In my previous post I suggested that theology starts with the receiving of the broken body of the Crucified and that the unity of the Church does not ultimately depend on specific doctrines. Rather, I claimed, the unity of the Church is a unity in Christ and it is held together by him. Throughout the post I therefore criticized all manmade structures that aims to control people in order to keep the Church together since such structures ultimately attempts to domesticate Christ by assuming his place.
Is not then my belief that theology starts with the receiving of the body of the Crucified simply another idolatrous structure that attempts to confine Christ – the God-man – within itself? This question might seem reasonable since it would be foolish to criticise others only to repeat their mistake, but my claim is that this particular question only appears to be fitting when it is understood from within such manmade structures that I am criticising.
My belief is that the good news of the Christian faith proclaims the end of all structures that attempts to domesticate God. Rather than understanding God as part of our own particular narrative we are called to embrace that we are part of God’s universal narrative that aims to reconcile all things in heaven and on earth. Hence by receiving the body of the Crucified we become parts of a narrative and an identity that transcends our own particularity and creates the possibility for many to become one. The ultimate concern of the Christian faith is therefore not to comprehend God but to live in accordance with God’s promises, which ultimately was unveiled by the resurrected Christ – the first fruit of the new creation.
Consider Abraham. He is not called the father of faith simply because he obediently walked up Mount Moriah in order to sacrifice Isaac as a respons to God’s command, but as Kierkegaard pointed out, because he believed that he would get him back. Abraham’s ultimate concern was God’s promised future, which was tied to the life of his son. Hence belief in God’s promised future required for Abraham to believe that his son would not be taken away.
We cannot rationally comprehend God from our human perspectives but we can allow for our lives to be transformed by the receiving of Christ’s broken body and thus by participating in the coming future that God promised by raising Christ from the dead. Given that the future of the risen Christ is the universal reconciliation of all things in heaven and on earth we can therefore conclude that the object of the Christian faith is not doctrinal but relational, and for this reason that love is the fulfilment of the law rather than submission to specific beliefs.
To be clear, the aim of this argument has not been to say that the Church’s doctrines are not important, rather I have explored this subject for the purpose of articulating my understanding of where I believe that theology should begin. I will continue this pursuit in my next post in which I will discuss the relationship between faith and knowledge.