Sunday, 17 July 2016
Is God a Person?
In his book Eager to Love Richard Rohr asks the question: "Is God a person?"
He goes on to explain that the word person was first applied to the Three Persons of the Trinity and only later applied to human beings.
We are indeed made in the image of God.
Christians experience God as intensely personal.
While we at once believe that God is more than a person our experience of His Presence is extremely personal.
St Paul said, "then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12b (NRSV)
Progressive Christians can make the mistake of thinking of God in scientific terms - i.e. as an impersonal force or energy.
But creation includes life, consciousness, and personhood.
So, as God cannot be less than creation, He must also have life, consciousness, and personhood.
Jack Spong said, when he was accused of being a Humanist, that he was not concerned because to become more human was the essence of spirituality.
So perhaps God is more human than we are.
In the Old Testament it says, "I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 11:19b (NRSV)
The process of becoming more human - of recognizing that everyone is a person - is the essential process of spirituality.
So rather than thinking of God as impersonal we should be thinking of Him as more personal - more sensitive, more understanding, more lenient, more loving - even the ultimate in these things.
So God is not an impersonal judge.
God is our loving Father.
[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.]
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