Questions

There is this story in the bible in which God shows up through a burning bush and says “I am, who I am”

For centuries, this has been a founding truth for all who believe in God (in one form or another). God is. That’s it. God just is.

But I’ve often felt a bit empty by this message. God is? Well that’s not very informative. I’ve often had an urge to ask: Who? Who are You? Are You a you? Are You even?

And I think it’s time to start asking these questions. Because God can’t be all, can he? Both Good and Evil? Both with us and against us? Both material and immaterial? Both made up and real? Or can he?

The as I study more, I realize I know less. I don’t know if both Jews, Christians and Muslims all praise the same, one true God? Are there only one God? Or are there many? Can we mortal, finite humans tell them apart? Or tell True from False? Good from Evil? Heaven from Hell?

Are there even such things as heaven or hell? Or are they man made concepts? Also, what defines sin from atonement? Are we the new creation? Or should we create the new creation? Has the new creation been or are we waiting for it?

Should we be grateful? Or hateful? Should we draw arms? Or make peace?

Do we even know what all this is? Or are we kidding ourselves?

Why can’t we answer these things? Why are there so many questions? Why don’t we know who you are?

Is this going forwards? Or is this taking steps backwards?

Is this heresy?

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Being a Being of Beings…

So how do we kick off this blog? That’s Easy; lets explain ‘God’! Or at least put some words on him.

At the moment, I am doing my bachelor thesis. And I thought it would be interesting to write something about, what images people hold about God. Well, as it turns out, that’s a quite big subject…

This, somewhat foolish, idea came to me through a podcast I heard. It was Rob Bell and Peter Rollins talking about some of the general images of God (RobCast ep. 111). If you don’t know the RobCast, check it out!

This talk made me start reflecting on how I view God. And, as ever, I’ve used many, MANY hours, thinking of this, reading, asked clever people questions and of course I still don’t have clue. Surely I can identify myself with some of the points, but I feel like I fall down between some of these, very generalized, categories. And I cannot seem to figure out, where I land…

(This is the point where I wanted to explain the notions of God that Pete and Peaches discussed in the RobCast. But after two pages of heavy, philosophical writing, I thought: This is too long and too heavy for just one blog post. So I’m gonna do the short version now, and then maybe come back to it another day. But go listen to the podcast, if you wanna know more.)

Basically they talked of 3 (well 4, but I’ll only include the three here) notions of God. God as…

  • … a super being. Simply a bigger, better version of oneself or, to say, a projection of our own opinions on to a ‘God’. This usually wounds up in such a lucky manner, that this super-being shares ones opinions on politics, war, ethics, and what colour to paint the living room.
  • … a hyper being. The being that cannot be conceptualized. It will always be bigger and better than anything, we can think of. Our language, our words, can in no way be used to describe, something that is so much larger and greater than our words. Or as Meister Eckhart puts it: “The unnamable is omninable”.
  • … the ground of our being. God is that from which everything arises. When we talk about God, we talk symbolically. It is in the act of giving ourselves to the world that we encounter God. You cannot love God (he would have to be an object for that), but you discover God in the love.

This is still roaming around in me. Or I am roaming in it… This is not a complete pick-and-choose-your-image-of-god kinda list. This is just three main categories of images of God.

 

So… What do you think?

 

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