All tagged god

God and Emotions series -- "God's Justice, God's Mercy"

We almost all have sung the famous hymn by Fr Frederick Faber: ‘There’s a wideness in God’s mercy’. It’s often sung in such a way that makes God sound like an avuncular sort of chap that you’d be keen to have a pint with, a thoroughly nice bloke who’s kind to everyone, wouldn’t hurt a fly. All of our images fall short of the reality of the living God. […]

God and Emotions series -- "Does God Suffer?"

There are many enticing delights in the basket of heresies available to those who would try to follow Christ. All heresies have at least one thing in common. They’re a simple, and usually attractive, means of making some aspect of the Christian faith easier to swallow than what’s taught within Christian orthodoxy. They often seek to smooth or iron out frustrating tensions that Christian orthodoxy seems quite happy to let stand. All heresies also almost aways have unintended consequences - they make an aspect of the faith easier to swallow, but can cause problems further down the theological line. […]

God and Emotions series -- "God's Jealousy"

‘It’s not fair.’ We are born with an innate of sense of fairness. There’s no way to annoy a child more than to frustrate this sense of fairness. We know jealousy is a sin. In the Old Testament, we’re instructed against jealousy: ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.’ (Exod 20.17). Don’t be jealous. […]


Science and Religion series -- "God is not a hypothetical entity"

Scientists are in the business of describing and explaining stuff that goes on in the world. Cognitive scientists like myself are principally in the business of describing and explaining stuff that goes on in our heads. We are, that is to say, interested in the gamut of human experience, from the mundane matters of taste and touch to the sublime sensations associated with romantic and, indeed, religious passion. This makes some people uncomfortable, this apparent encroachment of scientists into the rightful realms of saints. The “scientific study of religion” seems oxymoronic, a contradiction, if not of terms, then at least to our sensibilities. […]

God and Emotions series -- "God is Love"

Tina Turner famously sang: ’What’s love got to do, got to do with it? What’s love but a second hand emotion?’. In short, the Christian answer to her question is: ‘Everything’. 

In God’s case, we can go a little deeper. God is God’s love. God’s love isn’t a second-hand emotion, but God himself. God’s ‘emotions’ aren’t second-hand properties but identical to him and to each other. Recalling the doctrine of divine simplicity, God simply is. God is God. And God is love: ‘God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.’ (1 John 4.16). […]

God and Emotions series -- "The Wrath of God"

The phrase the ‘wrath of God’ fill us with dread. And quite rightly. For many the wrath of God is so terrifying that the idea of living any sort of Christian life at all is as terrifying as the wrath they fear. If nothing else, it’s important to remember from the outset that anger of God is identical with the love of God. If we fear God’s wrath, we can remember that it is nothing less than God’s love. And there’s not a single thing we can do that will make God love us any less than he does already, since he created us and called us into being. […]

Christianity: The Basics -- God and Creation

There are two ways to approach the Christian doctrine of God: to contemplate the mystery of the Trinity and to ponder the mystery of creation. There is no sense in asking which of these two ways is primary, because Christians are equally committed to both the idea that God is Triune (which is just a fancy of way of saying that God is Three-in-One) and the idea that God is Creator. [...]