Originally Posted by Zerbie
Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag. . . .
We've gotten several interesting and varied comments on the subject, but that doesn't mean I wasn't interested to also hear yours. Just in case you thought I wasn't interested, I am.
I hadn't forgotten about you! My busy day turned into two busy days (actually Sunday is Half a busy day followed by Half a catatonic day -- church really takes it outa me.)
Let me start with Sophia. Daniel's excerpt from Wikipedia is fascinating but doesn't seem to touch on the Hebrew beginnings of the idea. In mainstream western Protestantism "Sophia" is a product of the Wisdom tradition in ancient Hebrew thought (Proverbs, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Job, Song of Solomon) Sophia is the personification of Divine Wisdom. She is understood to have preceded the creation and to have been active in the process of Creation. She is also closely associated with the law of Moses and study of the law is seen as essential in understanding Sophia. Embracing Sophia is associated with happiness and prosperity. Ignoring her or not seeking her is associated with chaos, oppression, and disaster. She is an aspect of God but is often depicted as dancing in the presence of God.
She is actually more closely associated with the SECOND PERSON of the Trinity than with the Holy Spirit in Christian thought since the concept of "Sophia" or divine wisdom is very similar to John's concept of the "Logos" or "word" of God. In John the Logos is a personification of an eternal aspect of the divine which is present at and active in creation and also central to the process of the "Re-creation" (or redemption) of humanity. To seek the logos (incarnate in Jesus Christ) is to seek eternal life and happiness (both in this world and the next) and to turn from the logos is to court disaster. The Logos is more than just a person and more than just a "word" it is the internal "logic" of God ... a blueprint of the nature of God ... a glimpse at the heart of the divine. And the Logos is embodied in the life death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
Conservative Christians don't like to think or talk about or even acknowledge Sophia for a couple of reasons.
1. Any aspect of God being feminine seriously freaks them out. Regardless of what they may say ... their God is a MAN. HE is a FATHER. HE is a KING Blah blah blah. Its a form of idolatry because what they are really worshipping is maleness. just my opinion of course.
2. Any suggestion that Christian ideas or concepts are not original to Christianity seriously freaks them out. That there was even a proto-understanding of the LOGOS before there was a Jesus Christ to reveal it undermines their exclusivist claims to truth.
In the early 90's the was a PResbyterian women's conference called "Re-imagining" that focused heavily on the concept of "Sophia". ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. In another age there would have been burnings at the stake. People STILL talk about it almost 20 years later. Yikes.
Ok ... the Holy Spirit... in another post.