Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Why I am (finally) going to read Herbert McCabe

I’ve been meaning to read a bit of Herbert McCabe ever since Kim’s posts – but somehow I’ve just never gotten around to it. But when I read Halden’s new post, McCabe was suddenly pushed straight to the top of my must-read list. Here are some of the passages Halden quotes from McCabe’s book God Matters:

“The story of Jesus is nothing other than the triune life of God projected onto our history, or enacted sacramentally in our history, so that it becomes story…. The historical mission of Jesus is nothing other than the eternal mission of the Son from the Father; the historical outpouring of the Spirit in virtue of the passion, death, and ascension of Jesus is nothing but the eternal outpouring of the Spirit from the Father through the Son. Watching, so to say, the story of Jesus, we are watching the processions of the Trinity.”

“There was, from the point of view of God’s life, no such thing as a moment at which the eternal Son of God was not Jesus of Nazareth…. The eternal life of Jesus as such could not precede, follow or be simultaneous with his human life. There is no story of God ‘before’ the story of Jesus.”

Which is exactly what Barthian thinkers like Jüngel, Jenson and McCormack have been telling us as well. The “pre-existence” of the Son is always and only the pre-existence of the man Jesus of Nazareth. The trinitarian relations exist not as a hidden “depth” lurking behind the history of Jesus, but precisely as the surface on which this history is enacted.


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