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recap - intro to exploring god in relationship

recap and start of understanding who God is using michael himes

gil donayre

on 2 December 2011

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Transcript of recap - intro to exploring god in relationship

I. There is a gap between our faith
and the way we live our lives. II. To bridge this gap,there
is a need to do theology. III. Definition: Theology is faith
seeking understanding. RECAP Our answers to these ultimate
questions come from our tradition. 1. Mystery - (in the Agatha Christie murder mystery)
- work of fiction, a drama, or a film dealing with a puzzling crime
- the mystery is solved by finding the clues
- there is a definite solution to the problem Otto: God is totally Other Who is God becomes as impossible to
answer as the question "Who am I" GOD GOD Any term predicated of God is inadequate. false/incomplete images of God correct but inadequate conceptions but these do not give the entirety of who God is i. Two Meanings of Mystery Over-Personalized God God as Law Giver God as Controller Incomplete image of God Incomplete Image of God
False Image of God
God as Judge/Punisher Incomplete Image of God God as Tester Incomplete/False Image 2. Mystery - (in the caterpillar sense of mystery, in Alice in Wonderland)
- related to the question "Who are you?"
- Who is this "I" that I refer to?
- there is no definite answer to the question St. Augustine:
Impossibility to answer the question because the moment he answers, he becomes more than his answer, making his answer false. So can we know God? Our images/predicates of God do not capture the ESSENCE of God. Christian tradition:
least inadequate expression for God:
God is love. God loves us. "Our father in heaven finds ethics very dull." You may not love your Father in heaven
but your Father in heaven still loves you. Divine Perspective: Man does not merit the love of God. Pure self-gift absolute mystery that grounds and supports all that exists What is Doing College
Theology All About? Who is God? O I only talk to God about my needs but not the needs of the world. I love God but I hate my neighbor God relates to everyone personally and equally. God desires not only what is good for me but also the good of the world measurement of goodness is based on obedience to laws.
-concerned about external behavior with little attention to growth in personal character. God not as legislator but who loves us first and who invites us to respond. Moral laws are not impositions but as channels that direct our love. God controls everything in life and I cannot escape the will of God. Everything that happens in my life has already been planned by God. God has reasons for allowing bad things to happen to me. God has a general plan of salvation but he respects human freedom. God is always watching my every move and if I make a mistake I will get punished. God is a God of mercy. We relate to God with humble gratitude and not with fear. God sends problems to test my faith. God does not need to test us. He knows us intimately and completely. Problems do not come from God; they just happen. Edilberto Jimenez The Great Questions III. The Question of Ultimate Meaning William Portier I.Introduction II. Two Types of Human Experience A. The Existence of Religions/Faiths A. Folk Catholicism
B. Practical Atheism
C. Spiritual Blindness
D. Secularization
E. Pluralism B. Anti-Religion C. Phenomenon D. Question:
How is it possible for people to have faith?
Why do people believe? A. Ordinary Human Experience B. Extraordinary Human Experience 1. Birth
2. Death
3. Love
4. Evil A. The Trigger B. The Great Questions C. The Aim IV. The Positive Role of Tradition A. Two Ways of Finding Answers 1. Solo
2. Within Tradition B. The Inescapability of Tradition C. "Answers" to the Great Questions 1. Examples Exploring God In Relationships I . Introductory Points: Michael Himes 1. Overpersonalized God
2. Judge
3. Tester
4. Lawgiver
5. Helper
6. Consoler
7. Counsellor B. The Incomrehensibility of God A. Images of God II. The Christian God 1. God's Infinite Nature 2. The Finite Nature of Human Beings Otto: God is totally Other Barth: As theologians, we ought to speak of God. We are however, human beings, and as such cannot speak of God. We ought to recognize our obligation and our inability--and precisely in that give God the glory. This is our affliction. Everything is child's play. A. Understanding God as Mystery ii. God as Mystery B. Understanding God as Agape C. Exegesis: The Prodigal Son
- a Greek word meaning love which is purely other-directed
- love that seeks no return
- love which does not want anything back
- pure self-gift "...children of your father in heaven who makes the sun shine on the wicked as well as the good and sends rain to fall on the just as well as the unjust." (Mt 5:45) Exploring the Prodigal
Son Story (Lk 15) There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.13 Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in a life of dissipation. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has him back safe and sound.' 28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 1. Jewish society is patriarchal - one's social,
economic, even religious standing depended
on one's relationship with the household head
2. Inheritance was governed by primogeniture. not about repentance incomprehensibility of the love and mystery of God story about absolute, unconditional self-gift 1. The God of the Christian Tradition God as Pure-Self Gift
God as Unconditional Love Exploring the Prodigal Son Story Who can relate with the Younger Son? Who can relate with the Elder Son? Who can relate with the Father? -the neighbors, the father, the elder son are scandalized
- treating the father as dead. i. What does taking one's inheritance mean? ii. What was the reaction of the father? iii. What does life of dissipation mean? iv. What does it mean to be a caretaker of pigs? v. What was his motive for going back home? What is his alibi? vi. What does "caught sight of him" mean? vii. What is the reaction of the son
as his father approaches? The workers and neighbors must have cheered the father...to beat him. viii. What is striking about "the father
embraces and kisses the son?" Notice the difference between the rehearsed alibi and the actual statements. The father does not care about the apology. ix. What did the robes signify? x. Put a ring on his finger. xi. Put sandals on his feet. To see the son's bare feet must have broken the heart of the father. xii. How would you have felt if you were
in the shoes of the younger son? xii. What was shown by the Father? Gratuitous love. running towards the son...
interrupted the son while he was giving an alibi...
restores the son's dignity
celebrating Utter Shame. Why? For us, it is unthinkable to expect this unconditional love. i. What does "in the field" mean? He hears the sound of music and dancing. ii. How would you feel as the older son? He is angry. He is not joining the celebration. The father pleaded with him... iv. What was the reply of the older son? v. How does the older brother address the younger son? viii. How does the father adress the older brother? we are suspicious of unconditional love For us, it is unthinkable to expect this unconditional love. Compare the Elder Son and the Younger Son. hardworking, faithful, obedient disrespectful, prodigal (wasteful), cunning/shrewd Fatted Calf - externalization of something interior. The fatted calf symbolizes the father's love. He does not have any of the Father's love. Our notion:
The father's love is something we merit, work, deserve or entitled to. We construe the Father's love as reward for our virtuousness. It is a reward for who I am and what I can do. Our Christian tradition says:
The father's love is gratuitous.
It is free-gift to all, given unconditionally and infinitely. 3. Between Mother Teresa and a suicide bomber: Who gets love more? God's love is not dependent on our virtue or lack thereof. This is God's prerogative. a critical interpretation or explication, especially of biblical and other religious texts by examining the cultural, political, economic dimensions of the author and the original audience i.Definition of Exegesis ii. The Prodigal Son 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' b. Details (PART I) c. Details (PART II) We are unaccustomed to receiving unconditional love. vi. What was the complaint of the elder son? iii. What did the father do? vii. What does the fatted calf symbolize? d. Points to Consider viii. What was the worldview of the elder brother? The father's love is merited. Do good, you will have inheritance. Otherwise, you lose it. Sense of Entitlement 2. God's love is not merited The trap of Christians:
misconception of God. a. Pre-Note: 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fatted calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fatted calf for him!' 31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "
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