A Weightless God
“It is one of the defining marks of Our Time that God is now weightless. I do not mean by this that he is ethereal, but rather that he has become unimportant. He rests upon the world so inconsequentially as not to be noticeable. He has lost his saliency for human life…. [And] when God becomes weightless as I believe he is so often today, we lose the doctrinal signals that might otherwise warn us that some profound change has taken place – the sorts of signals that once warned us of the threat of heresy. Too often in Our Time there is only peace and quiet. The traditional doctrine of God remains entirely intact whilst its saliency vanishes. The doctrine is believed, defended and affirmed liturgically and in every other way held to be absolutely inviolable but it no longer has the power to shape and to summon that it has had in previous ages…. God has not disappeared in the sense that he has been abducted or overwhelmed. He is not like a child snatched away while its parents were momentarily distracted. No, God is more like a child that has been abandoned within a family, still accorded a place in the house, but not in the home. Because the doctrine is professed, perhaps even routinely in creed or confession, it seems as if all is well. But it is like a house that gives no outward signs of decay even though termites have rendered it structurally unsound” – fractured foundations! And he continues by saying “The consequence of all of this is that what was once transcendent in the doctrine of God has either faded or been relocated to the category of immanent, and then this diminished God has been further reinterpreted to accommodate modern needs. These alterations have drastically changed the whole meaning of Christian faith. They have affected the way we view God in relation to our selves, to life, and to history. They affect the way we think of his love, his goodness, his saving intentions, what his salvation means, how he reveals himself, how his revelation is received, why Christ was incarnate, and what significance this has for other religions. All of this and much more follows the moment that the formal categories of transcendence and immanence within the traditional doctrine of God are unsettled.”David Well’s book God in the Wasteland and No Place for Truth.
2 Comments »