Tuesday, May 23, 2006

God is Love

If God comes closer to humanity and in it to me than the human ego, individually and generically, is able to come close to itself, if God in this sense is "more inward to me than my most inward part," then he is not "higher than my highest" in such a way that my perishability would not touch him and his highness would not touch me. What is evidenced hermeneutically with regard to talk about God as the still greater similarity in such a great dissimilarity must also be expressible and be formulated ontologically with regard to the being of God. What should one call that being which in such great dissimilarity is concerned for the greater similarity, in such great distance is concerned for the still greater nearness, in such great majesty is concerned for the greater condescension, in such great differentness is concerned for the still more intensive relationship? To ask it in a Pauline way (in all of this we are dealing with God's relationship to 'sinful man'): How is that being to be named who counters growing sin with still greater grace (Rom 5:20)?

The answer does not have to be sought. It is both anthropologically and theologically evident and is called Love.

[E. Jüngel, God as the Mystery of the World, 298.]

4 comments:

Jordan said...

Interesting quote. I'd be really interested in why Jungel is worth reading when his stuff is so difficult. I am new to his stuff, and I'm still trying to find out what makes him so special. Thanks.

GoobyNelly said...

Great quote. I thoroughly enjoy these tidbits from Jungel that both you and Ben provide. I came across Jungel's small book: "Death: The Riddle and the Mystery." I didn't have a chance to read it at the library, since I was already in the midst of Wolf Krotke's work on Barth and Sin/Nothingness. Have you read Jungel's work on death? Death was quite existentially near to me, as I was flying through turbulence on the plane to and from michigan.

Chris King said...

I have found Jungel only extremely recently, but have been unable to tear him from my thoughts since. Although I have yet to read anything substantial from him, I am eminently interested in his work. When he says, "the still greater similarity in such a great dissimilarity must also be expressible and be formulated ontologically," is he here referring to Love as an ontological category? And if so, is the Love here expressed simply the action of overcoming difference, or is it something upon which the human being can stand, ontologically speaking? Or does the Love represent the specific historic being and/or act of Jesus Christ?

As you can see, my thoughts are quite muddled. Hopefully there is some coherence is my line of questioning.

D.W. Congdon said...

This is the danger of pulling such rich quotes out of the middle of such complex arguments. That line is one of the most important lines Jüngel gives in his theology, so I will have to wait until I can put together a full post on the subject. For now, please hold on to your question -- which is a good one.