Friday, March 21, 2014
The Ground of Being
At 54, I have not yet come to a final understanding of God and I don’t think I can. The thoughts below are born from another discussion I had with some friends, where one friend was being dismissive of Tillich.
I can see why Tillich, who had men die in his arms in the trenches of World War I, could see God squeezed out of this world. John A.T. Robinson challenged not only our notions of God “up there,” but also, “Out there.” It had to be done. Remember, those who wrote the creeds still thought of God as “up there,” as did the biblical writers. Paul Tillich, John A.T. Robinson, and in our day, John Shelby Spong, are simply saying we have to let go of that god.
I think God is rather “transpersonal,” having both personal and non-personal aspects. Yes, God is the ground of being, God is existence Itself.
I personally believe that Eastern Metaphysics (e.g., Bhagavad Gita) provides a better way of understanding the Incarnation than Greek thought. We are all children of God. God and God’s creation are not separate realities, therefore, God can be incarnate. But the divine is within all of us. God is one without a second, the only Reality.
If we are going to posit a suffering God in our understanding of the incarnation, that God cannot be limited to one Person 2000 years ago in Palestine. The suffering God is present in all the poor, oppressed & suffering (Matthew 25).
God is beyond our language and description. Sometimes, the less we say about God the better.