Our thoughts about God are just that: thoughts about God. They are not God. They approximate God. This includes the thoughts, now written, of the biblical writers and all theologians since. All their thoughts and all their writings are not God, but approximations of God.
This should not depress us. This should give us great joy that, if there is a God, this God should be greater than all we can imagine or articulate. If there is a God, then we should rejoice if this God’s ways and thoughts were not our ways and thoughts, but far greater and even beyond finding out! If there is a God, if we even came close to seeing this God, shouldn’t we all fall down as dead because it blows our minds?
My favorite Eastern philosopher, Krishnamurti, once said,
“Now, what is reality, what is God? God is not the word, the word is not the thing.”
The interesting thing about Krishnamurti is that he is very serious when he wrote and spoke publicly. However, when people visited him and he was just going about his day, he was full of humor, continuously telling jokes, smiling, laughing and enjoying life. His journals reveal a happy man.
Why is everyone so serious? Christian theology should make us happy… happy to think about and happy to write and happy to talk about.
Karl Barth said,
“The theologian who labors without joy is not a theologian at all. Sulky faces, morose thoughts and boring ways of speaking are intolerable in this field.”
G.K. Chesterton wrote,
“Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly… Satan fell by the force of gravity.”
In fact, Chesterton wondered if the great secret of God concealed in Christ… something that was simply too great to show us… was his joy.
Let’s lighten up and enjoy the game on this field we call theology.
I know some people who are generally happy to talk about their beliefs and hang out together at The Lasting Supper. I invite you to the table.