Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Smallness of God

I have believed for a long time that atheists' concept of God is too small.  I watched a video the other day that added more fuel to that particular fire.  This atheist told us that just as he had outgrown Santa Claus, he also outgrew the fairy tale that God exists.  I'm sure he had a number of reasons for that, but what he described was a last prayer that he threw out to God, asking God to reveal Himself.  He concluded that since God was not powerful enough to make a light flicker, God must not exist.

I'm left shaking my head.  I don't even know how to answer that! I think that we have made God in our own image, and given Him super powers or magic.  He's apparently the ultimate good guy hero.  Only, He kind of seems to fail a lot at saving people from suffering of all kinds, and He's kind of a coward, because He certainly doesn't seem to show up when someone challenges Him. Really, if He's any kind of God, why wouldn't He show Himself?  I know few people- Christians or atheists, Democrats or Republicans, pro-life or pro-choice, or any other opposing viewpoint you want to name- that can resist the argument or proof that puts us on top and reveals them to be the dirty, lowly ignoramus's that we always suspected them to be.  How could God, when given the opportunity to prove His superiority, turn it down?  Why would He hide Himself when He could show forth His glory?  Surely, the only answer is that He does not exist.

Yet- can you imagine a relationship based on the right light flickering at the right moment?

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if the problem is that our concept of God is too small, or rather that it is not small enough? We forget that God's thoughts are so far above ours, and that His ways are not our ways. We forget that He is not made in our image, but we are made in His.  But we also forget that the God of the universe was willing to be born in obscurity, in a stable. We forget that He was willing to suffer pain, humiliation and death for us. 

Why would God hide? Perhaps because His need to allow us to choose Him- His need to give us room to love Him- is far greater than His need to prove He's right and that He is.


  1. Yes! I agree that we need to choose God ... He can't force Himself on us. I can't even fathom His thoughts and reasons for all things ... The universe, life, etc. Atheists have it wrong. A life without God isn't life at all!

  2. I have thought along similar lines, that it seems some people see God as a giant gum-ball machine in the sky. Insert the correct number of prayers, novenas, whatever, and bing! your answer will come rolling out. I enjoyed reading how you explained this related idea, about God being more than what we can really imagine.

  3. Very well said! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and I couldn't agree with you and the two comments above me.