During Lent the Bread Line Columns will be ideas from
“A Practical Christianity” by Jane Shaw
Wanting the Answers
Certainty is appealing. The American theologian and Episcopalian Verna Dozier wrote beautifully about the “great human need for definite answers” and its dangers. She wrote:
We resist living with the doubt, incompleteness, confusion and ambiguity that are inescapable parts of the life we are called to live. Living by faith means living by unsureness. We cannot bear the uncertainties with which the gospel message calls us to live. We cannot bear having to take a risk that this is the way to go. We cannot bear our inability to know absolutely. Se we hurry up and create some certainties that will relieve us of that anxiety.
But where, in a theology of certainty, is there space for the cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Where is the space for the spontaneous grace and love poured out to a fellow human being, sharing the same grisly death on a cross on a hillside? Where, in that theology, is the angry wrath of those who had the power to kill him, because he wanted
mercy and love, not commerce and profit, to be the hallmarks of our worship?
That theology of certainty takes away the riskiness of God’s incarnation, of God’s entry into the world as a vulnerable baby, of God’s sharing our suffering. It ducks the sheer abundance of God’s love.