In-Sight: Let’s Dance!


Don’t let the word throw you.  It simply means to rotate, spin, or dance in some kind of coordinated fellowship.  Gregory of Naziansus (late 4th century a.d.) is believed to be the first to use the term in relation to God, but theologians over the centuries have either used the term or the idea to talk about the nature if God as Trinity.  Jurgen Moltmann and Miraslov Volf are two contemporary theologians who do so.

Another one to use the idea is Leonard Sweet in his book, ‘So Beautiful.’  Sweet unites theology and science through DNA, the helixical nature of life as two distinct entities rotate /spin in a coordinated fellowship around a third fixed axis.

As I have pondered this complex idea (and without the expertise of scientists and theologians who can go far deeper than I can), I have found myself increasingly fond of it.  On the scientific level, the perichoresis of DNA may hold promise for tangible evidence that bears witness to the divine Being–something the late physicist, Victor Stenge, said could not be found in creation.

But I have to leave it to the geneticists and astrophysicists to figure that out.  For me, perichoresis opens me to the realization that life is a dance, and with that primary image I can go on to think of life in terms of things like meaning, joy, goodness, purpose, etc.  I can be in a place to hear God say, “Let’s dance!”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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