Uh-oh

Jim Linville shared the above cartoon on Facebook. There have been lots of variations on it. All of them either play into, or poke fun at, the very common idea that God is like human beings, essentially supporting one team and holding a grudge against others. That way of depicting God ought to be regarded [Read More...]

God at Work

There are lots of problems with a literalistic approach to Genesis, and to the Bible in general. But the biggest is that it denies that God so transcends our human comprehension that God can only be pointed to through symbols. The final editor of Genesis presumably understood this. He placed side by side two depictions [Read More...]

The God Beyond God

A variety of traditions, including Christian mysticism and modern existentialist theology, have spoken of the “God beyond God.” This is the very ancient idea that, beyond any sort of anthropomorphic deity that we may think of and tell stories about, there must be an even greater reality that transcends our ability to comprehend and describe. [Read More...]

Literalism and Absurdity

I came across this on Pinterest: This obviously reflects, for the most part, the literalistic and contextless approach of fundamentalism. But now that religious viewpoint is treated with hostility – yet without in fact questioning its underlying assumptions. Those who are willing to read into the text ideas that were not formulated until much later, [Read More...]

Life on Other Cells?

I saw this on Facebook: It reminded me of an analogy I’ve often used, of two cells in a human body talking about their place in the grand scheme of things, and the meaning of their existence. One says that it looks around and says “Cells are all there is – we’re born, we die, [Read More...]

Beware of God

I presume that this sign is intentional and not a spelling error: From This Isn't Happiness, HT Jeff Carter on Facebook Gods were, and then later a single God was, thought to be capricious and terrifying in ancient times. The divine was thought to be, or later to be expressed through, what we today call [Read More...]

Keeping an Anthropomorphic God Busy

Jerry Coyne recently shared this Bizarro comic: I think the cartoon illustrates nicely some of the problems involved in thinking about God in such anthropomorphic terms. Coyne adds the comment: The whole nature of God for these people (and for many, many Americans) is that of a personal God, something with the characteristics of a [Read More...]

Religion 2.0

Michael Dowd posted on what he calls the “New Theism” (as well as mentioning other terms). I’m not sure that I find that particular label “New Theism” helpful, since “theism” is often associated with precisely what Dowd rejects, the idea of a personal or anthropomorphic deity. I appreciate his comparison of the movement he is [Read More...]

God and Anthropomorphism

In discussing Hume’s Dialogue Concerning Natural Religion in my freshman seminar course, one of the major focal points was inevitably whether God can be thought of as in any way analogous to human beings (or in more technical terms anthropomorphically). We also connected this with Tillich’s treatment of myths as expressions of ultimate concern in [Read More...]

God in Our Own Image…and in Little Green Flesh

This one is from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: But as a sci-fi fan, and as someone who doubts the sentience of octopuses, I find this one more meaningful: [Read more...]

Is God Bald?

I heard from a relative today a story about a younger child in our family who asked her parent if God has hair. The parent had at least enough theological sophistication to recognize that it is inappropriate to say “yes” in response to such a question, and so answered “No.” The child looked puzzled, and [Read More...]


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