The article was entitled ETERNAL HAPPENING: GOD AS AN EVENT OF LOVE. I was very excited to read it, because it was focused on the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of my favorite authors, while also mentioning Martin Heidegger (another favorite).
Here is the opening paragraph from Father Lopez's article:
In order to ponder anew the mystery of love, without which man’s “life remains senseless” and “incomprehensible,” I would like to appeal in this essay to Balthasar’s understanding of God as an “eternal happening.” This insight attempts to bring together what the Triune God reveals of himself in Jesus Christ: he reveals himself as love (1 Jn 4:16), and as a love that is both an eternal being (esse) and an eternal event (Ereignis, Geschehen). In Christ, man has come to learn that love is not a transient emotion, but rather the mystery that encompasses all of being: from the moment when there was nothing but God (Gn 1:1) to the present instant in which man lives out his existence (2 Cor 5:14–15). The essence of being is love. Everything and everyone finds its proper place within this eternal mystery. At the same time, the Incarnate Word has disclosed that the mystery of love that constitutes us (Jn 1:3; Col 1:15–20) is pure gift of himself. Divine love is an ever-new gift of himself to himself (Hingabe) and an undeserved gift of himself to us (Eph 2:4; Rom 8:32). God is an event of love.While I was excited about this opening, I later felt that Fr. Lopez makes the same move that von Balthasar often does in the sense that after beautifully describing God as love and discussing many of the philosophical issues surrounding it (with far more expertise than I ever could), he then states that the only way we can know this about God is through Jesus Christ (God's speaking about God's self).
Here is a paragraph in which he does that:
To be able to say something about God’s eventful nature without claiming first to hollow out its mystery and then to explain it away, all by the sole means of the fragile tool of human logic, it is necessary to approach the divine mystery by way of the access the divine mystery itself grants: that is, by way of the only mediator between God and humankind, Jesus Christ (1 Tm 2:5–6). There can be no speech about God apart from what the person of Christ reveals of God. What theology manages to express about the godhead, then, will be adequate only if it is rooted in his self-manifestation and not in conceptual logic.While I understand the distinction with Eastern traditons, such as Buddhism that does not have a belief in a revelatory Creator God and with atheistic systems like Marxism or even purely negative theologies, I am not sure how Father Lopez and my beloved von Balthasar can make this leap to say that Christ is the only revelatory communication from God. What about Judaism and Islam (which I know very little about)?
Isn't the Torah (and all that that word includes: Written Torah - Torah she-bi-khtav and Oral Torah - Torah she-be-`al peh) the revelation of God's love for us? I think the leap to Jesus is fine for one who is already a believer, but as one who struggles with his faith, and one who finds much wisdom within Judaism and philosophy itself, this leap to Jesus seems too fast and too easy. Thereby, undermining the arguments.
I would love to hear others' thoughts.