Saturday, 15 July 2017

First Comes Love, by Scott Hahn

In this book, Catholic apologist Scott Hahn demonstrates how relationships within the family are analogous to God's Trinitarian love. God is love because He is a Trinity, a community of persons. Before the creation of the world, the Father eternally loved the Son, therefore our God is not the lonely solitary god of Islam or the Jehovah's Witnesses. This is a very edifying and inspiring book with some thoughtful insights on both theology and family life.

I particular like the appendix which deals with motherhood and divine aspects of the feminine. He points out the feminine aspects of the Holy Spirit's work and how this is manifested in the person of the Blessed Mother of God. He brings up the use of divine feminine imagery in the Syrian Christian tradition and the place of Sopiology and the Wisdom tradition. Scott Hahn received some very silly criticisms for this appendix, with some accusing him of teaching that Jesus had 'two mummies,' Mary and the Holy Spirit and thus supporting lesbianism. Scott Hahn responded to those criticisms by insisting that he did not advocate calling God 'she.'

One point we might quibble in this otherwise good book is Hahn's speculation over the Genesis account fo the Fall. He suggests that Adam's failure was in being terrified by the Serpent, which he suggests was a monstrous creature. He thinks that Adam failed to protect Eve from the serpent out of fear. While I agree with him (contra Paradise Lost and other artistic depictions) that Adam and Eve were together at the Fall, I think his speculation goes beyond the Biblical text.

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