The Vulnerability of God
Why are we Christians? We are Christians simply because of Christ. We have recognized in His humanan nature the perfect embodiment of God which was expressed through His actions, reported by His closest friends while He was among us. The highest revelation of God through the history of communication between Him and us, was when He revealed Himself in human flesh. It is the culmination of God's revelation, where He tried to tell us one important thing, namely about His exceeding love for the dignity of our human nature, which was created in His image. Through God's revealed love we get to know a God who is ready to sacrifice himself and suffer for us. Through Christ's crucifixion, God has revealed Himself to be vulnerable and showed us that He can experience pain. In this article, we represent reflections on God's Vulnerability taken from J. R. Lucas' article "The Vulnerability of God."
Reflections on God's Vulnerability taken from J. R. Lucas' article "The Vulnerability of God."
"The greatness of God is understood very differently on this view from the traditional account of His absolute perfection. God is Father, first and foremost, and His Kingdom, power and glory are that of a father than an absolute monarch. He created us, but as children rather than artefacts, and therefore as being capable of independent action which He cannot completely control or infallibly foreknow. It does not follow that He is totally ignorant or completely impotent. God can know what we are going to do, and take us accordingly. Often, sadly, He can foresee our foolish and wicked actions. Like as a father pitieth his own children, He may try to dissuade us, but will not prevent or frustrate us absolutely. But also, like a father, having failed to dissuade us, He will then mitigate the consequences of our decision, often trough the actions of our own chastened selves or through those of others. For in seeing Him, as Jesus did, as loving Father, we see Him as suffering but not as completely powerless. God has intervened in the course of history, most notably in revealing His nature to us in sending His Son to live among us.
"Once we cease imputing to the suffering God of the Christian religion the supposed perfection of the God of the philosophers, we can see how is it that God can be God without depriving us of freedom and responsibility. God may have a fair idea of the way things are going, but is far more concerned to save us from perils ahead than to preserve His prescience. Other gods may be concerned to save their "infallibility," but God who is prepared to sacrifice His own Son on the cross is not going to set much store on not being wrong in His prognostications. But it is a different view of God, and not one we come to easily. It makes God out to not be not only "fallible," but Vulnerable. The Vulnerabilty of God is the peculiar characteristic of Christian teaching, the point on which it differs from other, more intellectually acceptable, religions. We can understand why it is that God should chosen to limit His power, and create men with free will, able therefore to thwart His wishes, and to make mess of things. But the price is high. Whereas the Buddhist portray the Buddha as impassive, the symbol of Christianity is the cross."
More about God's Vulnerability, please read the article on God's Perfect Empathy.