Friday, April 2, 2010

The Punishing God

More than one theologian has remarked on the way man’s perception of God, or perhaps God Himself has matured over the centuries. God growing up is actually an issue with God as He manifests in Europe and the Near East. In the Far East the apprehension of the Divine took a deeply sophisticated form at least from 600 BCE. The Buddhists of that day pointed out that God was not actually required for a spiritual practice to make sense. God at His most mature departs if we wish His departure. That is what makes room for science. Intellectually honest scientists know and admit that the issue of God is not resolved by science. Instead the statements concerning the place of God in things really go more like this:

It is axiomatic in the scientific world view that nature takes the simplest course possible at every point. That is truthfully not very damn simple in lots of areas, for example in biology. The axiom still seems to hold, even with these admitted instances of holding entropy at bay in some local systems. Thus we as scientists find the God explanation for things at least one layer more complex than necessary to explain everything. Furthermore there is the risk in positing a creator God that we introduce an infinite regress into things. This is to be abhorred in logical discourse. Risking infinite regress and more complexity than necessary does not rule out the existence of God, whatever that may mean. Instead it reveals with clarity that the idea of God lies outside the scope of science.

The rest is politics on both sides.

The evolution of God in the West is an interesting story that involves the demand that God enter history or else God makes no sense. He must really manifest concretely on the planet. This demand is different from the older human concept of God as manifest in the before time, the Golden Age, the world of the ancestors, in the world of myth. Even Jesus made this distinction when he spoke of this world and of God's World, or the Kingdom. Christian church, the kingdom of the saints, is an attempt to honor this distinction by drawing apart as befits the Children of God. A God in history must evolve, just as we do. History is by it's nature evolutionary, going someplace. Christianity demands Eschatology, a theology of the culmination of things. To have God actually present on the planet as He is in the story of the Jews, in the body of Christ, in the life of the prophet, is to have a historical God. Such a God can indeed change, grow up.

The Punishing God

I stood up right then,
where you said God sends disease
as retribution.
I would fire a God
like that, and go hire someone
on the divine list,
waiting for a job,
promising to do better
than that teenager.

April 29, 2009 12:36 PM


  1. Best. Thing. Ever.

    If there's anything the history of religion around the world has shown us, the job market for deities is constantly up in the air. I suspect that a lot more of them than we think are just temping.

  2. Thank you all.

    I love the idea that God is just temping. Thanks, Joseph.

    Cherie, me you too.

  3. i hear what you are saying though my views may be different

    dcdiffycult dot wordpress dot com


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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