God is not competing with the world, as was made evident when he took on human form, Barron explained.
“God and a creature come together in such a way that neither one is compromised. How’s that possible? It’s possible only if God is not a competitive being among many,” he said.
“God is the sheer act of ‘to be’ itself,” he proclaimed.
Barron said that the closer God comes to humanity, “the more alive we are, the more ourselves we are.”
Barron pointed to the prophet Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush as an example.
“How does Moses see God but in this great image of the burning bush, which is on fire but not consumed? The closer God gets to creation, the more luminous and beautiful it becomes without being consumed,” he said.
Offering what he called a “bold claim,” Barron said: “There is no humanism anywhere, East or West, anywhere across the ages, greater than Christian theology.”
Barron said that “divine freedom can come intimately close to human freedom and not compromise it, not crush it.”
Distinguishing between two views of freedom, Barron said the “modern sense” is that “freedom is fundamentally indifference in the face of the yes and the no.”
But in the “biblical sense,” freedom is “the disciplining of desire so as to make the achievement of the good first possible and then effortless.”
Barron told the crowd that his talk could be summed up in the simple words of one of his heroes, the second-century bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons, who said: “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
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“That’s a God who glories in our being fully human,” he said.
Speaking on creation, Barron said that anything that exists apart from God has come “fully and utterly from God.”
If everything comes from God, it must “be marked” by “intelligible form,” he said.
He said “this is precisely why the modern physical sciences emerged out of a Christian university matrix.”
“It’s the theological doctrine of creation which teaches this truth that we should expect finite reality in every detail to be marked by intelligibility that makes the sciences possible,” he said.
Before answering several questions from the crowd, Barron concluded his lecture by saying that the Catholic intellectual tradition “stubbornly looks at God, the world, ourselves, and the way we organize our societies through the lens of Jesus Christ, and it sees them according to a divine light.”