The process of this particular post has been afoot for several weeks now. Along the way, as I researched, cut-and-pasted, I have seemingly lost track of sources of some of my information and thought formation (although the scripture elements are cited and easily verified). Some of this might have come from a recent exchange I had with Aaron Masih. Other parts from that rascal “John C”. Nonetheless, I will be pressing the “publish” button and hope that any readers appreciates this effort in the spirit it represents.
Aaron Masih is in my head.
When he reads this I know he will smile. Aaron is my friend. He wants me to study scripture. I don’t want to study scripture. I did think I wanted to go to divinity school – more out of curiosity and a call of a challenge. But, I might just do that when I am in my sixties, after the Ironman, and before I take off for China.
But, as many of you know, I do take a peek at scripture some times (mostly when people send or otherwise, offer examples) because God is certainly in my head. But, then, so is Rowdy (Rhodesian Ridgeback), who joins our family at the end of this week. And, for so many reasons, both has been inspiring me under unexpected circumstances of late
”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is:
“Love your neighbor as yourself’.” (Mathew 22: 37-39)
As the Book of John rather harshly puts it:
“If anyone says, ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen”. (1 John 4:20)
Now, I happen to think the author of John was more or less onto something. If a person has no experience of deity – as John assumes to be the case – and yet loves God, then that person must necessarily love an idea of God, rather than a god.
There are people quite comfortable loving there ideals more than they love people.
Perhaps it is better for them, then, to love their brother, whom they have seen, than to love an idea of God. For any idea of God, no matter how profound, no matter how subtle, is petty when compared to flesh and blood.
Perhaps it is better for them, then, to love their brother, whom they have seen, than to love an idea of God. For any idea of a god, no matter how profound, no matter how subtle, is petty when compared to flesh and blood.
I wonder, though, if anyone ever actually loves God? Is it even possible to love God? Obviously, the answer for some people is “no”. Without an experience of God, you can, at most, love only your idea of God. Some can say they love France or Germany, but if they have never been to either country, they are really only loving their ideas of them.
The truth of God’s self-revelation is founded in Scripture and supremely in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It might depend on its conformity to philosophers’ rules of logic or to the Jesus Seminar’s critical criteria. For example:
God makes truth known to his human creatures for their benefit (John 8:31-32).
That which God reveals is true because God himself is truth (John 14:6).
Certainly, reason plays a role in Christian faith and life. Reason can show that God’s self-revelation is not irrational or incoherent. For example, with the advent of quantum physics and the collapse of the Enlightenment worldview, science and philosophy no longer claim that Biblical accounts of Jesus’ transfiguration and resurrection violate Newtonian “laws of nature,” only that they are low-probability events.
I don’t believe I need scripture or science to make me feel the way I do about God. I feel him all the time. I believe what I feel. That is a gift in it’s own right. And, that makes me want to reflect and represent.
Please enjoy “You Found Me” by Fray.
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork