On the God of the Christians

Cloth $26
Translated by Paul Seaton, 176 pages, 6" x 9", foreword, introduction, notes, index

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On the God of the Christians

(and on one or two others)

Brague, Remi

On the God of the Christians tries to explain how Christians conceive of the God whom they worship. No proof for His existence is offered, but simply a description of the Christian image of God.

The first step consists in doing away with some commonly held opinions that put them together with the other “monotheists,” “religions of the book,” and “religions of Abraham.”

Christians do believe in one God, but they do not conceive of its being one in the same way as other “monotheists,” like the first of them, the pharaoh Akhenaton (18th century before J.C.), like some philosophers, e.g., Aristotle, or like Islam.

Christians admit the authority of a Holy Book, but don’t consider it as being the peak of God’s revelation. For them, revelation culminates in the person, life, and doings of Jesus – including his passion and resurrection.

Christians acknowledge the exemplary figure of Abraham, but the stories they tell about him they share with Jews, but not with Muslims, who see in him the first Muslim.

The Trinity is not a way to loosen the exclusivity of the only God. It is the very way in which God is one, i.e., in the inner richness and fecundity of love.

The God of the Christians is Father, but not male. Human males become fathers through the mediation of a female. God is so radically the Father of everything and, in a very special sense, of the eternal Son, that He is not in need of a partner. His fatherhood can in no way legitimate the superiority of the male over the female sex.

The God of the Christians doesn’t want us to obey Him in order to enslave us; He expects us to act freely according to what is good for us. Now, the Good is not something that He has in store and bestows on His creatures. The Good is what He is and He is the Good of His creatures.

The God of the Christians is merciful, but He takes seriously man’s freedom, even when man doesn’t accept Him. Hence, He doesn’t content Himself with forgiving fromthe outside. He has to contrive a system (technically speaking: salvation history or “economy of salvation”) that will enable Man freely to accept His love.