What right, really, do we have to talk about God?

Most people if asked their opinion about an area outside their expertise will demur: "I really don't know all that much about it." Well, among friends they might pontificate in ignorance—that's the fun of being with friends! But put them in a room of people who do know what they're talking about, and they'll keep their mouths shut lest they make a fool of themselves.

We usually have no such reticence when it comes to talking about God, though. And if there ever was a "topic" beyond our comprehension, it is the infinite, immortal, and all powerful God! So wouldn't discretion suggest that we shut up?

The issue arose after reading comments on my last SoulWork installment. In it, I compared God to an emotionally distraught Italian housewife, as well as to a drama queen. I talked about God "gambling" on his creation. I drew on a variety of word images to communicate a strong, simple, biblical theme: God is passionately engaged with his creation, he deeply cares about us, and he will go to extraordinary lengths to keep us as his people. These dramatic comparisons alarmed some readers and thrilled others, as one might have expected.

But whether readers were alarmed or thrilled at this depiction, the fact is, this is only one aspect of God's character as revealed to us. If taken in isolation, and if pushed to its logical limits, it becomes blasphemy—an irreverent distortion and diminishing of God Almighty.

Scripture reveals not only a God who cares for us passionately, but who is the Holy One, high and lifted up. He is a God who is utterly righteous and all powerful, one who is not ruled by his passions or the quirks of his creation, but by his own sovereign will. There is ...

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SoulWork
In "SoulWork," Mark Galli brings news, Christian theology, and spiritual direction together to explore what it means to be formed spiritually in the image of Jesus Christ.
Mark Galli
Mark Galli is Editor of Christianity Today in Carol Stream, Illinois.
Previous SoulWork Columns:
July/August
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God Talk Is Dangerous
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