The Evangelical Universalist Forum


Hello Richard - I’ve been exploring your blog for the first time, and I’m pretty excited about it. There are a number of topics on the site that I am anxious to delve into.

Could you clarify the concept of ‘God’s weakness’ a bit? I’m not clear in my mind if the “weakness” of God is a self-limitation on His part, or is true lack of power. This in the context of your “On Warfare and Weakness”.


Hi Dave,
This might end up being a non-answer, but I’m not firm on it either way. I tend to think theology is sort of like mathematics. You adopt a certain set of axioms and then explore the various patterns they create.

Or perhaps theology is like poetry. You pick a form and then create given the constraints of the form.

So regarding God’s weakness you could take that weakness as being intrinsic to God’s being (i.e., deny omnipotence). That would be the more radical move. Or you could take God’s weakness as being the product of God’s self-limitation and keep omnipotence intact. That would be the less radical option. Either way, you can create a unique theological structure building upon the implications of either of those two axioms. And they would be very different patterns. Sort of like the differences between Euclidean and Non-Euclidean geometry in how they either accept or reject the parallel postulate.

In the end the question always comes, so which is “true”? I don’t know the answer to those sorts of questions. I don’t know how to get those answers even if I wanted them.

But I do know that we’d want to explore all the ins and outs of those systems, mapping their weaknesses and strengths and testing them against human experience and the sorts of communities they create. Because when it comes to truth I’m a pragmatist and tend to think that “truth” is determined by the outcomes. By their fruits ye shall know them.

Thanks Richard. Plenty for me to think about.