Here’s sharing this article that introduces postmodern theology and the theory of deconstruction as well as the “death of God” theologians, who “saw the potential of (Derrida’s) deconstruction to further their project of announcing the end of theology (the death of God)”.
According to the article, the “death of God” theologians fastened onto Derrida’s idea that words refer only to other words in a textual setting and cannot be used to describe external realities such as God. That is true in the sense that words are inadequate to describe external realities such as God. At the most, words serve as symbols and metaphors that allude to the nature and mystery of God. This may explain why Jesus spoke in parables because figurative language is able to convey certain truths about the kingdom of God in a way that literal language cannot. For example, Jesus likened the temple of God to his own body when he said to the Jews “destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up”, and yet the Jews thought he was speaking literally about the physical temple building, not knowing he was speaking figuratively.
The article continued to say “They therefore claimed that God is not the Supreme Being who is literally “up there” in heaven somewhere, but instead we should think of God as being “out there” in a spiritual sense. God is “there” when we love another person, and this becomes the main Christian message.” This reminds me of Peter Rollins’ view that God is not found somewhere in the sky but rather God is found in the act of loving one another. In another place, he wrote: “For wherever a concern of beauty, an embrace of life and a love of liberation are exhibited the sacred is proclaimed.”
Interestingly, the death of God did take place according to the gospel, both literally and figuratively, as symbolised by the death of Jesus on the cross as the ultimate scapegoat for humankind. It could be that only by the death and resurrection of Jesus, who continued to love people beyond his death despite their cruelty towards him, would people see the love of God that is undying, and become free from their erroneous conception of a mean and vengeful god. Indeed love never fails, and the love of God has been shed upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit, renewing our minds to know the love that passes knowledge, that is far greater than the limiting container of any religion – one that is expansive, universal and inclusive.
- John Caputo – What would Jesus deconstruct? (themysteryofchrist.wordpress.com)
- A Brief History of Christian Universalism (1) (bountifulg.wordpress.com)
- Well, They’re the Ones Calling it Good Friday… (patheos.com)