Take Me to Church 1/19/20: In the Image of God

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MLK Jr. at Westminster Abbey.  Photo by Nadiastrid on Wikimedia Commons.

Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.  Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.
—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s easy to forget that King began his public career as a preacher, given everything that came afterwards, and ironic to imagine that he preached from the same Bible that was used to justify slavery and segregation.  King showed up how and why he did because of his faith, not despite it, and I think the quotation above offers a glimpse at King’s image of God, as, in the photo here, he both points towards the world beyond us and opens his hand to the world before us.

What is power, and what is love?  Believing God to be limitless in both is an example of the cataphatic theology Micah mentioned in his sermon yesterday.  It’s not enough, he said, to know either what God is (cataphatic theology) or what God is not (apaphatic theology); these are in conversation with each other.  Maybe the same can be said of all of us, that none of us is the grand sum of what we are or the differences of what we are not.

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