Codifying God


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

from Madeleine L’Engle in Walking on Water: 

To be truly Christian means to see Christ everywhere, to know him as all in all. 

I don’t mean to water down my Christianity into a vague kind of universalism, with Buddha and Mohammed all being more or less equal to Jesus—not at all! But neither do I want to tell God (or my friends) where he can and cannot be seen! We human beings far too often tend to codify God, to feel that we know where he is and where he is not, and this arrogance leads to such things as the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch burnings, and has the result of further fragmenting an already broken Christendom. 

We live by revelation, as Christians, as artists, which means that we must be careful never to get set into rigid molds. The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions, and we become smug like the Pharisee who listed all his considerable virtues, and thanked God that he was not like other men. 

Unamuno might be describing the artists as well as the Christian as he writes, “Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of the mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.” 

Seems appropriate in light of recent discussions in the Church! 

Do you agree?

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