A Christian Worldview of God, Day 9

In a recent post in this series, I said I felt like I was scratching the surface when it came to describing God. I think that’s inevitable in a discussion about Him.

Of course, when I say in the title of this post, a Christian worldview, I mean by inference a Biblical worldview. In otherwords, a view of God as He revealed Himself. It’s a sure-proof way of “getting Him right.”

Except … the Bible, over 1700 pages in my version, with its countless verses, discloses something about God in even the most obscure passage. And just to be clear, we are talking about the un-containable God, the pre-existent one, who knows the names of the trillions of stars in this galaxy as well as the names of the stars in the other trillion or so galaxies out there.

In other words, God is beyond what He has told us and we can’t even absorb in full the part that He has divulged. So do we ever “get it right”? Probably not.

Should the fact that I know in part and can only show a small portion of what I know be cause for me to beg off and pigeon-hole God into some comfortable, culturally acceptable role: a year-round Santa, or the kindly grandfather, or perhaps the slightly bemused wise one?

In my post at Speculative Faith this morning, I mentioned Tolkien’s belief that fantasy would lead readers to a reverential awe of God. That phrase reverential awe really hit me. Do our readers come away from our stories in awe of God? Do we write in such a way as to cause readers to think more deeply about His nature, His purposes? Do they long to be in His presence? or fear the same, even a little?

This brings the discussion back to the point of how we show God at all. If it is through Him answering prayer, giving what our characters want, saving them from the consequences of their own choices, then I don’t see how readers will see more of God’s nature than the standard fare.

Does God answer prayer, give me what I want, save me from my wrong choices? Absolutely, but not always the way I want Him to. And sometimes He doesn’t answer prayer. I just read in Jeremiah where God tells the prophet not to pray for the children of Israel because He will not relent from the punishment He was foretelling, nor would He listen to them:

So the Lord said to me, “Do no pray for the welfare of this people./”When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry, and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them … Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people … (from Jeremiah 14 and 15)

Does this side of God belong in our fiction? And if so, how do we show it without making Him—and by extension, His people who should be His hands and feet in the world—look cold, uncaring?

I’ve got some ideas, but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts first.

Published in: on November 27, 2006 at 1:53 pm  Comments Off on A Christian Worldview of God, Day 9  
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