Translation Louise Thunin
What are we talking about when we say « God » ? Are we talking about the same thing when we say that God is love, when we hold God responsible for someone’s death (« God called him back to Himself »), when we make God the master of destiny (« God willing »), when we assert that God is the foundation of being or when we claim that « God frees his people from slavery » ? When we say « God », we don’t really know what we are saying. « God » is too often a fig leaf, hiding our lack of any clear idea about what the word means.
« God says that… », « God wills that… » are just so many expressions of our own wishful thinking turned into categorical imperatives.
The only possible attitude in the face of this inflation of « God » is a fast.
Stop saying « God » if only for a month. No longer take the function of the Lord in vain. Say explicitly what the word « God » refers to, but no longer pronounce it, no longer write it. A moratorium on God, a kenosis (an emptying out) of « God » to rid the Almighty of all those innuendos, of all our implicit definitions, of all the stereotypes we carry with us and that prevent « God » from being the Almighty. If « God is beyond God », that is, if the true God is beyond our ever-imperfect definitions, as the theologian Paul Tillich suggested, then let us go beyond the word « God » and explore that space. Then we can reinvest this word with the new reality that we shall have experienced and « God » will be the right word – the logos – to express what biblical texts attempt to reveal and that our faith desires.
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