So I just read my last blog post again and realized how theistic it sounds. God – the Great “I Am.” As a Christian one would assume I am a theist. But I find myself in the post-Christian camp, more of a Jesian (from the name Jesus) than a Christian. In theology class we learned about the two approaches to Christology – the theology of Jesus, who Jesus was. One was the ascending Christology of a man becoming God; one was a descending Christology of God becoming a man. Both are based on the assumption of divinity – divinity attained or divinity revealed. In either case Jesus is The Christ, The Messiah, the Anointed One. But what if Jesus was a man becoming a teacher, a man becoming a martyr, called to follow his God the same way each of us is called from a force within ourselves or outside ourselves to be the best version of ourselves we can be. Would that change anything? Would it change how we should live?
And if Jesus wasn’t God, but an archetype of the kind of human being we should be if we choose to follow him, then what about God? The Great I Am? Some days I don’t know. Then some days I am absolutely sure. I know that I don’t accept the traditional theistic, judging God of so much of the Old Testament. I know that I prefer the image of God that Jesus taught his followers, exemplified in the Prodigal Son story. The feel good, Dad loves me after all, image of God. But when I think about it, God as a Being, an existing entity, doesn’t make a lot of sense, and neither do the anthropomorphisms that theology and spirituality are replete with, Father or Mother, King, Judge, Savior. On the other hand God as the source of our Being, the source of all Being, the matrix which binds the universe … words fail! That’s the point, words will always fail to name that which is beyond all names. Jews have one name for God but they can’t say it, so they have many titles and descriptors. Hindus have millions of names and a few that are more important than others. Christian have three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, because one just didn’t seem to be enough to explain their experience of the historical person of Jesus and the spiritual, inspirational presence of Jesus that continued after his death.
Perhaps it has to be enough to say that I believe that God IS. But I may not believe in the God you believe in.