"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19
"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Year 10 and Transcendence
I've been having a problem with some of my students. They don't get God. Years ago there used to be a book called "Your God is too small." and I think of that every time a child says to me with all the wisdom and arrogance of a 15 yr old, "But Sir, I don't believe in God. How could one man create a universe?"
Right Fans, I'm a man and I've not created many universes recently.
They look at me inscrutably.
O.K. What I mean is, I've never created a universe. Do you see the point?
Impassive stares. I consider instituting a seance on the basis that I'm not having much luck with the living so I might as well try the dead.
I don't get it.
(Now there's a phrase that irritates me beyond measure. It is usually intoned with a whine and translated means "I'm too lazy to think it through.")
Why do we even have to do this? (This from William. When the going gets tough the tough ... No that's not right. When the going gets tough my kids moan about having to do the subject.)
Look. If God exists - and I know that's a big if for many - that God must be beyond and above our wildest understanding. When we begin to use descriptors we immediately diminish God because we have to reduce him to something we can understand. We are describing the indescribable and not doing it justice
I show them the picture above.
That's my idea of Transcendence.
Is that God then?
NOOOOOO! (Pause for deep breath.) That's supposed to be us representing our awareness of our insignificance in comparison to God and surrendering to the Transcendent.
I throw my arms wide as if in supplication and the sudden movement triggers the lights to come on. I stand there bathed in the glow as if I was caught in the spotlight of the Berlin Wall.*
Wow Sir! Now I get it.
* Note to my American friends - that's a reference to history. It was in Europe so you won't know about it.