Tyranny of the Creed?


#1

I have seen this written in a book, can anyone shed some light on its meaning?


#2

I’ve never heard this expression, but I’d be interested to know what book and what author.


#3

The book is Living Jesus Learning the Heart of the Gospel

The author is Luke Timothy Johnson


#4

I found an interview of Luke Timothy Johnson concerning another of his books, The Power of the Creed, at [/font]www.beliefnet.com/story/133/story_13333_1.html. Although he doesn’t use the expression “tyranny of the Creed,” he says that the Creed offends some people. I suppose by “tyranny of the Creed” Johnson is saying that those people find the Creed tyrannical. [font=‘Courier New’]He says: [/font]
“It’s very difficult for many people to talk in terms of God as father, as all-powerful, as judge. These things are offensive to contemporary sensibilities. I had to work very hard in the book to try to come to grips with how this language can be not only be appropriated and understood, but also celebrated. How could it be liberative, rather than simply seen as offensive and out of touch?”


#5

[quote=marthax2]I found an interview of Luke Timothy Johnson concerning another of his books, The Power of the Creed, at www.beliefnet.com/story/133/story_13333_1.html. Although he doesn’t use the expression “tyranny of the Creed,” he says that the Creed offends some people. I suppose by “tyranny of the Creed” Johnson is saying that those people find the Creed tyrannical. [font=Courier New]He says: [/font]
“It’s very difficult for many people to talk in terms of God as father, as all-powerful, as judge. These things are offensive to contemporary sensibilities. I had to work very hard in the book to try to come to grips with how this language can be not only be appropriated and understood, but also celebrated. How could it be liberative, rather than simply seen as offensive and out of touch?”
[/quote]

Part of the answer to this, might be, “By unfolding what the truths it is expressing mean in practical terms”.

For example, to say “God is all-powerful”, does not imply - let alone mean - that God is going to kick us about like dirt. It is not saying that God is a bully, let alone an Eternal Stalin. To see God’s power, we must see it on the Cross - for that is its supreme expression. God’s power is so great, that He can turn our sins into the means by which He judges sin and frees us from it.

IMO, all our problems with God and His attributes are solved and put into focus by looking at what He does on the Cross; this is not being “pious”, it’s being practical.

God’s power is not power to lift a weight to heavy to be lifted; it is power over and in and within all things; it is creative, and saving, and redeeming, and renewing power: not Divine conjuring; not a playing with words.

And God’s Fatherhood does not mean God is “Our Abuser that art in Heaven”. Yet this is one way it is seen, I think. God is not a bigger, worse, infinite version of our worst experiences in our dealings with others. God’s Fatherhood is that understood & experienced by Jesus Himself - His experience, is the canon, the standard, for that of His Church.

IMO, the NT is full of paradoxes - Jesus is powerful by being weak, His throne is the Cross, His success lies in being a failure, His freedom is in being the Servant of the Lord. So with His being our Judge: He judged others by letting them put Him on trial. Jesus was not on trial - Pilate, Herod, Annas, Caiaphas and the accusers of Jesus were on trial. We judge ourselves, by the way we respond to Him. Just as they did. For how we respond to Him, reveals our hearts; to ourselves especially, if we are given eyes to see.

There is a huge amount that could be said on all these points - very obviously ! :slight_smile: - but that is MHO.

God’s power is not like ours, nor His judgeship like ours, nor His Fatherhood like ours nor any of His attributes and workings and deeds and words like ours - it should be the other way round: ours, should be patterned on His :slight_smile: ##


#6

Thanks for the replies, they are greatly appreciated!

Peace be with you and God bless


#7

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## Part of the answer to this, might be, “By unfolding what the truths it is expressing mean in practical terms”.

For example, to say “God is all-powerful”, does not imply - let alone mean - that God is going to kick us about like dirt. It is not saying that God is a bully, let alone an Eternal Stalin. To see God’s power, we must see it on the Cross - for that is its supreme expression. God’s power is so great, that He can turn our sins into the means by which He judges sin and frees us from it.

IMO, all our problems with God and His attributes are solved and put into focus by looking at what He does on the Cross; this is not being “pious”, it’s being practical.

God’s power is not power to lift a weight to heavy to be lifted; it is power over and in and within all things; it is creative, and saving, and redeeming, and renewing power: not Divine conjuring; not a playing with words.

And God’s Fatherhood does not mean God is “Our Abuser that art in Heaven”. Yet this is one way it is seen, I think. God is not a bigger, worse, infinite version of our worst experiences in our dealings with others. God’s Fatherhood is that understood & experienced by Jesus Himself - His experience, is the canon, the standard, for that of His Church.

IMO, the NT is full of paradoxes - Jesus is powerful by being weak, His throne is the Cross, His success lies in being a failure, His freedom is in being the Servant of the Lord. So with His being our Judge: He judged others by letting them put Him on trial. Jesus was not on trial - Pilate, Herod, Annas, Caiaphas and the accusers of Jesus were on trial. We judge ourselves, by the way we respond to Him. Just as they did. For how we respond to Him, reveals our hearts; to ourselves especially, if we are given eyes to see.

There is a huge amount that could be said on all these points - very obviously ! :slight_smile: - but that is MHO.

God’s power is not like ours, nor His judgeship like ours, nor His Fatherhood like ours nor any of His attributes and workings and deeds and words like ours - it should be the other way round: ours, should be patterned on His :slight_smile: ##
[/quote]

Well said!


#8

[quote=FelixBlue]Well said!
[/quote]

I agree!


#9

Dorothy L. Sayers, the mystery writer, wrote a very interesting book called Creed or Chaos? Dorothy Sayers was not a Catholic. However, the book is well worth reading several times.

Some of the chapters are “The Greatest Drama Ever Staged is the Official Creed of Christendom”, “The Triumph of Easter”, “The Dogma is the Drama” and “The Other Six Deadly Sins.”

This is the opening paragraph of Chapter 1:

“Official Christianity, of late years, has been having what is known as ‘a bad press.’ We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine—‘dull dogma’ as people call it. The fact is the precise opposite. It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man—and the dogma is the drama.”


#10

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