Stewart’s asking the question, “Have we lost the wonder of God?”
Coincidentally, the reading I’m trying to do for uni is largely on this very thing. Our first lecture in Modern Christology is entitled “What did the Enlightenment do for us?”
The reading, in a nutshell, is saying that the ascendency of philosophy (and its influence on science) changed the way we use language and hence our way of describing the world around us. Our world and our experience became describable and the implication was that everything became describable – there was (or would be) nothing left to wonder about – all could be explained in the language of science or psychology.
Language is a funny thing – it can inspire and motivate but it can also restrict. Again, part of my reading has been about post-Enlightenment views on Aquinas and Duns Scotus and the use of metaphorical language. Aquinas argued it was legitimate to speak of God metaphorically (equivocally). Duns Scotus argued that we could only speak of God with ‘precise’ language (univocally). My sympathies lie with Aquinas. Metaphor contains an element of ‘beyond’. It points beyond itself to something more than the parts of the metaphor. It contains an element of transcendence and, for me, points to the wonder of something much greater.
And yet, not everyone sees it. Does this mean that it only works for those already on ‘the inside’? Does one already have to know God to grasp His wonder? Which, when followed to a conclusion raises the question, “If there is no wonder, is there no faith?”