Where is Now Thy God?

Psalms 42. Quemadmodum.

  1. LIKE as the hart desireth the water-brooks, * so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
  2. My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God: * when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
  3. My tears have been my meat day and night, * while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God? …

  1. One deep calleth another, because of the noise of thy water-floods; * all thy waves and storms are gone over me.
  2. The LORD will grant his loving-kindness in the daytime; * and in the night season will I sing of him, and make my prayer unto the God of my life.
  3. I will say unto the God of my strength, Why hast thou forgotten me? * why go I thus heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
  4. My bones are smitten asunder as with a sword, * while mine enemies that trouble me cast me in the teeth;
  5. Namely, while they say daily unto me, * Where is now thy God?
  6. Why art thou so vexed, O my soul? * and why art thou so disquieted within me?
  7. O put thy trust in God; * for I will yet thank him, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.

One of the most common tropes of atheists is that they discover in the cosmos no evidence for the existence of God. They ask, “where is your God now?”

The theist insists that the cosmos itself is evidence for God’s existence: the cosmological arguments all infer from the contingence of the cosmos that there must be something that brought it into being. That there is a cosmos, when there might not have been, entails some context or matrix or medium for the cosmos, some way for the cosmos to come to be. Ex hypothesi, God is that matrix. It is not so much that he is in the cosmos, then (although, being ubiquitous, he pervades it, just as the sky pervades the Earth and all that therein is), as that the cosmos is in him. To ask for evidence of God in the cosmos then is rather like asking where the number line is to be found on the number line. It’s a category error.

Because God does pervade all things, there is of course throughout the world plentiful evidence of his existence, in miracles of all sorts, from the Resurrection down to the quotidian synchronicity by which our lives at every moment proceed and – lo! – coordinate, perfectly, and that sometimes startles us with its spooky perspicuity to our conscious intentions. But while the evidence for God may be more apparent to us in some sorts of events than others, we should remember that, strictly speaking, all events are throughly formed by the Holy Spirit, and are therefore in very truth all equally miraculous, however ordinary or unremarkable they might at first seem to us. The fidelity of mundane events to natural law is after all the palmary instance of quotidian synchronicity: events are all knit together in and by an order fathomless and fantastic, and without the tiniest loose end. We almost never notice this fact, because it is so basic. But of the things we all experience, it is the most staggering and incomprehensible miracle of all.

Events are each unique, so every event is miraculous; every event is a novelty that has never before appeared in the actual world, and is therefore in part an ingression from outside the world. And existence per se is miraculous – not in the sense that it passes the bounds of its own normal behavior, but that it is always an object of wonder. So it is that to look here or there for evidence that God exists is wrongheaded. The evidence is everywhere, for existence as such, in general and in every particular, is evidence that God exists.

Thus while it is not improper to adduce as evidence for God such remarkable phenomena as life, consciousness, order, or odd events that seem incomprehensible under the terms of our present scientific understanding – they are all, indeed, evidence for God – it behooves us ever to remember that *every* phenomenon is evidence for God.

But never mind all that; the atheist is in no position to understand that his ability, say, to button his shirt, or chew his food, or aim his eyeballs, or breathe, is the least bit mysterious, because and only because such things seem so ordinary and unremarkable to him. They are in fact thundering great mysteries, but he can’t see this; and provided that he is intellectually honest and courageous, this lacuna is not to his particular discredit, but rather is merely natural to his predicament as an animal that notices only what it must in order to survive.

To the theist’s reasonable argument employing the number line (or other such handy examples), the atheist then often responds by saying, “Oh yeah? Well if God caused the universe, what caused God?” It’s another category error; like asking, “what caused causation?”

The curious thing about this sort of category error is not that it happens, but that when it is pointed out to atheists they so often fail, utterly, to comprehend its errance. I have no explanation for this. It seems sometimes that they may indeed suffer from an innate inability to see the distinction between this contingent world and its necessary environment – a literal blind spot. Metaphysics often seems just invisible to them. All they can see is the physical world and the science thereof.

They ask, “Where is now thy God?” I point, and answer: “He’s right there, he’s everywhere you look, indeed he is in your looking; can’t you see him?” They whirl about, and see … nothing.

They think I am crazy, seeing what is not there. I think they are blind.

31 thoughts on “Where is Now Thy God?

  1. Pingback: Where is Now Thy God? | Neoreactive

  2. The atheist rejects The Singularity and all subsequent singularities and thus rejects Perfection as the solution to the infinite regress. The atheist only believes in redundant phenomena and therefore will not accept that some phenomena are nonduplicating such as Perfection itself. The atheist seemingly desires a perpetual regression that he then deceptively names “progression.” But clearly, there can be no progression in a universe comprised of only redundant phenomena. Such a universe is confined to a mandated “equality” of redundant phenomena.

