Monday, July 04, 2016

The use of metaphor

The Old Testament makes use of a host of metaphorical images to describe God’s presence in the world indirectly. The most important of these “anti-anthropomorphisms” are: “Name of God,” “Glory of God,” “Spirit of God,” “Word of God,” and “Angel of God.” The specific power of these theological metaphors lies in their ability to open an imaginative space without setting clear boundaries. This intentional openness when speaking about God reveals and obscures at the same time. It allows us to sense something without knowing it. As a coincidentia oppositorum, it opens a reality to us that transcends logical bipolarity and can only be described in metaphor. The necessity of metaphorical speech—transcending the boundaries of what can be said and still give expression to the unspeakable—is a special sign of the logic of theology. An impressive image for this logic is God’s revelation to Moses in Exodus 33, where God passes him by, but also covers the eyes of the greatest of all prophets until he is gone. Appropriate theological language remains in the realm of faith and does not fall into the illusion of actually seeing.— Job's Journey, pages 55–56 (emphasis original)

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I like!
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