God as a Concept

As I was getting ready to eat my homemade Skyline Chili for lunch, I was thinking about blogging and writing and life and what comes next on the blog. It occurred to me that I view God as a concept more than God as a being. I can't exactly remember the tie in between all of that, but there it is nonetheless.

What I mean is that I think of God as a set of ideas to embrace - truth, integrity, love, grace, respect - rather than God the Father or Jesus my brother. I understand that I do have a relationship with Him and that He is real, but I tend to treat Him abstractly rather than than relationally.

Thinking of God this way isn't wrong as much as it's incomplete. He is truth, integrity, love, grace and respect and more, but to leave it at that and forget that He's both my Father and Brother strips my experience of Him of it's intimacy. Following Him then becomes cold hard obedience or a philosophical exercise rather than loving submission or respect or ... The flip side is to embrace the loving Father and forget that He is ruler and King with authority and, frankly, rules. It's not an either/or, it's a both/and.

Any of our relationships can become this way, and I suspect if I psychoanalyzed my relationship with my wife or parents I'd find some parallels here. That's too much to think about over chili, though.

What are your thoughts?

5 Comments

Perhaps you still have a hard time seeing God without the mindset of rules and checklists you had during the first decade and a half (or so) of your Christian walk. You can't put your relationship with your wife, children, or other Christians in a box or simplify it to ideas or concepts. That's why it's a realtionship. They're people and they need you as much as they need them to love, be loved, and experience the adventure of life (to the full) together. And God calls us into the ultimate relationship with Him.

Don't forget that God is also the Spirit - the ultimate discipler. :-)

P.S. Mmmmm... Skyline. Thank goodness I live in Cincinnati.

I resonate with you on this salguod.. I think that it is the difference between relating to the concept of God with our head and relating to the person of God with our heart.

Sadly, most of my life I have gone the way of the head.. but I am learning more these days of the way of the heart. :)

I suspect our concept of God is always going to be deficient, at least in this life. It's probably a good idea to spend some time focusing on the personal relationship, and at other times focused on the more abstract concepts. At least that way maybe we can avoid the worst of the extremes.

Thanks folks.

Alan, I like what you said about sort of bouncing back and forth between the extremes being healthy, to a point. Our understanding may swing one way or the other. identifying and being aware where we are deficient is the hard part.

Yeah..I think it depends on the day/month/year for me. Sometimes he's my daddy and sometimes like you describe. I think mostly it's been the latter recently.



Monthly Archives

Recent Comments

  • Yeah..I think it depends on the day/month/year for me. Sometimes he's my daddy and sometimes like you describe. I think mostly it's been the latter recently....

  • Thanks folks. Alan, I like what you said about sort of bouncing back and forth between the extremes being healthy, to a point. Our understanding may swing one way or the other. identifying and being aware where we are...

  • I suspect our concept of God is always going to be deficient, at least in this life. It's probably a good idea to spend some time focusing on the personal relationship, and at other times focused on the more abstract co...

  • I resonate with you on this salguod.. I think that it is the difference between relating to the concept of God with our head and relating to the person of God with our heart. Sadly, most of my life I have gone the way o...

  • Perhaps you still have a hard time seeing God without the mindset of rules and checklists you had during the first decade and a half (or so) of your Christian walk. You can't put your relationship with your wife, childre...

Close