Written by Bruce Sanguin (For German translation see below)
Theologian John Haught suggests that the best name for God, and one that is grounded in the scriptural narrative, is The Future (1).The idea of God inhabiting the future is harder to grasp than God inhabiting the past or the present. We have history books, our own personal history, and memory to assure us of the reality of the past. It’s stuff that happened already. The present is not a problem for us either. It seems undeniable, if only by our apparent incapacity to dwell fully in it, as Eckhart Tolle and other gurus of the “now” remind us. The present is this moment and we’re able to experience it by breathing deeply, stopping our chattering mind, and inhabiting our experience. It’s stuff that is happening now.
But this moment is also always about to intersect with a future that’s always in the process of arriving. There, it just arrived again. But we have difficulty granting full, existential status to the future, because the future, by definition, doesn’t exist yet. Unlike the past and present it has no content. Yet, it just arrived again. And in the moment of its arrival, it’s no longer the future. The future is always just beyond our grasp, yet always in the process of arriving.
In the Biblical book of Revelation, God is referred to as Alpha, the beginning, and Omega, the end. We’ve tended to privilege God as Alpha— Creator. But we haven’t done much thinking about how God is present as Omega—the end. Fundamentalist religion does think about God as Omega, but to these folks it means that God has fixed a predetermined end time when “He” will bring history to an abrupt and violent end. This way of thinking renders the past and the present as little more than filler. It’s just what happens while we’re hanging around for the real action—apocalyptic action—to take place. It diminishes the role of history and our personal role in shaping the future.
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