From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Jun 29 2003 - 20:15:45 EDT
From: "Don Winterstein" <email@example.com>
> Howard Van Till wrote in part:
> "...As I use the term here, "the Sacred" does indeed have a personal
> dimension. But "the Sacred" is much more than a person. One problem that I
> have observed in common usage of "God" is the way in which the name "God"
> functions as a personification of the Sacred, diminishing the Sacred to a
> divine Person, often an amplified version of a human person."
> Are you saying that God becomes something conceptually less than he really
> is if we conceive of him as a person? Is Jesus as a human person somehow
> less than God?
What I thought I said was that God is MORE THAN a person. I find the word
"person" too restrictive.
> I don't see it that way, and neither does the Athanasian
> creed (for what it's worth).
Given that the Athanasian Creed is a humanly crafted document, there is no
reason that I am bound to take every word of it as truth.
> To me one of the great joys of Christian
> teaching is that God, despite being all that he is, is a person with whom I
> can have a personal relationship.
I see no reason that you could not have a personal relationship with a
Sacred Reality that is personal, but at the same time more than "a person."
> What kind of abstraction would love of God become if God were not fully a
Of course, I did not say that God was not fully a person, but that God was
more than a person.
> Our personhood derives from God's personhood, and because he and we are
> persons, we can have a mutually satisfying relationship. A great mystery
> of the creation is how God could have generated creatures out of raw matter
> that can know him and be compatible with him as a person.
I would not restrict God's being by the same term that limits our own being
-- a "person."
Howard Van Till
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