here the assignment
As all of our writers keep repeating, language about God is always
metaphorical. Images, even ones like Father and Son, point towards the reality of God, but they never contain it. So David Steindl-Rast, in the chapters of his book that we read for today, unpacks on what it means to call God “Father,” and how God is “almighty” in relation to the image of a loving father.
The first commandment of the Ten Commandments is I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3you shall have no other gods before* me. (Exodus 20: 1-2). That is, nothing shall be the focus of your attention and loyalty except for me, the ground of your being who makes your existence and your freedom possible. The classic example of making an idol in the Old Testament is when the Israelites make golden calf to worship, an event which might not make much sense to 21st century Americans. The golden calf, however, is only one example of the human impulse to substitute an understandable image of God, or language about God, or even doctrine about God, for the reality of God, which is “mysterious” and “miraculous,” but also often threatening to our the human need for security and neatness. The idol that takes the place of God is always smaller and safer than the reality of God.
The readings for today, including the passage below from a contemporary writer, Wendell Berry, who writes about American culture and agriculture, are all about how human beings struggle to talk about God in “the least inadequate terms,” and to avoid the danger of substituting their ideas about God for the reality of God.
To focus your own understanding of this issue, consider the question for Question Paper #2, which is this:
In Michael Himes’s chapter “Exploring the Mystery of God in Relationships,” Himes comments that the Pharisees are given such a large role in the Gospels “not only [because] of their historical importance but because the writes recognized that Pharisaism is a possibility for Christians” (pg. 14). In 1-2 pages, explain what “Pharisaism” is and why it’s a temptation for Christians. Then, give an example of a person or a group speaking or acting “pharasaically” (or idolatrously).
preview of the answer..
As Jesus Christ went on preaching the good news to people, he came across a lot of opposition from the Jews whose opposition was based on their ancient interpretations of the bible. These Jews are referred in the bible as Pharisees and were determined to oppose the teachings of Jesus Christ since his teachings seemed to go against the teachings of Moses and the other ancient prophets. As a result of these “Pharisaism” can be described as an act of feeling superior to others because of following an old law or tradition. During the time of Jesus, Pharisees viewed themselves as being purer than the other Jews. This is because of the fact that they obeyed all the laws of Moses and honored the Sabbath day. To them, obeying the law was …
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