The dry God vs. the bloody God

Even the Washington Post, like Slate below, finds itself proclaiming the Gospel today! The very stones are crying out. Read Michael Gerson’s Reasons For Good Friday, which begins with a discussion of a new book by Timothy Keller (a pastor in Manhattan who IS reaching postmodernists and not by making Christianity seem more shallow but by plunging into its richness). (The reference to the Christian poem that converted Simone Weil SHOULD have mentioned the poem: Love III by George Herbert.) But get this conclusion:

Good Friday calls attention to a final argument as to why the God of the philosophers, however useful, may not be enough. In the end, the problem of human suffering cannot be minimized or explained away — but in the Christian story, that suffering has been shared. Perhaps, in our own darkness, we need the imprisoned God, the scarred God, the shamed God, the despairing God. The poet Jane Kenyon grasped at this mystery of Good Friday:

The God of curved space, the dry

God, is not going to help us, but the son

whose blood spattered

the hem of his mother’s robe.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Greg

    wow. I could have used that poem last sunday when I preached on the Mother of God at the cross. Simply amazing. Not a God of rational abstractions but a God whose blood splattered on his mothers robe. Absolutely breathtaking. The very God I need.

  • http://Yahoo L. J. Douglas

    To Greg.
    Mary’s son of flesh He be,
    But not of blood it’s quite plain to see.
    She was created but no not He,
    There are lots of lies in religiosity.


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