The Blameless God
From the sublime to the absolute

There is nothing more American than the revival preacher thundering about the sins of the believers.  From the mind of the sinful believer springs the sinless God.  But this is not just a phenomenon of Christianity on the Frontier.  Look to the Platonists.  The perfection of the heavenly ideal, the idea of the Good, was contrasted with our sublunary realm of corruption.  Moral and scientific absolutism are the natural response to our natural feeling of being lost in the world, of being disappointed in the world.

Consider ‘original sin.’  Each of us is born of ‘sin.’  Was the world any different?  Is the world an Immaculate Conception?  On the one hand we have the deadbeat dad, and on the other hand we have Deus Abscondus.  It sounds better in Latin.

Satan is the other side of the blameless God.  Evil is the uncreated creation.  The sending of the Savior is not an act of contrition, but an almost arbitrary act of charity.

There are those of us who resent charity.  We consider ourselves to be self-made individuals.  If we can’t make it on our own, then we should not make it at all.  Those who don’t, prove that we are special.  The sinless God is our idol.  He is the self-made wonder.  Jesus on the other hand is suspect.  We suspect that the cross really was empty, and the birth not quite immaculate.  Jesus is for the crybabies.  The people of the blameless God are also the Platonists of science.  They are the absolutists.  Their faith is unshakable.

I recommend the potent over the absolute.  The irresistible force will always wear down the immovable object.  Love is the irresistible force, physics not withstanding.

Creation and salvation are the two faces of love.  Was this love unsolicited?  Or was God seduced by the potency of her own creation?  Therein lies the original sin.  Evidently there was enough of that felicity for all of us to share at the beginning and at the end.

We are left with the absolute space-time manifold. That idol has feet of clay.  It is a paper tiger.  Einstein managed to put a big dent in it.  But NASA is doing a good job of keeping it propped up.  I intend to kick out the props, and that is now mainly a political challenge.  In case you were wondering, I will be doing that in the name of Jesus.  I do that not gratuitously, but out of the recognition that I am not self-made.  This is not an act of charity.  It is an act of finality.


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rev. 1/31/99