Tuesday, December 23, 2008

God rid me of god

A more eloquent discussion of a theme I've tried to express: that most so-called atheists are rejecting a particular definition, or image, of God. This gentleman goes further, to say that truly spiritual Christians refuse to put God in a box.

J.B. Philips a famous translator of the New Testament in the '50s, also wrote a book titled Your God is Too Small. My understanding is that he was trying to make the same point.

I'm afraid that most of the time my image of God is closer to the big Santa in the sky that to the Tao that can't be spoken. At least, this is the image I presume others have of God — and I suppose this judgment is closer to home, that is, what I fear is in my own heart.


Phyllie said...

I highly recommend A.W. Tozer's "Knowledge of the Holy".

Anonymous said...

Well, academically I understand his point, though among those I know who label themselves atheist, I am not sure it would prove inclusive.

Unsurprisingly, both "classical" and "natural" pantheism are often thought of as atheistic in the same way that this fellow notes early Christians were. Clearly, in both Mark and Thomas, statements attributed to Jesus sound a lot like a classical pantheist.

For myself, I apply no labels. Were I to do so I guess "natural pantheist" would come closest. The notion I have evolved for myself is to perceive the material world, comprised as we now understand it of matter and energy - two sides of the same coin. In my formulation there is a third and we refer to that as life. So, as Chief Dan George is scripted to say in "Little Big Man", "human bein's believe everything is alive...". In this way I perceive life as a universal construct and it is in the unity of matter, energy and "life" may be found that non-material presence many identify as the spiritual.

In this perception there can be no worship, ceremony, liturgy or sacraments - for what I presume are obvious reasons.