Tuesday, 3 July 2012

God in a box

Granted the existence of God, however you understand that term, it has always seemed to me that our knowledge of God is severely limited.  We wade our way through life, catching glimpses of something beyond ourselves along the way.  These are the steps - metaphors one and all - to the construction of a sense of ultimate meaning that transcends the daily duties and distractions that make up our lives.

There is nothing more obscene than the temptation to erect a system of binding propositions out of the ether.  You can no more do this than capture a flash of sunlight through the trees, or track down that pot of gold that waits at the end of the rainbow.  For a Christian to say that God is known in Jesus is one thing, but to raise a series of whitened propositional sepulchres is another.  Faith defies our pathetic attempts to nail it down in catechisms and dogmas.

Which is why Reformed theology in particular is such an albatross around the neck of its devotees.  Over on the Surprising God blog the latest posting begins thusly:
This post continues our review of Forsaken (The Trinity and the Cross, and Why it Matters) by Tom McCall. Last time we looked at the doctrine of divine impassibility. This time we look at the doctrine of divine simplicity, which states that God is not divided (made up of various "parts"). While this doctrine is not well known and can seem bizarre at first blush, it is of great importance in that it reassures us that our triune God is not divided (conflicted) in his mind toward us. We'll see as we go what this doctrine says about God and how it reassures us of God's love for us.
Divine impassibility, divine simplicity, divine bunkum.  This need to put everything into a tidy package - to take the riotous diversity and pull it apart into neatly organized boxes... dear Lord, what a presumption!  A triune god not divided?  Quick, let's redefine everything and hope nobody notices!  Yes Ted, bizarre at first blush, bizarre at the last.

The so-called 'trinitarian theology' espoused on the SG blog is nothing more than a human construct, somewhat sophisticated but totally groundless and self-referential, erected on the gray, acidic clouds of Calvinism and it's latter-day deviations; Torrance, Barth, Kruger and their ilk.  It is, at heart, as sectarian and arrogant as anything SG writer Ted Johnson once advocated in his pre-"Born Again Barthian" ministry.  The jargon has changed, but Ted still thinks he has God in a box.


  1. "catching glimpses of ultimate meaning along the way"

    I've come to be very skeptical of phrases like "ultimate meaning" -- in fact I think they are meaningless. And I certainly don't think we catch glimpses of it.

    "There is nothing more obscene than the temptation to erect a system of binding propositions out of the ether."

    Boy, I agree with that one !

  2. It's ALL nothing more than a human construct. Perhaps there is a God, I'm not saying there isn't. But I AM saying that all the things we see written about a God are merely human constructs. They are what humans THINK, based on no proof, no evidence and questionable reasoning.

  3. It's what you get when you try explaining rainbows to earthworms.

  4. Better yet: it's what you get when the earthworms start trying to explain rainbows to each other.