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Monday, June 28, 2010

Comments

Ed Peters

I know almost nohting about St. I,. 'cept he sat at the feet of Polycarp, who sat at the feet of John, who sat at the feet of Jesus. And I just think that is just so super cool.

J.

Fr Barron is right about Irenaeus of course, but I wish he would not simply say creatio ex nihilo and God not needing anything means God created out of love.

I am not a theologian by a long shot but let me try - very imprecisely (theologians please correct me) - and point out why.

The Muslims posit a god who creates out nothing, out of 'sheer will' - and in that they are correct. But we know that the Allah of Islam is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that the Allah of Islam is capricious - he does what he wants at times acting inconsistently. We know he has not bound himself to his creation in any way, and if you study Islamic theology, offers no sure salvation for man( bar the jihadi martyrdom). Hence even the greatest Muslims dying words are no more than, gee I hope I make it. Hence the 'inshallah' fatalism of traditional Muslim socieites. And hence all man's response under the defective and incoherent and often inconsistent Muslim anthropology - such as it is - is 'submission'. Submission to whatever.

We know that the Allah of the Muslims is not the God of the Christians. But we both say God is Creator, ex nihilo. So what is the difference?

A lesson from the Orthodox: Trinity and Incarnation!

The god of the Muslims is a unity, he is not love in and of himself and can only do something out of sheer will.

But our God has revealed Himself as Trinity. Fr Barron is right that our God's very being is sheer gratuity, love and that He creates out of love. God is Love because God is Trinity...because of the eternal self-giving of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To love Him is to be drawn into that inter-Trinitarian love, to Himself...how...Incarnation.

I don't want to disrespect the very fine Fr Barron, and I hold no special qualifications for theology, but sometimes when I listen to him on this topic, I think, Fr Barron, maybe you should also consider Athanasius, himself very much influenced by the great Ireneaus. Fr Barron: Trinity, Incarnation! Your wonderful Pope Benedict too, steeped in the Fathers gets this. And to even grasp this even slightly, how God who is Love created out of love for love, is truly liberating, an a coming alive.

Fr. Robert Barron

Well, friend, there is only so much I can do in a six minute video! Of course there is a tight correlation betweeen the Trinity and Creation from nothing, precisely because God's action reflects his being. God creates out of love because God is love. I would argue that if a Jew or Muslim thoroughly thought through the implications of the claim that God created out of sheer gratuity, he would see the reasonability of the Trinitarian doctrine.

Brian J. Schuettler

J, in his comment, makes some essential points in the contrast between Our Lord and allah. This quote below,I believe, captures the capriciousness of the irreconcilable claims of those to dare to say that Our Trinitarian Lord is synonymous with the syncretistic Muslim deity.

"The concept of love as one of God's attributes is conspicuously missing from Islam because in Islamic thought love is a sign of weakness. Far be it from Allah, the all-powerful, to be weak. To love is to be vulnerable, and far be it from Allah to be vulnerable. But love also produces genuine confidence and hope and teaches the beloved to love freely and generously in return. Islam has no concept of the strength of love or of the characteristic qualities of love as desirable. The Koran gives no knowledge of the perfect love of God in Jesus Christ, which casts out fear and which is strong enough to overcome death and inaugurate eternal life. Muslims cannot rest in the promise of a faithful God who assures that nothing will separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
"In Islam, God and man are wary of each other, in contrast to Christianity, in which God and man are in love with each other. This difference is of great importance because it lies at the heart of the tensions Muslims feel toward Christians. The same relationship that exists between God and humans in each of the two religions exists by extension between the humans. Christians are taught to love their neighbors as they have first experienced Christ's love. Muslims are taught - many exhortations to charity notwithstanding - to judge, condemn, and even eliminate their neighbors if they fail to measure up to a certain standard of faith and practice, because that is how they expect Allah to deal with them."

M. Youssef, America, Oil, and the Islamic Mind, pp. 82

J.

Hi Fr Barron, thank you for honouring me with a reply.
Please don't think me presumptious (I am a fan) - six minutes, yes of course. Nevertheless, I am relieved I am not off track and I thought you did quite well in three and a bit lines responding to me.

:-)

J.

I should add that in my own context (where one plays spot the Christian), it's not just the that God, or the why God but the which God. Hence my comment...

J.

Thank you too Brian for that excellent quote. Fits perfectly. I won't say more - I didn't mean to make this a thread on comparative theology or something.

William jerome

Didn't the Pope say that Moslems worship the same God as Christians, albeit, they have errors in conceiving His nature?

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