The Transformative Power of Naming

In Scripture naming has a transformative power, it often reflects an encounter or expectation. This post explores four scenes involving naming (Moses and the burning bush, Hagar and El Roi, Jacob becoming Israel, and Simon becoming Peter). 

For we who encounter God, we too receive a transformed name – not necessarily in a literal sense like Peter (though that is the case for some) – but our name, our identity, our history and future is transformed by being conformed, swept up, in the life of Christ, in the history and future of God. We don’t lose our particularity, any more than Peter did, but we are drawn into the mystery of God and sent on God’s way – sent on the way of God who hears the cry of the oppressed, and sees the abandoned.  

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Forging a Relationship Between Revelation, Scripture, and Imagination (part two)

Part one identified the problematic way revelation has been conflated with Scripture, and how the Bible has been forced to serve as an epistemic ground for all other Christian doctrines. I offered a way of untangling Scripture and revelation and hinted at the importance of imagination. This concluding piece explores the compatibility of revelation and imagination, the role of imagination in the canonising of tradition, and the importance of imagination in the ongoing reception of revelation. The goal is to continually tie revelation back to God’s communicative self-disclosure for the purposes of converting human imagination to the missio Dei, and to develop a non-competitive, complementary account of revelation that benefits rather than is threatened by cross-cultural encounter.

If imagination limits revelation, then different imaginative worlds (in different cultures or historical epochs) set different limits. The shifting imaginative borders of cross-cultural encounters provide greater imaginative potential to receive, interpret, and remember God’s gracious self-communication. This allows for a non-competitive relationship between Scripture and revelation in different times and places outside of the history of Israel and the Church.

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