Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Theology is first and foremost about God. Talking about God, however, means talking about human experience and interpretation of that experience. Therefore theology is about God and us as well as God and the world. According to McFague, because theology “is meant to be an aid to right living,” virtually no arena of life is outside of its scope. McFague asks “. . . does the consumer society make those of us who have it happy, as claimed?” and because we should love what God loves and God loves the whole world, “is it the good life for all people and for the planet?” She suggests that the ecological-economic view of the good life is “a partial reflection of God’s will for the world” and evokes a doxological response to “the creator/liberator/sustainer God.”

We begin with God, “the breath of life in every being that exists.” Echoing philosopher Paul Tillich’s notion of “the ground of being,” McFague holds that God is “being-itself”; reality is not apart from God for there is nothing beyond or greater than God. The Christian belief that God is love leads to the conviction that reality is good. The key question facing human beings, therefore, is no longer alienation from God, as is seen in post-Reformation Protestantism’s emphasis on atonement and redemption (the concept of human alienation also undergirds the neoclassical economic model’s insistence on individualism). Because all that exists is in the presence of God,...

(The entire section is 596 words.)