Something to Think About
Pastor Edgar's thoughts from our quarterly newsletters
July - September 2023
Who is God?
As we seek to explore some of the basic precepts of Christianity, a good place to start is our understanding of God. Much of the information I will be sharing comes from sources provided by Progressive Christianity. I certainly embrace the value of freedom in terms of how we come to understand and work through our faith. Therefore, my intent is not to get all us to march lock step to one particular view of scripture or theology. Instead what I like to do is share with you ideas that might introduce to a new view, affirm what you already believe or lead you to further embrace what you already accept as truth. We were all born with the gift of free choice and I most definitely do not wish to compromise that gift.
In their study guide, Progressive Christianity states the following,
“…the exact history of the word God is unknown. We do know that the word God is a relatively new European invention, which was never used in any ancient Judaeo-Christian scripture manuscripts that were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin. According to the best efforts of linguists and researchers, the root of the present word God may have come from the Sanskrit word hu which means to call upon, invoke, implore. Some scholars have posited that the actual word may have entered our language through the Germanic roots that gave us the word “good.”
Wherever this word came from modern societies have made assumptions and, based on that name have added a lot of baggage, about its meaning today. In more modern times, this human concept has taken on anthropomorphic qualities, so long after most educated humans realized that there was no persona in the heavens causing fires, floods, epidemics and earthquakes, far too many people still embrace this concept. Leaving millions in a constant state of yearning for “God’s” approval or forgiveness as they might a distant father figure.
Progressive Christians are more interested in learning how to experience the “Presence” than trying to name or define it. Although our experiences are always personal, we often find commonalities In these experiences that cannot be denied. Our words and images of “God” are only pointers to a mystery beyond our comprehension. The risk of describing God anything other than incomprehensible is that we end up approaching a form of idolatry since we are “creating our own God.”
This does not mean that we do not have the ability to experience this Infinite Mystery and even share our experience with others. It also means that we can observe and learn from the experience of others. Progressive Christians are therefore more interested in learning how to experience the Presence than we are in about naming or defining it.”
Shalom to all!