January 22, 2018
Several weeks ago Vince spoke on various models/ideas of God that are prevalent in the “church”. I was able to relate well to what he was talking about, as I come from a very traditional church background. I learned at a young age exactly who God was and what he expects of us…or so I thought.
Vince referred to a book by Peter Enns called “The Sin of Certainty”. I borrowed it the next day from the library and read it over the following week. This book resonated with me because in my own church background a very “certain” and “clear” model of God was always presented. God was always presented as a supreme being that was the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. A multitude of different denominations of the Christian Church exist today because everyone thinks they have it all figured out and the others are all wrong in some major teaching they have. The problem was the stories of the Bible seemed to present a God that wasn’t exactly consistent, and certainly didn’t seem to be just or fair at various times, in how he treated humanity. One could easily find biblical stories that seemed to suggest that God was very unfair (think Job), or demanded cultural genocide (think stories where Israelites were commanded to kill everyone including women and children) in other tribes. I could go on…
The book by Peter Enns very candidly discussed these seemingly irreconcilable views of the God I was taught about when growing up. Nagging questions that had always been there but which weren’t supposed to be asked in the churches I attended are addressed in the book. Enns presents a very different model or idea of God. He suggests that God is manifested when we (as humans) do acts of love or service.
It’s one of the reason’s I like Friends Church. The tough questions aren’t glossed over and they can be asked. We don’t all come to the same answers but that’s ok. It is recognized that we are all on our own journeys.