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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Heavenly Father...."

We were all sitting on some couches and furniture in an apartment - a group of us Christian guys. We were discussing what it looks like to live the Christian life and some of the struggles. At one point someone made a comment that made us all realize that often times our prayers to God revolved around requests for this and that. Particularly requests that God would help us in this or that situation.

This prompts a question in my mind about how we perceive God. I think that the frequency and content of our prayers to God is probably based, in large part, to how we perceive God. Perhaps the reason that our small group of guys prays the way we do is because we view God primarily as a problem solver. Does this reflect our predominately male dominated view of God? Male = Problem Solver

So, I ask you the following questions:

1) What is the primary way that you view God? Domineering father? A friend to chat with throughout the day? A benevolent grandfather? A God of vengeance and wrath who punishes the evil? An ambivalent spectator? Etc., etc., etc.

2) How do you think this view of God become your primary and dominant way of thinking about God?

I'm curious to hear your perspectives.


Melody said...

I'm not quite sure what my view of God is...it doesn't exactly sit still.

Especially with this whole everything is for God's glory stuff that's floating around lately.

I guess, I've grown up believing that, yes - everything is about God, but about His great love.

The glory thing just seems pointless to me, in a lot of ways unless of course God's amazing love is His greatest glory in which case it's all the same thing, but I wish people would say it if it is because otherwise it makes God sound rather narcissistic...which He has every right to be, but which doesn't match up very well with a God who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all and who will with Him give us all things (Romans 8:31).

But, in some ways this not knowing has its advantages, because it does prompt me to pay more attention to what God says and the record we have of His past actions and how it all fits together.

Jonathan Erdman said...

I find it interesting that so few people have commented on this....hhhhmmm....perhaps too personal???

d said...

He is none of the discriptions that you listed, at least not for me. Not the domineering father, Friend by faith, because the Bible says so, certaninly not a benevolent grandfather, wrath certainly, but reserved for those who are not covered and redeemed, and most certainly not a spectator. This is a question I have asked myself many times. In the end I would have to say he is a mystery to me, I can't conceive of loving someone who is ultimately my enemy to the point of sacrificing my son for them. Observing the natural world around me, the stars, bugs, hippos, the nature of water, weather, the creator of all this, and he died for me? This is beyond me.

Jonathan Erdman said...

So Danny,

There is no one characteristic - or maybe a few of them - that stands out when you think of God?

What if you were doing a stream of consciousness thing with someone who was telling you words and you had to say the first things that came to mind - and this person said "god"? No words or concepts would pop up in your mind?