Friday, August 19, 2011

A Definition of God

A Definition of God

From the time of Plato there have been many attempts to define the term “god” as a way of understanding faith. In Plato’s “Republic” he seemed to imply by definition one god who was from the beginning creator, source of good and justice on an ideal plane. For the Greeks who believed in a great many gods that revelation started a long philosophical discussion.

“God is that being which there can be no greater than.”

That statement is often called an ontological proof of god. Given that there are beings – some greater than others – then the greatest has to be god. There for god could not be born or created or destroyed by any other. There can be by this definition only one god.

This provides a good start for a discussion on theology. How do we talk about god in the most basic sense no matter what our religion might say.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In These Trying TImes

In over 40 years of ministry I have noticed that when people’s lives are under stress from work or other uncontrollable events that they look for places where they can have some control and vent their frustrations. Today we are under a lot of economic stress across the strata of our society. Even people who have jobs are worried about loosing them. The rich are getting a lot richer and the poor are growing in number. The gap between rich and poor is widening.

There are two places where people under stress vent their frustrations. The first is often in the family where more abuse of spouse, children and elderly are on the increase. The second is in volunteer organizations like clubs and church. I have often watched as someone disrupts a church board or committee meeting seemingly without cause. It is all about exerting some control some where. Many church pastors have been attacked simply because some one was venting frustrations in the only place they can.

Being a Pastor in these troubled times takes a lot of prayer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Question Everything

When ever I start a new Bible Study Class I encourage them to ask questions. I tell them that the only “dumb” question is the one you have and do not ask. We learn best when we ask questions and we should question everything.

I recently finished a book by Karen Armstrong titled “The Great Transformation – The beginning of our religious traditions” and was flooded with questions. She covered religious and political events in four areas during what she calls “The Axial Age” dating from the ninth century BC to the fifth century AD. The areas are China, India, the Middle East and Greece.

One big question she raised is how do we define the term god? This is a real question about a basic definition – of the term not a particular deity. So I ask you what is your definition of god – little g - ??? leave a comment with yours.