Thursday, May 24, 2012

Postmodern Hymn: God Above

"God Above," by John Fullbright is a song that gives me goosebumps. I watch him sing it, and the song looks like a revelation, the way his fingers, mouth, and his whole body work together to create those notes. Then there are the lyrics, which for me, point to the troubles that can come from a theology of omnipotence. Why does God allow feebleness, sin, and evil? 

For one meditation on this question, I suggest the first few chapters of Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes, by Charles Hartshorne, which offers helpful alternative perspectives to the traditional Christian theology.

"Omnipotence as usually conceived is a false or indeed absurd ideal, which in truth limits God, denies to him any world worth talking about: a world of living, that is to say, significantly decision-making agents. It is the tradition which did indeed terribly limit divine power, the power to foster creativity even in the least of  the creatures. . . . The only livable doctrine of divine power is that it influences all that happens but determines nothing in its concrete particularity."
    —from Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes, by Charles Hartshorne

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