Strong Protagonism and Weak Presence: The Changes in Tone of The Voice of God  (Alison, 2007)

Strong Protagonism and Weak Presence: The Changes in Tone of The Voice of God (Alison, 2007)

http://www.jamesalison.co.uk/texts/eng48.html

My motive for beginning with a grammatical niggle is that it points towards something more properly theological. If we start with “For God so loved…”, then all our concentration and effort goes into imagining the emotional intensity which lies behind the manifest activity. What is really interesting is not so much what happened, about which we can satisfy ourselves with the briefest of enquiries, describing it in very spare terms. What would really be interesting is the degree in which the act was intended, the push behind it, the emotional force with which the principal agent of this activity carried it out.

If, on the other hand, we begin with “It was in this way that God loved”, then we have no prior access to some supposed interior life of God, modelled on our own. Instead it is that which is visible, that which is manifest in the activity itself, which becomes the lure for our fascination. And it is only in the degree in which we allow ourselves to be pulled inside that activity, and what we can discover starting from it, that we begin to get some notion of God’s love.

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