Finding The Words For God

Stanley Hauerwas ponders how we write about God today:

[T]heologians throughout Christian history have rightly thought it never easy to write about God. But the reservation to write about God among current theologians seems to me to be of a different order than the past emphasis on our inability to know God unless God makes himself known to us. Today, we tend to avoid writing about God because we are unsure that the God about whom we might write makes any difference in our lives and, consequently, in the sentences we use to write about our lives. We live lives that would make sense if the God we worship did not exist, so we should not be surprised that our theological writing reflects our lives. …

I think the attempt to reduce Christianity to “the essentials” results in expressions of the faith, a kind of writing, that cannot help but underwrite the sentimentalities of our culture. Thus the wide-spread presumption expressed in inelegant sentences such as “God is love” or “I believe that Jesus is Lord, but that is just my personal opinion.” Such sentences could only be produced when the simple complexity of the narrative that makes us Christians has been left behind.