To have X dwell vs. dwelling


Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
This is again a quote from a book by Thomas Merton: "In order to know and love God as he is, we must have God dwelling in us." Is this still a causative? Isn't there a difference between inf. and gerund (?) here?

I would say: causative would be theologically inappropriate (...), as God is allmighty. But then: how would you paraphrase the above. Give God the space to live in us???
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    There is a difference between:

    1. "We must have God dwell in us"
    2. "We must have God dwelling in us."

    1. could be glossed as "we must allow God to dwell in us", rather than the less appropriate "make God dwell in us".
    Compare with " We must have your parents come to stay with us", where "have" means something like "make arrangements for".
    2. I don't see this as causative. "We must be in a state where God is dwelling in us."

    Does this answer your question, Thomas?
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