Where do we find God? We suggested three areas.
1) In the world:
- In perfection
- In beauty
- In all that is good in nature and society
- In good human relationships
- In other religions
We could call this ‘God as spirit’ – God alongside us. But if we stopped here we would be pantheists. And there is too much wrong with the world and with people to say that we always see God there.
2) Beyond the world:
- When when apprehend the rational structure of reality.
- When we believe in something greater than the present world.
- When when we hope for what we don’t yet see.
- When we have faith which goes beyond our normal capacities.
We could call this ‘God as Father/Mother/Mystery’ – God above us. But if we stopped here we would be deists and wouldn’t be able to know very much about God at all.
3) Christ and his Church:
- In the teachings of Jesus.
- In his life, death, and and resurrection.
- In the Church and it’s sacraments.
- In the saints and ordinary people of faith.
We could call this ‘God as Son’ – God with us (Emmanuel), God inside us. But if we stopped here we would run the risk of making an idol out of the past and out of human institutions.
So, none of these three visions of God is adequate on its own.
We need to include all three in a ‘dancing’ model of God as: present in the world, beyond the world, and in Christ.
The early Christians used the word ‘perichoresis’ – ‘dancing around’ – to talk about this 1 God who is known in 3 ways…
“Religion is a Dance”
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