A spectrum of available conceptions of God can be put in rough order, with frank anthropomorphism at one extreme—a God existing in time and space with eyes and hands and love and anger—through deism, a somehow still personal God who cares but is nevertheless outside time and space and does not intervene, and the still more abstract Ground of all Being, from which (almost?) all anthropomorphic features have been removed, all the way to frank atheism: nothing at all is aptly called God....So which God for you? Or should we just say we "believe in God" and leave it at that happy that we believe in something even if the word has no referent upon which we can agree?
....There is no agreement at all, then, about where to draw a line across this spectrum, with belief in God on one side and non-belief on the other, and many people are quite content to ignore the question. But two of our pastors have felt the need to draw the line, and to recognize that, given where they draw the line, their own view has crossed it: they no longer deserve to be called believers, whatever others may think. The other three say that they may not believe in a supernatural god, but they believe in something. Still, they all find themselves with a secret: they don’t believe what many of their parishioners think they believe and think they ought to believe.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Help My Unbelief!
Here is a little theological fun before bedtime. Otagosh picked up on the Dennett/LaScola paper and found this nugget regarding the "God" we are supposed not to stop believing in if we are Christian pastors. What does it mean to believe or not believe in God when no one seems to agree on what "God" refers to anyway?