Friday, October 28, 2016

Knowing a God Whose Ways Are Not Our Ways

I have thought periodically about the tension between the idea that life eternal is to know God and the statement that God's ways are not our ways - as well as the complete and obvious lack of objectivity when it comes to human perceptions and conceptions of the divine.

I have been asked, in one way or another, about how I view God given this paradox, and I have struggled to answer that question concisely - as everyone who knows me will understand.

The following is my attempt to explain how I view God, given my recognition of the competing statements within our canonized scriptures:

I have solved the central dilemma for myself simply by acknowledging that I don't really know God objectively and avoiding any kind of dogmatic definition in the first place. Thus, I am free to take whatever I like from any and all views - even if that means I have conflicting, paradoxical "definitions" operating simultaneously.

It's really liberating to be able to say,

"I love the concept of God being my Father, but I also can see great value in Voltaire's absentee clockmaker God - and that God condescended to become human to know us at the most basic, intimate level - and that God is a condition that allows all of us to be gods - and that god is collective unity - and that God is the spiritual unifying essence of the universe - and that God is a conceptual ideal for which we can strive - etc."

I really don't have "a definition" - or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I accept and embrace an unrestrained definition that allows for alteration through addition as I encounter new views from which I can take something that resonates with me. I tend to reject the either/or constructs and accept instead a both/and framework.

For what it's worth, that is my basic approach to pretty much everything that I can't prove conclusively. It eliminates a lot of angst and adds wonderful surprises to my life.

1 comment:

ji said...

I like this. We're called to faith, hope, and charity, not to dogma. We err when we dogmatize truth -- I think doing so inhibits the receipt of further truth.