Toward a Definition of “Holiness”

“To be sure, the Infinite is Incomprehensible; this might be taken as an essential property or even a definition. But Divine Infinity and Holiness means something far greater, far more dangerous than this. When the Holy One descends into His temple, the pivots on the threshold tremble; the world passes away. The priest cannot speak; cannot endure this Presence; the cries of the angelic hosts consume the living, and the mortal turns to ash. Isaiah the priest is cauterized, not burned away, even as the Lord’s own Fire does not consume but radiates the thorn bush. But the world of unprotected creatures cannot abide Holiness; it is the End of the living. This is the Searing Truth of Transcendence. Its Nearness is the One, True Radical Reality; it cannot belong among things that are passing away. It is not against them – precisely not that! It is Other, the Contrast, the Infinite Undoing that is God. It is so Far, so Omnipotent; it can be only Near, Intimate, the Humble One.” – Sonderegger Systematic Theology, II, P. 76.

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