Monday, August 28, 2006

Paradox in the Gospel?

From chapter 7 of Paradox in the Gospel? by Jim Currin, published Grove Books 2006

One survey respondent observed: ‘Paradox is sadly lacking from most evangelism which seems to be the way of simple certainty, a fill-in-the-dots type of god offered by [a] formula sales team!’ Another agreed: ‘Absolutes have little place in Anglicanism; the black and white approach leaves too many gapss in thinking and in Christian response to all sorts of issues (virgin birth, homosexuality etc)’, to which another added, ‘Paradox is like the complexity of a colour photograph as opposed to the black and white simplicity of certainty.’

This last respondent, an experienced photographer, went on: ‘The Pharisees saw things in black and white while Jesus saw things in colour…note, colour includes black and white in [the] same way Jesus came to fulfil the law.’

Richard Holloway has observed the ‘Black and white issues’ are ‘more complicated than headlines’ while Jolley from research in the journal Anvil, quotes two out of fifteen experts on ‘Faith and Work’ who felt that ‘teaching which presented a prevailing "black and white" assumption about ethical mattes was likely to divide the faith and work of people who have to live with "gray" ethical compromises at work.’

Cyprian Smith does not comment specifically about ‘black and white’ theology. He is clear though that the gospel is ‘both/and’ and not ‘either/or.’ Further is it not gray but very ‘colourful,’ as Eckhart showed before him.
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