29.8.09

Father and more than father

'Paul's vision for he world is a transcendental projection of his vision of home and family. That is the only other model he has to work with. He does not work from universal human rights or democratic social privileges. He is thinking of the householder, who in a patriarchal society is usually the father, so we can with full integrity replace the gendered word "father" with the ungendered word "householder" or even "homemaker".' (Borg and Crossan)

“Thou art my Father, thou art my Mother, thou my Brother, thou art Friend, thou art Servant, thou art House-keeper; thou art the All, and the All is in thee; thou art Being, and there is nothing that is, except thou. “
Chrysostom [Nicene & Post Nicene Father, no. 10, 1st ser., ed. Philip Schaff]

Interesting, yes. And Crossan and Borg aren't making new claims here.

So I think to myself but Paul knew about Jesus' relationship with a God he calls father but then you remember that the gospels aren't even written yet at the time Paul is writing. But Paul spoke to those who had known Jesus and would they not have recited the Lord's prayer? Paul himself talks about how we talk to our 'abba father' because we are 'In Christ'. God is Father but it is healthy, I think, to dwell on what else God brings to his relationship with us and the idea of us all being his children and him being the householder or housekeeper is a useful and a comforting one.

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