Why a wee God?

Because we fancy him far off in the cosmic distance. And because we prefer him to be like us. He takes on a form that is manageable, even malleable. Our imaginations aren't expanded, as God intended, by his mind-bending self-revelation in the Scriptures, particularly through his Son, Jesus the Messiah, whom he raised from the dead on Easter.

God is the ultimate reality. He is immanent in and beyond the universe, and yet transcendent at once. He who sustains matter and mind simply IS. The loving and all-powerful God will not be remade and defined in your own image. Be transformed as you renew your mind - breathe in His spirit and truth.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Golden Calf

In his 1952 book, Your God is too Small, J.B. Phillips raised eyebrows as he confronted the all-too-common proclivity to ascribe human-like limitations to our infinite God. Cultural characteristics, hereditary and experiential baggage is strapped on to our imaginary deity - forged as if a golden calf, or unconsciously surrendering to the celestial apparition.

I have a complementary take on the matter. I contend that many Christians who are scripturally literate, and even seminary trained, are prone to over-emphasizing certain attributes of God. Doing so to the detriment of the fully-orbed picture as revealed in Scripture invariably yields a wee God, a God to our liking.

For example, Christians who have adopted strong Calvinist views of God often strongly favor this profile: disciplinarian, righteous, vengeful, selectively merciful, sometimes generous, deterministic. Those who are of the charismatic stripe overwhelmingly emphasize intimate, fatherly, forgiving, merciful, friendly, joyful, and freely giving.

Bottom line: Excluding facets of our Father that are supernaturally revealed in Scripture is a flaw that cultivates error, lack of love, division and carnal living. Let us pray Paul's prayer in Ephesians 1 often, that God might open the eyes of our understanding so we may know Him in all his brilliance, glory and life-changing power.

1 comment:

  1. Aye, MacBradford, there is more than one way to fashion an idol. One might fasion heresy by addition, as when one pours molten metal into a mold. One might work it by subtraction, as when one carves an idol of wood. Or, more commonly, one worketh heresy by malleating--hammering!

    One does violence to the working stock (scripture) one small blow at a time, deforming it, exagerating the scale of one part and minimizing the scale of another.

    Oddly, it usually emerges from the forge looking more or less like the man who wields the hammer.