McLaren starts off his chapter with the reasons why he chooses not to use the name Jesus too much, although he can’t help it sometimes. I was curious to know why he titled “Jesus and God B” and towards the end of his chapter he reveals his curious terminology “God B”. First in order to be a “God B”, there needs to be a “God A”.
For them, God could no longer be conceived of merey as “God A”, a single, solitary, dominant Power, Mind, or will, but as “God B”, a unified, eternal, mysterious, relational community/family/society/entity of saving love.
Think of the kind of universe you would expect if God A created it: a universe of dominance, control, limitation, submission, uniformity, coercion. Think of the kind of universe you would expect if God B created it: a universe of interdependence, relationship, possibilty, responsibility, becoming, novelty, mutuality, freedom. (76)
I’m not comfortable with compartmentalizing God and trying to figure him out in clear and well-defined terms: “God A” or God B” or God Z. I remember taking a class “Contemporary Gospel” a couple of years ago. One of the things we learned that is for Americans, we have a tendency to believe in a Jesus that fits our culture. Some of the Jesus we became to believe is: Jesus as our friend, “feminine Jesus” and others. In other words, Jesus is whoever we choose Him to be. Recalling from what I learned in the class, Jesus is whatever I want Him to be. He’s not the creator, the Savior, the Redeemer, the Coming King. Underneath of our discontent with knowing who God is, there’s a sense that we want to figure him out. I dont’ know if that’s what McLaren is doing exactly but he states at the end of that paragraph: “I find myself in universe B, getting to know God”. Perhaps the key is in the last phrase “getting to know God”. I completely agree that we get to know God in different ways. Some get to know God since they are in their mother’s wombs. Their parents are Christians. Their gradparents are too. Their Christina lines goes 5 or 6 generations downs. Others like “C.S. Lewis” come to know God at a later time in their lives. But here’s what I’m saying. Let’s not put nicely human categories or names to make us feel better. After all, isn’t that McLaren’s purpose for this book: embracing all differents aspects of our faith, or dimensions? Didn’t the prophet Isaiah summarized best In Isaiah 55:8-9 by saying: ”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Paul also shares this insight in not fully figuring out in Colossians 2:2
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ
Words such as “ways”, “thoughts” and “mystery of God” or gospel reminds us that God needs to be God and like Habakkuk said: “But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him“. (Hab. 2:20)