Thursday, October 12, 2006

the flash

Every so often, something clicks in my head and things come together in a beautiful, crystalline way. It generally happens randomly, sparked by something read casually or spoken by someone else. I don't really understand how my brain works or why old bits of things float around in it unnoticed to eventually bump into something at the forefront of my consciousness and suddenly crystallize. But it happens that way.

So, the other day, I was sitting in 222 lecture (this being pretty much my primary out-of-the-house activity, second only to precepting; grocery shopping is a close third, and that is pretty much the sum of my out-of-the-house activity for a normal week) and something, I don't know what, suddenly flashed on in my brain. So at the end of my lecture notes, there is a squiggly box and in it I scribbled: Haraway--solidarity not similarity--answer to Xological problem.

So, I've been reading all this stuff, Barth, Calvin, Schleiermacher, on why Christ has to be both God and "Man" in order to do the work of redemption. Because how can Christ be our Mediator if he does not share in both natures?

Well...if Haraway's clue from feminist theory is worth anything, then maybe we can skip the whole Chalcedonian problem. Solidarity, not similarity. Does God have to be ontologically us to do the work of redemption? Maybe not. Maybe "mediation" isn't the way to think about it. Perhaps we can simply consider the incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection God's act of sovereign solidarity with us, despite our ontological difference. I don't know how far I would want to systematize that--probably not too far, actually--but it certainly is a relief from the wrestling with the God-Man question. And, incidentally, solidarity-not-similarity would provide an answer to the "problem" of Jesus' maleness.


Anonymous said...

I think that this is along the lines of how I understand the nature of the atonement, that simply in the process of God becoming human we experience at-oneness with God and God with us. There is solidarity in this act (and in the death and resurrection, which both occur temporally within the confines of bodily existence, not in a strange spiritual experience whereby Jesus can no longer identify with humanity).

This concept of solidarity has dramatic implications for eschatology, especially how we view the last things, which is integral to our capacity for hope and our ability to mirror solidarity with the world. If we view Jesus' God-Man problem through this lens, with the incarnation as the inauguration of atonement, we realize that God has a vested interest in what happens here. As such, we, too, should have a vested interest in our communities, cities, states, nation, and world. In solidarity we will not simply abandon creation through our hope to be taken up into heaven through some form of rapture; rather, we anticipate Christ's return to renew the earth and in bodily form take up the work that is currently in process via the church through the HS (still embodied here corporately). If God creates something that God considers good, even very good, it makes more sense that our hope should be founded on bodily resurrection and earthly renewal rather than spiritual escapism. This meshes well with your idea of sollidarity because it informs an ecclesiological piece of the puzzle that is often missing that distorts the grace-filled picture of what could be. This actually supports a missional ecclesiology that tries to free us from our tendency toward holy remnant behavior and frees us to follow the example of God in Christ in the Holy Spirit through solidarity with "the world." You may not think you can systematize this, but I think it would be quite an interesting project. Thanks for these thoughts. You've really got me thinking here and I just woke up!

TKP said...

love the pics of Clare. Have you heard of the Project Red Campaign? I think you might like it. Check my blog for more info if you need.

I didn't read this entire post. I will later, when I've gotten a lot more sleep.