Reply to Lodahl's Response to my Critique:.
Michael Lodahl (Professor of Theology at Point Loma University) replies to my published critique of his notion that God is the "body of the world"1 in the same edition of the Wesleyan Theological Journal. His reply is called "A Response to Rodney Enderby" (hereafter RRE)2. I make the following comments in reply:.
Evidence for God as the "Body of Creation".
Lodahl contends that my critique of his thinking, particularly as expressed in his book, God of Nature and of Grace (hereafter GNG) suffers from the serious flaw that the "notion that God is the body of creation" is not a central theme particularly in GNG and that there is "paltry support" for my conclusion that "God does not stand outside of nature but is fully embedded within nature" (RRE, 142).
I would contend that although Lodahl only makes several references to the "world as God's body" this does not mean that this notion is not central or even incidental to his thinking. Contrary to what he suggests, I would argue that the "world as God's body" is foundational to his thought as a whole, particularly in the way he speaks of God's immanence in the world. I will cite several examples of this. Prior to his comment that Christians ought to reflect on McFague's provocative suggestion that the world is the "body of God", Lodahl claims that God is "intimately present" and therefore knows nothing from a distance or at arm's length. Lodahl then makes an analogy from our own bodies to demonstrate this point; that we "know and feel our own bodies not from a distance, but from within, in immediate sympathy" (GNG, 119-120). It is in this immediate context that Lodahl then refers to McFague's comment referred to above. In so doing Lodahl seems to be connecting his idea of God's "immediate sympathy" with McFague's model of the world as God's body.