Sunday, 26 July 2015
Canon & Community: A Guide to Canonical Criticism,
James A. Sanders, Wipf and Stock, 2000, page 59-60
Moving rapidly to his climax, Sanders continues:
The fact that theearly churches made a doctrine of the trinitarian formula did to a dgree absolutise it, that is, freeze the idiom for all time. That has been both good and bad. Good, because in integral part of the doctrine is the insistence on the one G-d expressed in three persons. Bad, because Christians have tended (a) to slip into polytheism because of the formula and (b) to think that Chrit revealed G-d rather than G-d's continguing His self-revelation in Christ fully and completely. G-d is the subject of all the verbs of the Torah-Christ story.
After using the Exodus as a worked example, Sanders summarises:
What we really do not like, perhaps, is the statement in Exodus 9:12 and elsewhere that G-d hardened Pharaoh's heart, We do not want our nice, good G-d involved in politics either. Of course, G-d is not a puppeteer. Such passages must be read in light of the perception of G-d that emerges from the full canon. G-d is indeed sovereign; but G-d is not a chess player. Far from it, G-d grants humans full freedom of will. What the Bible as canon asserts is that there is no amount of evil, or hurt, or suffering we experience or create which is beyond the reach of G-d to redeem. He is still sovereign even when we, like Pharaoh, refuse to share our power.