Tag Archives: creation

Holiness and Emptiness


After reading Rudolf Otto’s classic The Idea of the Holy I want to play with his idea focussed on the Wholly Other’s invasion of holiness upon a person and subsequent emptying of that person followed by the only possible response, which is awe or fear or mysterium tremendum.

With this in mind, the idea of the holy is empty of meaning of itself.  Holiness is something that comes from God; holy is not God; other than the immanence of God holiness is void of meaning.

With this in mind we can see holiness most clearly in Genesis 1 as God is dividing creation and diversifying that which God creates to the culmination of perfect balance when God creates sabbath.  This is a sort of mobile whereupon if any piece of this great diversity of God’s is removed, then the entire mobile is moved to imbalance. We also see this holiness even more clearly in “Jesus’ suffering, death, damnation, i.e., where the old order had maintained that God could not be glorified.  Thus God’s holiness is a freedom for what is far gone from holiness.” (Craig Keen from his appendix in  Mannoia and Thorsen’s The Holiness Manifesto)

This would be a sort of kenotic apocalyptic vision of holiness that engages creation as well as calls the invadee to respond and build upon the invasion and subsequent mysterium tremendum.  The seed must die to give life in the plant.  It is suffering, death and damnation that restores balance to the mobile.

Just some thoughts I’m working through.  Comments are always welcome.