Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Reflection on Chapter two

REFLECTION ON CHAPTER TWO, “The Theological Structure of Things”, in Jesus, Humanity, and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology, by Kathryn Tanner, Fortress press, 2001
     In this densely-argued chapter Tanner writes, oddly, about God’s “effort” to bring about a certain kind of non-divine reality utilizing the “willing partnership” of human beings, and does so by a “series of partnerships” as revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures and culminating in the incarnation, an effort that is “less external” than the previous versions and “without any distance to be overcome”, that is, between God the Son and Jesus of Nazareth.
    I’m pretty sure Tanner is speaking of these 2000 year-old topics in new and unfamiliar terms. This is, I would think, part of her project to “reconceive Chalcedonian Christology”, and thereby examine “where human beings fit in a broader theological scheme that has Christ as its center?”
   This prompts my own perennial question: why does God bother with the creation of worlds?  With time, evolution, history, incarnation, redemption, etc…? Why not just “make it all right” all at once, with a snap of the divine fingers, so to speak?
My (tentative) conclusion… “God”= the “Story Loving One”, whose “effort” is to produce a cosmic drama with human beings as associate directors, stage hands, audience, actors, and critics.