Thursday, May 18, 2006

What's the matter with God?

UPI Column

Thanks especially to Dave and Rebecca on pomoxian (yahoo group for theological discussion) for their interaction about this topic. I've modified the post I made there for UPI.

:) Julie


Rick said...

Great article as usual, Julie.

That is why I talk about "expereince" so much. I am not sure what God is or where God is. I've stood on the edge of unbelief and even crossed over while no one was looking. There were times that I wanted to believe but just couldn't. But there is something there or in here-- whatever God is-- it matters.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Dave said...

The biggest problem with columns is that they are, by definition, short tidbits that basically forbid thorough discussion of the ideas they put forth (unless those ideas happen to be small.)

This was not a small-idea column. It almost functions like a cliff-hanger, leaving the reader waiting to see what you come back with next week - starting with "God Matters."

Of course, that's where you end it this week. After all that deconstructing and crunching and dismissing, you have the audacity to say "God matters!" It's not a simple blank assertion - you prepped us for that statement by describing how ideas of God keep the fires burning for important conversations and expressions. But it does at least raise the possibility of having those conversations "without God," which to me seems like a central issue that many Christians (and other religious folk) are not going to concede all that cheerfully or easily.

I struggle with this dilemma myself. I like talking about God and "with God" as you know, but what often ruins the experience for me is the rigidity that others often bring into it because their idea of God is so prescriptive and overbearing. God has become such a tiresome subject for argument when people take God too seriously! And I suppose it sounds funny to say it that way, but I really do see such pitiful insanity swirling around the topic.

Like these judges in Turkey who were shot because they are trying to reinforce a value of secularism in a Muslim democracy - they issued a ruling limiting the practice of wearing headscarves, and as a result, they face a hail of bullets from one of God's "defenders." So sad, really quite contemptable, but there are so many people who are *that* serious about God, they just don't act on the impulse to punish infidels/unbelievers so blatantly, figuring that God will get around to it eventually.

Well, it looks like I've added another column of my own in the comment section!

Rebecca said...


Not just your usual great writing but a milestone conceptually (imo, of course.)

I find myself more reading than commenting, but I really, really, really appreciated your statements here and find myself, like Dave, looking for more.

Of course, I also have the feeling YOU are looking for more too ;-)


Noah, Duke of West Chester said...

Very thought provoking.

I liked your imagery of your belief being this Lego structure which you built up, then took down, systematically. I can definintly relate to that feeling, if not so profound. (A lack of age, experience and maturity has kept me from becoming as attached as you.)

When you say "God matters", are you trying to say that regardless of his actual existence, this idea of a supreme being is nessicary to humanity?

That's all I can think of right now, but there's probably more we can discuss at length later. :-)

Noah, Duke of West Chester