Friday, May 8, 2009

Any God Too Small for me to Comprehend...

Original Posting

...isn't big enough for me to worship.

What is the mindset behind this statement? It's basically the declaration that God is not rational (note: this is distinct from irrational, this is more along the lines of being beyond-rational), and that God is only worth worshiping if he is not rational. This phrase, common among Christians, especially Christians dealing with difficult issues, is both a profound declaration and the cop out to end all cop outs. After all, once we no longer expect God to be rational or logical, nothing is impossible (perhaps this is what Jesus had in mind; Matt 19:26).

Can't wrap your mind around the fact that there is one God, and yet we have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Three, yet one? 1+1+1=1 (I've never understood why some Christians think it helps to illustrate one of their most sacred doctrines with an arithmetic error)? Well, that's fine, because if the Trinity made sense, it wouldn't be worth worshiping.

Someone had the radio on a religious station today, where the speaker was discussing God's planning and forethought and it's relation to man's responsibility. I believe he was discussing specifically the fact that God foreknew Christ's coming and sacrifice since before the foundation of the world, but that man is still responsible for killing him. The question was how to reconcile man being responsible for Christ's death with the fact that God ordained the whole thing. His answer: beat's me, but any god too small for me to comprehend isn't big enough for me to worship.

I'm sure I don't need any more examples, you can see how this maxim will basically allow you to believe whatever you want about God. The beliefs no longer need to make sense because of God's transcendence; anything could be true. So you see how this is a huge cop-out.

On the other hand, there is a decent point behind this statement. If God is the creator of our entire universe and the creator of all of our natural laws, then there's no reason to imagine that God would be bound by the laws of logic. If God created logic, then God would only be bound by logic if he chose to be bound by it. If logic exists over God, then we really ought to drop this 'Almighty' talk. If logic exists as part of God's nature, then he must continue making logical sense.

So that's where we seem to be: either logic is created by God (and the cop-out stands and reasoning about God is absurd), logic has power over God (and therefore God is bound by a set of laws), or logic derives from God's nature (and therefore God is simply following his nature, and the cop-out needs to be thrown away). This is an important matter; the answer to the question will determine whether or not there's any point in thinking about God (after all, if he doesn't bother with logic, how can we think about him. We're left to accept whatever revelation we happen to like best).