I’ve been away for awhile. I don’t know why exactly.
Maybe it was because the year long almost daily posts of reading through the bible took more out of me than I realized. Or maybe it was because I have been pretty deeply absorbed in the election and I don’t want this to become a daily rant on politics.
Maybe I just didn’t know what to write about.
But I’m back.
I still don’t know exactly what to write about I have noticed that while not writing here, I was writing other places. Comment sections of articles, my Facebook page, etc.
So it’s taken me a while to realize that I could simply transpose all those other thoughts to here. So anyway, here it goes:
Today, a friend of mine posted this on my Facebook wall:
Needless to say, I was not impressed. Gervais’ supposed quote (I say supposed b/c I didn’t confirm he actually said it) is a case of a false equivalency. So how does the Christian concept of God differ from the many gods of mythology. This was my response:
Yes, indeed there were thousands of small “g” gods that have come and gone. Skeptics would say this was primitive man’s attempts to explain the universe. Catholics would say this was the inherent longing in man to reach out and reconnect with the Father. But just because people were wrong before doesn’t mean that they are wrong now, that’s a false equivalence.
My favorite way to come at this question is to ask –What can we know if we take nothing as given, ignore our senses and only think – what is the bare minimum we can know is true?
Well, the first thing we can know is that we exist. If we did not exist, we could not ask the question of whether or not we exist. Hence the most famous phrase in western philosophy, “Cognito ergo sum” – I think therefore I am.
What else can we know? Well we can know that we must exist within some greater existence. If we existed within a great nothingness than we would in fact too be nothing and we know we are not that. So we exist and existence itself exists.
By comparison, we can also know the properties of existence. We know that we are finite but that existence itself must be infinite. We know that temporal but that existence itself must be internal. We know that we are material but that existence itself must be immaterial. We know that we are locatable but that existence itself must be omnipresent. We know that our knowledge is limited but that existence itself must be all-knowing. We know our power to effect existence is limited but existence itself must be omnipotent.
What do you call an immaterial, infinite, eternal, omnipresent, and omnipotent being that is existence itself? I call that God. Not an anthropomorphized god of thunder like Thor or lighting like Zeus, but a God that transcends human limitations to even properly conceptualize. I arrive at this conclusion not to explain why the sun rises or sets, not because I am afraid at what will happen when I die but by logic and reason.
And then the simple question follows – Would such a God make himself known to us? Clearly he has. Both by building into us the natural desire to try to explain the world and the intellects capable of reason that have over the centuries eliminated the Thor’s and Zeus’ and arrived at truth.
It is surprising then that at some point God, apparently also chose to reveal himself directly to us?
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.'”
Notice the name of God – “I Am”. In other words, “I exist”. God is that being that is existence itself. He is the essence of existence, pure existence.
I find my way of looking at it much more mind blowing than Ricky Gervais and his silly little pop philosophy. Might I suggest moving on from Ricky Gervais and trying a little C.S. Lewis or Archbishop Fulton Sheen.