Before wrestling with what it means for God to be all-loving, we might find some benefit by shifting the emphasis.
Namely, we’ve focused primarily on God, appropriately so, in consideration of the analogy of an author. We have seen, for example, how the human author shows herself to be all-powerful in the context of the story; so, by analogy and at least to that extent, we may say that God is all-powerful in reality, and there is nothing impossible or incoherent about such a notion.
But what about the story? What about creation itself?
The first word I would offer is a word of caution: The analogy should not be applied too stringently. It is more of a guide, a way, an open door. It is not a complete map, much less the journey itself.
So, for example, I think it would be fun to ponder the notion of “elementary particles” within any given story, and what, if any, significance there might be here. Indeed, I do think there could be some.
However, it is important to see two things: Whereas the analogy is metaphysical, elementary particles are proposed as simply physical realities. The analogy will not teach us physics – we cannot observe the world of “War and Peace” and discover something about the force of gravity. (At least not anything which Tolstoy had not already discovered himself, from…observing the real world).
The second is also a basic distinction: God is the greater mystery, the more fundamentally real subject of our discussion. The author is not an exact analogue to God – even if we can confirm a truth about the author, it might not necessarily show us something about God. Rather, God is the One we are groping for, as if in the dark and cavernous space of the entire Universe, and we are hardly able to leap off our own pale blue dot. The analogy may give us an idea of what we are looking for, perhaps how the search should proceed, perhaps even correct our course from time to time – but it is not the same as contact with the living God.
There is, rather, something wild and lonely and exhilarating about that journey, and it is never enough merely to consider the map in comfort.
So with that arduous caution in place, we’ll take up creation in the next post.