Christianity and Paradox: Critical Studies in Twentieth- Century Theology

By Ronald W. Hepburn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
MEANING AND MEDIATOR

1

I T would have been a neat and happy solution to the problems of theological paradox, if the attempt to 'single out' God in encounter had succeeded. While it is obviously true that we have not examined every version of theologies that make this attempt, nor given any knockdown demonstration that all must fail, still it is hard to see how any procedure could be suggested that would satisfactorily do for the God of Christianity what our pointings and touchings do so efficiently for finite objects and persons. Crucially, there could be nothing delimited about that God, which could allow one to identify him, saying, 'This is he; that is not he.' And yet the solution towards which these attempts move is such an attractive one, that it would be silly to abandon it entirely without asking whether any modifications could save it, even in part, and even at the cost of dropping the claims to directness and immediacy.

One can readily see what form one possible modification could take, if one considers certain statements of Jesus. 'He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.''I and my Father are one.' What these statements suggest is that pointing at Jesus might be 'as good as' pointing at God, and that to be able (as we are) to speak meaningfully about Jesus might mean that we are able to talk with equal meaningfulness about the acts and utterances of God. If this were true, then the paradoxes in the idea of God, the linguistic ruptures in our talk about him, would be no ultimate stumbling-

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