Can’t Be Boxed

This quote from Jim Palmer came to my attention via Pinterest.



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  • $51751848

    I’m not sure what any of these claims mean, but they strike me as either obvious or false, depending on the meaning of the key terms. For example:

    1) Religion for me is simply our engagement with the question of what is ultimately real and supremely valuable, so to say that God cannot be boxed up in religion is like saying that numbers can’t be boxed up in mathematics. Religion just is the sphere of human activity in which the question of God is addressed.
    2) I think this is claiming that the meaning of Jesus is not exhausted by our attempts to formulate systematic theological understandings of Him. OK, fine. No orthodox Christian would deny that. But the reality of Jesus is at least partially reflected in those understandings, and better reflected within the Christian community than anywhere else. Even if there are many within the Christian community who fail to live in a Christ-like manner, and some outside the community may succeed at reflecting some of His character, those who best reflect His character will only be found among those who actively and intentionally try to imitate Him.
    4) Similarly, if the claim is that the full truth about God cannot be captured in a belief system, no orthodox Christian would deny that. But belief systems (of which natural science is one) are our best attempt to capture that truth, so if the author is implying that belief systems are unimportant or dispensable just because they don’t capture the whole truth, that would be a serious mistake.

    • R Vogel

      Respectfully I think you are missing the point. The fallacy these seem to be warning against is believing that your roadmap is the territory. Of course we use frameworks to discuss G*d. We actually use frameworks to talk about everything. However the trap most fundamentalists fall into, whatever stripe not just Christian, is believing that your framework is in fact reality. Your framework may encapsulate your conception of G*d, but if you think that G*d actually fits inside of your framework there are a lot of potentially nasty consequences to that kind of thinking.

      I am a little confused by your first answer. Without mathematics numbers are meaningless. So are you saying the G*d only has meaning within the context of religion? You can probably make that argument, but I wasn’t sure if that was what you were going for.

  • TomS

    A box of maxims? :-)