|God on his throne. So close and yet - so far away.|
Because so much of the Bible is story after story, phrase after phrase, word after word, telling us about God through the negative:
- God is not Marduk or Tiamat
- God is not Gilgamesh or Enkidu
- God is not Pharaoh
- God is not a Golden Calf
- God is not Caesar
I've only been going at this for 3 months, but I tell ya - I've heard a lot more about what God is not from the ancient Israelites than about what God is. If there is something wrong with deconstructionist theology, then we are in a whole heap of trouble.
Heck! Those crazy Israelites built God a throne just so that it could sit there empty. They get nervous calling him by name. They really don't show us much about what God is.
Why is that?
Because they get it. Saying what God is? That's risky business if you are not God - and I'll go out on a limb and say that none of us are. Creating an image of God is something that can be done with words and ideas just as well as by a sculptor's hand. Better to leave the creation of images to the real Potter instead of us playing that game. Too easily our attempts at images end up looking like us (or if we're in the ancient near east, weird animal bits all smooshed together - winged-bull-with-human-head anyone?)
Now we haven't gotten to the New Testament yet (that's next year), but I'm pretty sure a big lesson there is that whatever we think God is going to look like? Yeah...it's pretty much the opposite.
So I'll take my deconstructionist theology, with a healthy side of grace, thank-you-very-much. Will this mean I'm tying myself to the sinking ship of progressive deconstructionism? Not if God has anything to do with it. While it's always easier to worship the ever-popular Golden Calf in our midst, I trust a prophet will come to set our eyes upon that mysterious empty throne again.