Hommage à Robert Doisneau

Do you want to know who God is?

I know that I do, I want to know who he is.  Yet, God is so other, he is so foreign from my finite mind that there is no way I could ever comprehend him this side of Paradise.

Though I might only know in part, I look to I John where we are told that God is light.  He is everything that is pure and good.  But this light is not soft and pleasant all the time,  this light is so brilliant that it scares me.

Eastern Orthodox thinkers do not initially describe God as light.  Instead, they start from a place of darkness.  God is other.  God is different.  God is not like us.

God chose though to reveal himself, he chose to unwrap his mysterious nature in part through his word.  He chose to reveal himself through the ongoing story captured in Scripture.  We are given glimpses of his character through the stories of Abraham, the Exodus, the prophets, and kings.  Finally, we are given the ultimate unveiling of what God looks like through Jesus of Nazareth.  God chose to become man and dwelt among the First Century people of Ancient Palestine.  We can know who God is through the person of Jesus.

Christianity Today posted a story with the shocking sentence, “The God of Scripture is monstrous, utterly other, and I worship as I say that.”  Think about that for a moment.  God is monstrous, totally transcendent and different.  If angels caused people to have bowel movements and freeze in terror, how much more will the Creator of the cosmos?  As Paul Pastor wrote in the article,

“I am sad, but not surprised, that popular Christianity tries to tame God, to muzzle Christ and the dangerous, burning Spirit. We try to place him like King Kong, in cunning cages. Scholars do it with theology, Christian bookstores with kitsch. Worship leaders do it with catchy melodies designed to make us feel like God’s just an accessory to our feel-good salvation moment. Pastors, charged with shepherding Christians as this dangerous Christ would, often call believers to a thin faith focused on penny-dreadful meager ministries designed to put butts in seats and keep them satisfied.”

I urge you, please don’t domesticate God and see him as all warm and fuzzies.  God is not tame, but he is good.

Photo: Francis Mariani via Compfight