God does not have a separate existence from us, but emerges, is enacted, and is called into being in our ceremonies and in our relationships with other people.
I will say a few words about incarnational theology first. When we think of this system of theology we think of the Anglican bishop and theologian Charles Gore. In Sydney, Australia, where I live, we had a wonderful exponent of incarnational theology in Fr John Hope, the longtime and often controversial rector of the Anglo-Catholic church Christ Church St Laurence [pictured right, and below]---a church with which I have had a very pleasant association over the years as parishioner and otherwise. The essence of incarnational theology is this: God so identified Himself with his creatures that he become one of them in the person of Jesus Christ. That has enormous social and other implications for how human beings treat other human beings.
We often (at least more so in past years) find linkages between incarnational theology and such other movements as the Social Gospel and Christian Socialism.
Now, the fact that God chose---yes, chose---to be born as a human being (cf "And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us") means that all people---regardless of their religion, caste, class, skin colour, ethnicity, or whatever---are of infinite value. That means we must treat all other human beings with the dignity and respect they deserve, and that means, among other things, that we must do all that we can to eradicate poverty, illness, financial inequality and hardship, and so on.
As God's love is directed to every human being without exception and without distinction, we must do everything possible to re-enact---there's that word again---God's love in our own lives. That's one of the reasons why I love the Christian devotion known as the Angelus. It reminds me of the Lord's Incarnation, and that reminds me of my own obligations toward other human beings (cf "That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ").
You see, the incarnation is not something that happened just once, two thousand years ago. No, the incarnation is happening all the time. Jesus is born and to be found in the down-and-out, the stranger, and the man, woman or child in lack and limitation. You should now see that incarnational theology and enactment theology are inextricably interrelated. One final point on the subject of incarnational theology. In recent years even some non-liturgical Christians (eg Baptists) have started to move away from a “theology of the elements,” as respects the celebration of the Lord’s Supper (their generally preferred expression for the Holy Eucharist/Holy Communion/the Mass), toward what has been called a “theology of enactment” emphasizing the incarnation of Christ within the ecclesial body or church (the so-called “priesthood of all believers”).
I will now say a few words about predicate thology and process theology.
Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan [pictured below right], the founder of the Jewish movement known as Reconstructionism, pointed out that God had no meaning apart from humanity. He wrote, "Godhood can have no meaning for us apart from human ideals of truth, goodness, and beauty, interwoven in a pattern of holiness."
Rabbi Kushner who has written:
In a similar vein Erich Fromm, one of the most respected humanists and social philosophers of the twentieth century, saw God as standing for “the highest value, the most desirable good”, a “symbol of man’s own powers which he tries to realize in his life”, the “image of man’s higher self, a symbol of what man potentially is or ought to become”. In other words, God is an image, an idea, a symbol of what human beings can ultimately become. I like that.
SAINT CHRISTOPHER, PRAY FOR US!
YOU'RE AN ATHEIST? THAT'S GOOD!