Divine Artistry

It is common for theists to speak of God’s artistry in creation. But that image sits awkwardly with a number of purported beliefs of classical theism. Artistry involves challenge and accomplishment, but an omnipotent God cannot overcome obstacles in any meaningful sense. Artistry involves choosing colors or melodies, but classical theism has asserted that God always “chooses” [Read More…]

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A Hole-Shaped God

The image above comes from Neil Carter’s blog, and I made a note of it as something to come back to at a later point. But then Kyle Roberts shared a quote from Neil Gillman, asking whether humans invent God or discover God. I appreciated his point that it is not necessary to give an either/or answer. [Read More…]

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Have You Seen What They’ve Written About Us?

The above cartoon by David Hayward makes a lot of useful points at once. On the one hand, it emphasizes that the Bible is the work of people writing about God, not something God wrote and dropped down from heaven. It also depicts God anthropomorphically, as three persons surprised when they find out what humans have written [Read More…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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