Beyond The Pale

From My Journal, Thoughts on God

From my journal, 12 September 2009

This, of course, will be controversial.

The more I hear, the more I read, the more I encounter the denial of God, the greater he grows in my mind. Throughout all of human history, skeptics, doubters, philosophers have doubted the existence of a personal God. But why they use is reason, human reason, locked in human, and therefore limited perception. His existence cannot be proven, especially from our perception, our position in spacetime. All we are left with is evidence, evidence for and against, and this evidence cannot amass the gravity of proof.

So we reason it out, and all of our reasoning amounts to little more than a defining of terms. We look at the nature of this universe, how it has no regard for us, for human suffering and joys, for our hope of order, plot, justice in this life, and we find nothing, and every time we refine our methods, peeling back another layer of reality to look a little deeper, we find no answers, just another layer of mystery. So we convince ourselves that there is no God, or if we do believe, we make him small, castrated, unmindful of our suffering.

A doubter looks at the evidence, and he sees no need for God a prime mover because movement is intrinsic in matter, so he denies or redefines. Perhaps God is this very universe itself, but this is no God. At the best it is god, for God is mindful of our plight and this universe does not punish the evil, and it does not repay our strivings for justice.

But in the believer’s mind, every layer of mystery only makes God seem that much greater, for the believer looks past the evidence into the testament of his own soul. The believer understands that this justice we are promised must be somewhere beyond today, beyond this life, beyond our striving to see. And where we no longer need a prime mover, well, that allows the believer to see God as bigger, beyond matter altogether.

So the doubter says that God cannot move because movement indicates something larger than God within which he moves, and if he exists, then he must not be powerful because he is paralyzed by his very nature, inevitably static. He can’t think because this thinking would change him and how can that which is perfect change and continue to be perfect? And this castrated god becomes thoughtless.

The goal, the summation of centuries of doubt, is to make God small enough that we can wrap him up, bind him to our reason and in the process destroy the faith of the credulous. But each time they have him bound in their reason, destroyed him with their human logic, it becomes apparent to those who would think for themselves that where the doctrine of the church of scripture fails, so does the argument of the church of reason, for every time we push our ability to quantify, to measure, every time we come a step closer to the god of science, a theory of everything, we look where we thought to find God and only see the radiance of his passing, for he is still bigger than our most precise of measures. He remains greater than we can imagine, capable of encompassing a perfection beyond what we would understand as perfection, a perfection in which he moves that is himself, a constantly changing yet never less or more than complete wholeness.

You see, when God as we understand him becomes unbelievable, that is the greatest of moments for the believer because he is granted the rarest of opportunities, the opportunity to see God’s greatness as bigger than it has ever been before, as bigger than our very ability to understand.

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October 17, 2009 - Posted by | Christianity, Church

4 Comments »

  1. Thank you, David, thank you! Oh, and this just in – not exactly the same thought, but certainly in the same vein – http://www.xkcd.com/638/

    Comment by Arvallian | October 18, 2009 | Reply

    • That’s great. I might have just found my new favorite webcomic.

      Comment by davidjgross | October 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. haha. That’s a fantastic comic! I’ve read xkcd before, but that’s just great.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post; instead of posting another longwinded comment, I’ll just make a post of my own (as I intended to do) and let this give me my writing fodder.

    Comment by wordorgy | October 19, 2009 | Reply

  3. One of the things we don’t address as much as believe/disbelieve is the “otherness” of God. It isn’t that we make God small, so much as we adhere to our own concept of God which is too small as He is revealed through time. This is why as believers we become stretched… we come to the frontier edges of our belief, and find we must step into what we do not know to follow God further, and find out more about Him.

    I do think we find answers, but then must go on to more questions (mysteries); we do build a body of knowledge of God, but we have yet to sound the depths.

    We forget His otherness, and we make so many methods of recasting Him in our image; but as He chooses to break through those manufactured ideas/ideals we indeed come to the place you describe:

    “You see, when God as we understand him becomes unbelievable, that is the greatest of moments for the believer because he is granted the rarest of opportunities, the opportunity to see God’s greatness as bigger than it has ever been before, as bigger than our very ability to understand.”

    In a way it is interesting that we can come to the same place that the pagan Greeks did… where our ideas of God seem small in the face of the expanded knowledge of how the universe is set up. But in no way does that negate God,as He truly is for us, but only negates our presumptions.

    This is where the profundity of the teaching of Jesus just blows it away: “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it”. That was where we were meant to start, but we just thought we knew better, and why we find ourselves so challenged to believe. It is really being challenged to come to know, … for the first time.

    And isn’t God gracious to allow for that all along?

    I think what I liked best of all you’ve said here is: “All we are left with is evidence, evidence for and against, and this evidence cannot amass the gravity of proof”
    I think that is very true, but I do not think that evidence is a small thing when I really think of it.

    For, outlines God’s reality, and against outlines our own. That is the sticking point for unbelief: how small and dependent mankind truly is, and so we deny the Other.

    Comment by Ilona | October 27, 2009 | Reply


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