Sunday, February 25, 2007

God Plays Twenty Questions

The Scriptures are the record of how God plays Twenty Questions with us. The rules are a little different than the parlor game we're used to, but it's recognisable. When we play with each other, we start from scratch: Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?

God starts by speaking to us but not revealing very much of Himself. We are unwilling to ask directly "tell us who You are," but we just have to keep testing and finding out. We want a simple, done-and-out answer.

Are you a local god? God answers Try that idea out and see where it brings you.

Are you an earthly king? Try that. I'll even help you, so it will be a fair trial.

Moses asks "Are you a God of magic?" Push that idea as far as you can. I'll show you how much of a God of magic I am. Moses tries, and eventually even pushes it over the line by bringing water from the rock. God reins him in. I am this, but I am not.

Do you live in a building? I will direct you in building a building that is as much like Me as possible. Then you will answer.

Are you a place, this whole land of Israel?
Are you a debate about philosophy?
Are you a set of ideas?

Try each, one by one. Give it a good try. Go down those roads as far as you can. Then you will ask a new question.

God plays in the style that answers more than Yes or No. Sometimes He gives the direct answer - most often if it's "No" - but He might also answer Partly. Or That question can't be answered. Or Sometimes.

The answer is only given through experience. But answering each question does teach us a great deal about God. We may decide that God is not merely a debate, or a building, but we learn a great deal about Him through the test. When we ask God who He is, He dares us to test Him. People have tried a thousand questions, and we each become attached to the path we are on. We become so attached, in fact, that we forget the original question and just show off what we've learned along the way. We stop testing, and are simply satisfied with the bit He has shown us.

"I think nature is God."
"Love is God."
"God is the force that holds everything together"
"God is in each of us."

We can approach through philosophy, or through culture, or good works, or memorising Scripture, or contemplation. Each will teach us a great deal. But it's all for nothing if we forget the original question.


Anonymous said...

Very well written post. Shows fresh mind. Do you mind if it is copied and put in other blogs, with due credits and links?

Rajan Krishnan

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Go right ahead. Reprint anything. I was actually thinking this post wasn't quite as lucid as I would have liked. Good idea, weak execution. That sometimes happens when I compose directly to the blog.

Anonymous said...

I think God is the quantum field. Not only the Molecules, Atoms, and Quarks but also the space in between.