Rowan Williams on Christian Freedom

What does it mean to talk about the service of God being perfect freedom? It means that living with or in or from God provides the structure and shape that most frees us from distractedness and fragmentation of life and thought. As the Christian Platonists were always saying, this is a life in which we are “simplified”; the threads are drawn together, not in an intellectual synthesis of concepts, but in some kind of unity of heart and mind. We become sufficiently “at home” in ourselves-in-God to act and respond to others with clarity, without the bondage of our power-hungry, fantasy-ridden instincts clouding our vision. That is the kind of simplicity that can live with the terrible contradictions, the multiplicity and conflict, of Christian theology and Christian images, of the church itself and its relations with humanity at large. In the center of freedom is the language of compassion, prayer, self-offering, self-forgetting, crucifixion, and resurrection, the language whose “grammar” is the life and death of Jesus.

from A Ray of Darkness, 3rd Ed., (Cowley, 1995), 156.

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