Pastor's Pen
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September 29, 2014, 11:15 AM

The Mystery

The Mystery

 

 

   On Monday mornings, when I turn on my computer, I occasionally find a few responses to my Sunday article in the Ardmoreite. Not too long ago, I receive a note from a “gentleman” who didn’t think it wise to talk about God or religious “stuff” in our paper, much less in public through any means. He also mentioned that, for him, God doesn’t exist. I don’t respond to that kind of mail because, well, I’d rather talk to than write to opponents!

   If I did talk with him, here are a few things that I would like to say. For some people, they don’t believe in God because their idea of God is too small or God is too far away. Some fifty years ago, Anglican theologian J.B. Phillips wrote a very popular book: Your God Is Too Small.  That still remains true for many people. God is too small to be taken seriously some say: a god who punishes sinners with cancer, a god who arranges parking places and the sale of your home.

   In his book Does God Exist? Hans Kung says, “God is not a supermundane being above the clouds and stars. God is in the world and the world is in God.” Another thought I like, and I don’t know who the author is, but what was said is: “God is the reason there is something rather than nothing.”

   And Elizabeth Johnson, a Roman Catholic academic, has said: “The notion of God as one who embraces us, in whom we live and move and have our being, is so much more my sense of God than the grand old man in the sky.”

   You know, the Bible nowhere mounts an argument for the existence of God. “Fools say in their hearts, ‘there is no God,’” the Psalmist wrote. But the Bible doesn’t argue the point or try to prove the case. What the Bible does is tell stories about people meeting God, people praising, people praying to, people pleading with, blaming, arguing with, negotiating with God.

   The mystery of God remains, unless God reaches across and into human history and into your life and mine, and that is exactly what Christians believe: that the great unknowable reality has come in the birth, life, and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 09.28.2014

Dr. Rick Baggett is pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore (the church with the bells) and can be reached at: rbaggettfpc@cableone.net


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