Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hurtado on God as Father

It is father's day tomorrow here in NZ, so here is a little quote from Larry Hurtado's book God in New Testament Theology, (2010, p41).

. . . the God of the NT is "Father" to and for believers, to whom they look for care and comfort and to whom they entrust themselves. This paternal metaphor, however, is not presented in the NT as promoting maleness or as deriving from or giving some transcendent basis for paternity or patriarchy. Sadly patriarchal attitudes have been all too often a feature of Christian tradition, but NT references to "the Father" never function to give divine validity to or privilege these or other forms of maleness. Instead, in the NT, "God" is presented as "Father" of believers primarily and directly on account of Jesus. It is Jesus' relationship to "God" as his own "Father" that is the paradigm and basis for believers to speak of and approach "God" using this epithet. That is, for Christians to refer to their God as "Father" is to express their relationship with "God" as mediated through and patterned after Jesus, and it is to designate themselves as those who come specifically to "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." The NT does not present "God" as "Father" to believers through creation or in some universalizing sentimental sense. Instead for Christians to address "God" as "Father" is to affirm that they know this God effectually through Jesus and affirm Jesus' relationship to this God as his"Father." In short the Christian practice of addressing "God" as "Father" originates as a profoundly christological statement.
Let me know what you think :-)

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