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Thursday, November 11, 2010

What kind of God 4

Remembering the Suzan maxim (Any God small enough for me to understand is not God) we approach talking about God with humility. There are limits to language so our words always fall short. But we can say some things that are at least pointing in the right direction.
  1. God is the source of everything. There are many debates about how much God controls everything. Scripture does not give a clear answer to that. In some places God seems to be pulling the strings, but in other places He clearly deals with humans as independent agents. It does not seem logical to say God controls everything (Is God really the author of rape, muder, torture?). On the other hand, the idea of a Divine Plan is pretty clear. God has a desire (to save all people) and God has engaged in activities which lead Him to realize the plan. I think it is not the case that everything happens the way God wants (not if you read the prophets or see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem) but I do believe God is resourceful enough to find a way to achieve as much as possible within the limits of creation as He has made it. We can look at this tomorrow.
  2. God is the Judge. Too  often I hear humans hold the Father up to scrutiny. People act like they are able to judge what is best and to criticize God. When there are problems in the world they blame God. My favorite is "fat and happy" Middle Class people who complain about God letting people starve. In the Scriptures God is the one who is mad about it. Basically He says, there is enough food for everyone, why do you not figure out a way to share it better? It is arrogant to judge God. It also makes no sense.
  3. God wants us to pray. Prayer is less about talking then it is about listening. Some people tell me that they tried prayer but nothing happened. What???? That is like going to the gymn for twenty minutes and saying, "I did not lose any weight so I quit going." God does not need a "to-do" list. Ironically we do! So listening (primary way is to read the Bible for long stretches of time) is the most important part of prayer. Prayer is not easy. It is also not optional. Giving God our time is a wonderful sacrifice of love. If you are too busy to pray then you are too busy!

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