saying that God is as interested in the material as in the spiritual. Christianity has at its heart the incarnation of God in material form, and the consumption of bread and wine, body and blood, in the Eucharist.

If we had had the Office of Readings today (we had a lie-in), the Old Testament reading would have been from 1 Kings 19. Readings of this passage usually focus on the "still small voice", or in the NRSV translation the "sound of sheer silence". Having just read Jones on the subject of earthquakes in Matthew's gospel, my attention was caught by the preceding verses - there was a mighty wind that split mountains, but God was not in the wind; there was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake; there was a fire, but God was not in the fire. What does it mean for God to be in a physical process? Or not in it? If God were not in these processes, how were they triggered? Perhaps it was the earth reacting to God's drawing near. What would the understanding of the author have been? What does it mean for our understanding of creation and God's immanence? At present, mine is probably some form of panentheism, but I think this bears more reflection.

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