The Dynamics of God's Self-Revelation: Static or On-going?
In religious discourse, the idea of God is either central (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc) or cursory (Buddhism, etc.). The Christian conception of "God" is of a personal agent who is actively involved in redeeming humanity through the work, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus. Christian doctrine, for the most part, attempts to flesh out what it means to say God's self-revelation, or Jesus. We can discuss Jesus in historical terms (a man from Galilee who was crucified by the Romans about 2,000 years ago). Or, we can discuss Jesus in theological terms (God's agent who worked/is working to redeem humanity). Or, we can discuss Jesus in a space/time continuum (Jesus turns human history on its head and gives it a new trajectory). These are hermeneutics to describe (albeit in a limited way) God's self-revelation.
The Enlightment project attempted to interpret Jesus and the Christian message in a rational, coherent, and complete way. The post-modern world shows us that there is a lot of insanity, a lot of irrationality, and a lot of fragmentation. Is there relevence for the Christian message? I affirm with my Christian brothers and sisters that there is, if in a way that is relevent like never before. What do I mean? I propose that God's self-revelation is dynamic, on-going, and meaningful. Is it "limited" by the work, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus 2,000 years ago? I don't know. The plurality of religious beliefs shows us that we cannot affirm an emphatic "yes" because that logically places limits on God. Can God show God's-self through other cultural ways? Perhaps, again, I don't know, and I know that I can never know that answer. It's God's business. However, I do affirm the message of Jesus as being relevent and meaningful to all people, bar none. So, while I do not discount the possibility of God's revealing God's-self to other peoples in other ways, I say that for me, it is through Jesus.
I read recently a great metaphor: in order for complete relevence, something must touch you where you bleed. Where do you bleed? Jesus touches me where I bleed. I don't mean this in some weirdly pietistic way, but in a completely worldly and other-worldly way. When I read a beautiful poem, when I see a beautiful piece of art, when I am moved to tears by music, I know that this man, Jesus, experienced a similar thing. In short, Jesus touches me where I bleed because he experienced the same pain, angst, and heartache that I experience. Jesus breathed the aesthetic of beautiful poetry (Psalms), perhaps created a beautiful piece of art, and certainly was moved to tears by music. That, for me, is the most relevent aspect of divine: solidarity with my human condition.