Peter Knauer SJ
Speaking of God today
|= Statements of reason||= Statements of faith|
|The starting point of our speaking of God is meeting the Christian message which claims to be the "Word of God".||Do we thus presuppose
already that this message
|If we ask first: Where is God? How can God permit suffering? Does he exist?, we are making a serious error in the order of our thinking which confuses everything. It would be better if we asked first, whom this God might be.||Which question should
one ask first? Why?
this latter question the Christian message answers: Everything that
exists, is summed up completely as not being able to be without him. God is "without whom nothing can exist". We
know God only through what is entirely different from him yet refers
entirely to him. Thus the entire universe, all our experienced reality,
is the rational basis of our talking about God. The statement of the
Christian message that we are created out of nothing means: If we could
eliminate our being created, nothing would remain of us. Our being and
our being created (= our totally referring to ... / in total
distinction from ...) is one and the same reality.
For everything in the world represents at the same time a union of contraries such as being and not-being, identity and non-identity, If one wants to describe these otherwise than as logical contradictions, one must indicate two regards, which do not exclude each other. We find them only understanding the world as "totally in reference to ... / in complete difference from ..." and thus as created. The world is not explained by God, but by its own created nature.
|How can one speak about God, if - allegedly - he does not fall under any concepts?|
|God is therefore not "almighty" in the merely potential sense that he would have to be able to do whatever we imagine (only, one would never know, whether he actually wants to do it). He is rather "mighty in all", i.e. in everything that actually happens: "No sparrow falls to the earth without your father" (Mt 10:29).||In which sense is God
"almighty", and in which
sense isn't he? Is there
any Divine intervention?
|About this God the Christian message says that he gives us communion with himself. We are taken up into the eternal love of God for God, of the Father for the Son, and this love is the Holy Spirit. In no other way communion with God is possible (see Rom 5:1s; Eph 2:18; 3:12), and against it no power can prevail (see Rom 8,35-39). Therefore we do no more need to live under the pressure of fear for ourselves, which otherwise prevents us again and again from acting in a human instead of in an inhuman way. This is our redemption (Hebr 2:15).||What is the basic statement
of faith, which everything else can be reduced to? How does it
affect the believer?
|The author of this message is Jesus. To believe in him as the incarnated Son of God means - owing to his word - to understand oneself and the entire mankind as taken up into the eternal love of the Father for him as his Son. The crucifixion of Jesus has been the martyrdom for his message. Because of his message and because he had found disciples for it, he was executed by those, who prefer to remain in power through inspiring fear in others. In the face of his death, his being the Son of God is identical to his resurrection. Thus the power of death is broken also for us.||Why do we appeal to the
incarnation of the Son?
What is the meaning of
"redemption by the crucifixion of Jesus"?
|The Church is the continual event of transmitting this Word which is insurpassable and concerns all mankind. Prayer is the response to the word of God, it is "faith speaking" (see Rom 8:15–17).||Church for what?
And the effect of prayer?