"God's patience empowers us to act. ... Human beings are called to respond to God's patience. Human beings are called to make good on God's patience. The covenant of grace, which is fulfilled in Christ and which is animated by the spirit, makes that a possibility. It's not an easy possibility of real life. I mean, not just because of sin and finitude, but because of the complexities of the world that we live in. But learning how to respond to God's patience, both through forms of waiting, through forms of activity, and sometimes through moments of intemperate resistance is I think at the heart of Christian life."
Theologian Paul Dafydd Jones comments on the bearing of God's patience on human experience and action. The patience of Christ-incarnate means that Christ is patience-incarnate. This makes it possible to "live otherwise"—contesting the reign of sin and resisting evil by responding to God's patience. Jones emphasizes the togetherness and solidarity of God with creation. And suggests the importance of appreciating the complexity of Christian faith.
Part 3 of a 6-episode series on Patience, hosted by Ryan McAnnally-Linz.
About Paul Dafydd Jones
Paul Dafydd Jones is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and the Co-Director of The Project on Religion and its Publics at the University of Virginia. He is a theologian specializing in Karl Barth, Christology, political theology, and religion in public life; and is author of the forthcoming research project: Patience: A Theological Exploration.
- God's patience
- Apostle Peter: “The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you.” (2 Peter 3)
- Patience series recap
- Episode summary
- Tertullian and Cyprian
- "You need to think about who God is, and what God is doing before you think about who human beings are, and what we're called to become."
- Augustine: "God is patient, without any passion."
- Patience: Creation, providence, incarnation, Trinity
- Creatures are given time and space to "reward God's patience"
- This is not God getting out of the way; it's non-competitive between God and world.
- Colin Gunton: for the problem of evil, God's patience is a good place to start.
- "God's patience occurs at a pace that is rarely congenial to us ... the world's history is not unfolding at the pace or the shape we would like."
- "God gives ancient Israel the time and space to accuse. God is patient with expressions of trauma, expressions of guilt, expressions of deep anguish. And God is so patient with them that they get included in the Canon."
- "Some of the most powerful, skeptical, doubtful, angry moments, are found in the psalms."
- "God patiently beholds the suffering of God's creatures, particularly with respect to ancient Israel, that somehow the traumas of creaturely life are present to God, and God in some sense has to bear or endure them."
- Beholding Suffering vs Enduring Suffering
- God's responsibility for the entirety of the cosmos: "There's no getting God off the hook for things that happen in God's universe."
- And yet God doesn't approve of everything that occurs.
- Confident expectancy: "Moving to meet the kingdom that is coming towards us."
- "God's patience empowers us to act."
- The patience of God incarnate; Christ is patience incarnate
- "Israel is waiting for a Messiah."
- We cannot understand Christ as savior of the world without understanding him as Messiah of ancient Israel.
- God's solidarity with us
- "The pursuit of salvation runs through togetherness with creation in the deepest possible sense."
- Letting Be vs Letting Happen
- "Jesus has to negotiate the quotidian."
- Crucifixion as the one moment of divine impatience with sin
- Theology of the cross as an imperative
- "Christians often are not comfortable with complexity. We want to think in terms of assurance. And we want that assurance to be comforting in a fairly quick-fire away. I think theologians have the task of exposing that as an ersatz hope and insisting that faith includes complexity. It involves lingering over ambiguity. Trying to fit together. multi-dimensional beliefs that are this lattice work—none of which can be reduced to a pithy, marketing quip."
- "Theologians need to be patient in order to honor the complexity of Christian faith. ... That's called intellectual responsibility."
- "Christianity is not going to cease to be weaponized by snake-oil salespeople."
- Staying with complexity and ambiguity
- "The capacity to tell the truth is in short supply."
- "Human beings are called to respond to God's patience. Human beings are called to make good on God's patience. The covenant of grace, which is fulfilled in Christ and which is animated by the spirit, makes that a possibility. It's not an easy possibility of real life. I mean, not just because of sin and finitude, but because of the complexities of the world that we live in. But learning how to respond to God's patience, both through forms of waiting, through forms of activity, and sometimes through moments of intemperate resistance is I think at the heart of Christian life."
- "People should not get in the way of human flourishing ... brought about by the empowering patience of the Holy Spirit. ... That's a gospel moment. That's a kairos moment."
- This podcast featured theologians Paul Dafydd Jones and Ryan McAnnally-Linz
- Edited and Produced by Evan Rosa
- Hosted by Evan Rosa
- Production Assistance by Martin Chan & Nathan Jowers
- A Production of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture at Yale Divinity School https://faith.yale.edu/about
- Support For the Life of the World podcast by giving to the Yale Center for Faith & Culture: https://faith.yale.edu/give