Theological Compatibilism image

Theological Compatibilism

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Were Christians to teach a doctrine of inspiration that truly and directly taught divine dictation, the Divine would be understood to destroy the human through its own manifestation. The human mind would be annihilated, replaced by the Divine Word, a searing and molten Presence that extinguished all creaturely thought and word.

Were Christians to teach that the Incarnate Lord had no true human nature, that he wore his human nature “as a livery,” a disguise or covering, thinly stretched over the Divine Reality, then the Divine Presence would be conceived as a local Power that could brook no creaturely competitor.

Were human acts to be replaced by the Divine Working, God’s Grace or Election destroying human agency and vitality, then Divine Presence would be seen as the Sole Cause, the Sole Power, and human beings truly that stock caricature of Lutheran justificatio , the stone or log or dead thing, destroyed by Grace.

Were Christians to teach that God was self-evident in a fashion Augustinians never dreamed of, directly visible to the eye, spread out on the horizon of creation like a fiery dynamism, human belief would then be impossible, surrender alone possible.

But in fact, the Lord God is not such an annihilating Presence. He is not the Destroyer. He is not the Proud One who dwells only with his Glory, exterminating all the lowly and humble who stand in his way. The One free, holy Lord is rather the lowly Lord, the Humble One, who comes under our roof. He comes as the invisible Presence, compatible with his creatures.

- Katherine Sonderegger, The Doctrine of God

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