04
Jan
08

What is God?

Ask yourself–do you believe in God? If your answer is yes–then ask yourself, what exactly is this object–God–that you believe in?

It is an important question to ask, for no man can be expected to believe in that which he cannot define. If there are no words to describe something, it is doubtful that anything else would do the job.

I defer to St. Augustine in his Confessions 400 AD, when he was 43 yrs old. Here is the philosopher/theologian/writer supreme at his best:

“…This is which I love when I love my God.
And what is this? I asked the earth, and it answered me, ‘I am not He’; and whatsoever are in it confessed the same. I asked the sea and the depths, and the living creeping things, and they answered, ‘We are not Thy God, seek above us.’ I asked the moving air; and the whole air with his inhabitants answered, ‘Anaximenes was deceived, I am not God.’…And I turned to myself, and said to myself, ‘Who are you?’ And I answered, ‘A man.’ And behold, in me there present themselves to me a soul, and a body, one without, the other within…These things did my inner man know by the ministry of the outer: I the inner knew them; I, the mind, through the senses of my body. I asked the whole frame of the world about my God; and it answered me, ‘I am not He, but He made me.’

So you see, Augustine knew that there was no corporeal existance for God. That God exists beyond His creation, beyond all of the images that we bring to mind when we think of God. God is known from the objects we perceive in space/time–but those objects are in no way God. There is no place we can go in this reality that will bring us to God.

I wish that modern Chrisianity would move back to the thoughts of Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. In the day and age of science and rationalism, Christians need to present their case in rational terms, to show the world, that a rational mind can–indeed must–conclude that even though we cannot ever be absolutely sure beyond any doubt that God exists(just as we cannot for anything), it is most likely that God does exist. Christian theologians must explain, that in order to believe in God–a person must first have the WILL to believe. Will comes before rationality and faith, both. One must will himself to be rational. One must will himself to have faith. Even in the case of God though, rationality leads to belief. “For by the things that ARE seen, we know of the things UNSEEN.”

Stop putting God in a shoebox. The person who does this either wishes his own concept of God to be small–so that through logic he can intentionally disbelieve,(that is, WILL himself to not believe) or is being intellectually lazy, and appearing a fool in our rational times, thus causing unbelief in others.

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