Friday 16 February 2007

Falling over things in the dark

“In a world of competition, frenzied chatter, control-obsession, there is a terrible aptness, a rhetorical rightness, in a God who speaks in a child’s cry. And it is so cruelly hard – for believer and unbeliever alike – to face the possibility that silence, stumbling apparent crudity, tell you more of God than the language of would-be adult sophistication. As if the best theology were the noise of someone falling over things in the dark.”

—Rowan Williams, “Telling That Christmas Story Like It Is,” The Guardian, 23 December 2000.


Anonymous said...

So many of Williams' themes and influences there in just a few sentences:

the suspicion of conceptual tidiness and closure in theology, of theolgy as a totalising project; the childlikeness of good theology, e.g. in its wonder and images ("icons"); the prayerful posture of stillness and waiting; prosaic holiness; the sheer difficulty of the gospel; the darkness of paschal event and experience;

the ghosts of Luther and Barth (the tower image of "falling over things in the dark"); R.S. Thomas ("It is a room I enter / from whcih someone has just / gone"); Derrida too (trace, shadow, haunting).

What rich theological pickings on the Rowan tree.

Thanks, Ben

Lyn said...

And isn't it amazing that God condescends to speak in such baby talk to us so that we might hear him and respond? Ah, what language might we speak at the consumation! lgp

nakedpastor said...

love the quote. totally agree.

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