The God I Believe In

(Version 1.2)

The God I believe in is hard to describe, at once inscrutable but very knowable personally. A God who is found in paradox beyond category and human concept but still imminent. The Jesuits “define” God thus:

God–Various titles or names are given to the Mystery underlying all that exists–e.g., the Divine, Supreme Being, the Absolute, the Transcendent, the All Holy-but all of these are only “pointers” to a Reality beyond human naming and beyond our limited human comprehension.

The following are phrases images that inform my concept of God but I stress that such a concept is, at best, a metaphor or pointer which by definition cannot exhaust God’s Reality.

I never believed in the Old Man in the Sky with the fuzzy white beard.

  • Ground of Being – God doesn’t exist within a set of dimensions. Existence and essence spring from “Him.”
  • Love – God is not loving. God IS love.
  • Mind – The God of physicists and mathematicians who see the way our universe works under the mathematically precise laws of physics, who cannot help but see how they point to a Mind that works mathematically.
  • Person – I have no idea how to relate to an impersonal force. I am a person who ultimately can only relate to another possessing intellect and will as a person.
  • Trinity – I didn’t like this at all back in the day. Learning the doctrine’s history, I found the it and the process that bore it repugnant. But as I learned about mysticism and theologies that show paradox is useful for “understanding” God, it became beautiful. Three in One is indeed nonsensical non-rational but apt since we Christians experience God as all three.
  • Good/Hope – Eschatologically speaking, God is my hope that on the cosmic scale, the Good prevails, despite the horror of the present.
  • Truth – God for me is True in every sense including the objective.
  • Jesus – The Master and example of what a human being looks like who is in intimate communion with God.

Religion has a lot to say and makes many claims on God. I do not take them at face value. In fact, I believe that to be a mistake. A metaphor for something doesn’t supplant the reality to which it points. A symbol can’t replace what is symbolized. The ancients knew this when they created myth and practiced ritual, earthly things meant to represent the heavenly. We as modern faithful would do well to remember this. It helps me to remember that my religion is how I live out my faith in this God not God Himself.