seeing God in metaphorsPosted: August 19, 2013
Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God
by Elizabeth A. Johnson
Amazon paperback price: $16.44, Kindle: $15.62
I read this some months back. While much of the book is theology and somewhat dense, Johnson has some marvelous points about how God is ultimately unknowable and can only be accessed in image and metaphor. She says:
All fruitful metaphors have sufficiently complex grids of meaning at the literal level to allow for extension of thought beyond immediate linkages. That is why God can be seen as a king, rock, mother, savior, gardener, lover, father, liberator, midwife, judge, helper, friend, mother bear, fresh water, fire, thunder, and so on.
If human beings were capable of expressing the fullness of God in one straight-as-an-arrow name, the proliferation of names, images, and concepts observable throughout the history of religions would make no sense at all. But there is no one such name. Rather, in jubilation and praise, lamentation and mourning, thanksgiving and petition, crying out and the final falling into silence, human beings name God with a symphony of notes.
I find this very helpful.