exploration

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Pardon this next quote, it’s a wee bit full of theologicalisms. I’m working my way through something and need a place to mark my progress and see where I’m going:

This is from Kilian McDonnell, a Benedictine Charismatic:

Perhaps better than any systematic area, Christology demonstrates the hermeneutic funciton of pneumatology, the doctrine of the Spirit as horizon, because it determines the rules for speaking about the Christ who is the Present One. In Christology, one is speaking about the “what” which in the classical Chalcedonian formulation is the two-nature doctrine. One is also speaking of the “why,” or the purpose of the Son’s coming: salvation. But this is not yet a full reflection of the biblical doctrine because one neglects the element of “how” God and the human person met in Jesus the Present One. And the Spirit is the “how”.

That last part is one of the biggest issues facing the church in the last several hundred years. The Spirit is the “how”.

I had a lengthy conversation recently with some people who are part of traditions which do not see the “Spirit as the how”. Instead, and they rely on centuries of habit with this, Christ has become not only the what and why but also the how. This then is reflected in the whole of their ecclesiology in which everything which Scripture relates to Christ then becomes instantly reflected in practice. With this is an intensity of gender focus, a heightened emphasis on the symbolism, and very strong representational and hierarchical ministry. If Christ is the “how” then models of the church must reflect Christ’s being in full. We are the body of Christ, it is said, and thus the “how” must be set up to guard the sanctity of Christ’s incarnation as the model of presenting Jesus to the world. We must be to the world just as Christ was to the world, for he is the both the content and the method of the message.

When the Trinity becomes a binary, however, then the Church runs into problems. Problems of power, control, sexism, racism, and so on are the curious consequences because as one part begins to see themselves as the direct authoritative representatives of Christ, or control that which represents, or are gatekeepers to who represents, the whole model becomes a distortion as the human will cannot ultimately bear that much responsibility. Even when there are the occasional lights, the shadows of the sin filled soul eventually becomes a cloud.

That is why the Spirit is the “how”. Of course, now all we need to figure out is how the Spirit is the how. I think this is the challenge of those in the Church in coming generations, all while enduring the flack from those who are used to approaches that are not quite as God intended all because if the Spirit is the “how” then things get rather adventurous.

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