Who/What Is God?
Curated by Tony Jones
Do Progressive Christians have a God-talk problem? In August 2012, popular theo-blogger Tony Jones issued this challenge to fellow bloggers: "Write something substantive about God. Not about Jesus, not about the Bible, but about God."
The response was oustanding; more than 50 bloggers posted over a two-week period. Read their reflections and then add your own in the Comments Box below. (And stay tuned for future #progGOD conversations!)
People don't really know what we think about God, because we don't write that much about God.
The unseen reality that is the source of all life exists and is good.
I expect to fail this challenge. And I intend to fail it in several parts.
A faith that engages the world will inevitably bring us face to face with suffering.
Jennifer D. Crumpton
Trying to understand everyday experiences is the beginning to understanding God.
I generally find God using freedom and largeness and otherness to engage me.
Because God is bigger than a nightclub bouncer with a list of names; you're in, you're out.
If we want to know God, we have to participate in the mission of God.
The nature of God is individual.
But Not Yet
I had to give up the image of God as an old man with a beard hurling lightning bolts.
What we have is a "talk-to-God" and a "let-God-speak-through-us" problem.
Where does God's action end and our participation begin?
If I'm created in the image of God, so are you; even and especially when we don't have the same image.
I try to avoid gendered pronouns for God.
God is the very essence of existence. Not simply the foundation, but the thing itself.
As a physical creature born of light, I am able to relate to the God of illumination.
Every time I think I have Him under control, He reminds me that I do not.
The term God is a placeholder for things we do not yet understand.
Every decision we make matters.
Scott R Paeth
In a nutshell, my approach is this: God is the ground of being.
I usually ground statements about God in Jesus and the Bible, because that's how I roll.
We are created in the image of God in order that God's power might burn more brightly.
Human relationship is a work of art--an expression of the one in whose image we are created.
God is that which does not banish, destroy, give in or satisfy the "enemy."
When God seems far away, I say, "I hope in you," and He feels so close I can almost touch Him.
I believe God still comes around, introducing himself to me anew in his many disguises.
Christians don't just believe God created once upon a time; Christians believe God creates now and today.
Daniel J Adkins
When big, scary words are the main descriptors of God, we often get a God that is cold and distant.
One way to think about God is to think about the collective human community.
What if God chooses to present himself to different people in different ways?
God's reality is different, deeper, more real than ours; properly speaking, God is not real.
Progressive God-Talk, Reformed Theological Method, The Doctrine of Analogy, and God's Grace in Our Knowledge
Because there is a radical gap in reality between God and ourselves, there is also a radical gap in our knowledge.
The church presents that God has a technical problem with the whole grace plan.
God is not a cosmic watchmaker.
The Secular Seeker
We accept the unknown, because it's a hell of a lot more fun than dwelling in a comfort zone.
Too much emphasis on God's awesomeness leaves us ill-equipped to see God's smallness in the world.
The way of the world seeks redemptive violence, yet God works through restoration and reconciliation.
I find God in the things that wreck me, the things that shake me to my core.
No era in history better suits God than the one that openly questions the ability of anyone to fully explain truth.
The trouble with talking about God is that words are inadequate, and there's no arbiter of the truth of those words.
What keeps coming back through scripture and life is the level to which God will show mercy.
Micah J Murray
Even God's own words don't do Him justice.
I've always described "God" as being the center of a wheel, and the deities humanity worships are the spokes on that wheel.
R Jay Pearson
God, my Love. God, my Life. Living peace. Living grace. Living compassion.
Sometimes God is readily known, sometimes God is impossible to find.
God is present even where evil seems to reign, because this is God's world and evil won't have the last word.
God is the force or energy that has given me the gift of experiencing life.
Adam Walker Cleaveland
Our beliefs about God can't be set in the past, when God's hopes and dreams for the world are set in the future.
There is no God apart from relationship; God is love in relationship.
God is the God of a people alive and working in the world.
God is persuasive love, containing but somehow still beyond all that we can grasp.
If God is love, is God capable of wrath?
God is bigger and more than the imagination of human opinion assigns to God, and there is no box that can contain that.
J P Serrano
God is not anything and everything we want God to be.
George MacDonald's claims about God's nature.
Get Out from Under It
Whatever God is, He/She/It is there.
Love isn't just another one of God's attributes; God's primordial nature is love.