The Principal of London Bible College, when I attended a few years ago, used to say that theology, the study of God, was like a spaghetti sandwich. While you can capture some, load bits in the front, it falls out of the back. It is messy and hard to get everything you want neat and tidy.
The concept of love seems to oppose the concept of judgement at times. How can we believe in a loving God and yet be at risk of eternity in hell? Considering that none of us is perfect (even yours truly), can any of us win the eternal life promised in the Bible?
This is where the Christian faith does something different to other religions. In Jesus coming to us, the Incarnation, God answers that problem. The judgement is due and all of us fall short but, as Jesus grew and then began his ministry, he knew that the work of saving us would be a supernatural mission, not just a few miracles for the locals, not just a great philosophy or teaching. He would have to conquer the weakness, the fear, the errors and then conquer death itself.
It is, of course, the cross and the resurrection that speak most savagely of God’s judgement and most tenderly of God’s love. How can we relate to such a being? Someone who is so extreme in being fully aware of our faults and yet so embracing in love?
As the Catholic teachers emphasise, it is a mystery! As the non-Conformists celebrate ‘tis mystery all; and as my theology tutor used to say, it’s like a spaghetti sandwich.
Enjoy the summer, Revd KC