there was a fire here

i m reading a really good book right now that was recommended to me by shane magee. it s called how not to speak of god by peter rollins. in a section on heretical orthodoxy, he writes about derrida s analogy of justice and law. the law means to be an expression of justice but always falls short:

The law testifies to justice and is inspired by justice, yet justice is not found in the law. Justice cannot be spoken, for as soon as it is put into words it is unable to do justice at all.

rollins claims rightly that this is the same as the relationship between religion and God:

Our religious tradition testifies to God and is inspired by God, yet our religious traditions do not make God present.

then, in a section that is entirely reminiscent of karl barth s analogy of the meteor and the crater (the meteor being God s self-revelation and the crater being the religion that is left by the impact), rollins writes:

Our religion is like the clearing in a forest after a great fire. It testifies to the happening of a great event and without the clearing we would not know of that event, but the clearing does not hold that event.

i love this section. i am totally aware of the paradox of the church existing in the gap, so to speak. i am aware of living in a clearing, in a crater, in a gap.


Leave a comment