  3. They think I am crazy, seeing what is not there. I think they are blind.

    Or, to put it in their own preferred naturalistic language — and considering that *most* humans in all times and places have seen at least a glimpse of God — they’re defective in a way similar to those souls who are color-blind. Though, I’ve never heard of a color-blind person insisting that there is no such color as ‘red’ and that those who say there is are fools or liars or worse.

    • This section of Romans Chapter 1 paints an even clearer picture of man’s natural knowledge of God that man deliberately suppresses:

      18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

  4. When the atheist asks this question, they are of course searching for miracles.

    Your proposition is thus.

    1) No element of the physical world can have an ultimate physical explanation outside of God.

    2) Therefore, miracles are evident in everything’s existence and change over time.

    The atheist rejects the first principle. They see coincidence rather than God, or the necessary eternity of matter rather than God, or bootstrapping rather than God.

    Within this framework, the atheist is only looking for miraculous events for which it would be hard to even begin an argument from naturalism, things such as the raising of the dead, the transformation of elements into other elements without physical causation, theurgical appearances, and so forth.

    In the absence of such events in the frequency they were recorded to have appeared at in ages past, the atheist concludes that our ancestors were either lying about such events, or blinded by the veil of scientific ignorance that Moderns love to throw over all who have come before them.

    Evola’s theory on this was far more convincing. That miracles were not so unusual in the World of Tradition precisely because of how these societies were oriented, upward to the heavens. In arranging themselves in such a way, these societies pressed the physical world into the fabric of the invisible realm beyond and thus had access to divine forces to varying degrees. Once Modernity became the order of the day, we broke the connection with this realm and so the atheist actually observes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Since the world that he has ordered has no reverence for the supernatural, such things make no appearance, and the atheist gets to shriek “see! see! see! God is not doing anything impressive!”

    One of the things to really look forward to in the age to come is the potential return of these energies, that we may observe the kinds of phenomena that made our ancestors tremble and redouble their devotions.

    • How can one conceivably demonstrate that the frequency of “such” events is less than in the past? One must start with the assumption that in an age that ridicules the miraculous, all such occurrences will be widely reported. The argument collapses at that point.

      By the expedient of conversing with others in such a way as to give them the confidence to confide in you events very close to their heart, you will begin to hear of more and more of these infrequent events.

      • Agreed: talk to people sympathetically for even a little while about this stuff, and the floodgates will open. But Evola’s argument can work even so as an analysis of the public narrative of the culture, and so of its official cult, which finds no room in its sensorium for such data.

        I myself have had way, way too many spooky, dreadful experiences to buy the notion that the dimension of existence orthogonal to this world has cut back on the number of its real irruptions therein. But the public discourse does not admit such things as serious; as real. So it simply doesn’t take account of them, and reels along on its merry way.

      • While I most certainly agree that God is not necessarily totally inactive, or that miracles are a rarer occurrence, I can believe that godless modernity feels spiritually empty compared to previous eras. Perhaps there might be as many miracles as there were in days past, but what about the ordinary felt presence of God? Due to the rift between the Heavens and our godless society, I can most certainly believe that at least the West feels far less supernatural than it once did.

      • I had to dig for it, but here is Evola’s treatment of the subject, from ‘Revolt Against the Modern World’.

        “This was the case of classical antiquity too: according to a Roman tradition, a vestal virgin suspected of sacrilege demonstrated her own innocence by carrying water from the Tiber River in a sieve. There was also the custom, which is not confined to the degenerative forms that have survived among savage populations, of challenging a suspect who claimed his or her own innocence to ingest a poison or a substance inducing vomit; if the substance induced the usual effects, the charge was validated. During the Middle Ages analogous voluntary ordeals were found not only in the context of temporal justice, but in the sacred domain too; monks and even bishops agreed to submit themselves to such a ctiterion in order to establish the truth of their claims in matters of doctrine. Even torture, which was conceived as a means to interrogate prisoners, was originally related to the notion of “divine judgment.” Truth was believed to have an almost magical power; it was a common belief that no torture could undermine the inner truth of an innocent person and of somebody who was telling the truth. There is a clear connection between all this and the mystical character traditionally associated with “victory.” In these trials, including the trial of arms, God was “called” as a witness by the participants in order for them to receive from Him a supernatural sign that would then be used as a judgment. It is possible to rise from the lower level of these naive theistic representations to the purer form of the traditional idea, according to which truth, law, and justice ultimately appear as the manifestations of a metaphysical order conceived as a reality that the state of truth and of justice in man has the power to evoke in an objective way. In antiquity the overwork was conceived of as a reality in the higher sense of the word, superior to the laws of nature and capable of manifesting itself in this world every time one opened oneself to it without reservations and concern for one’s self; in the next stage the individual entered into certain psychic states (the already mentioned heroic, competitive state that “unties” the extreme tension of the ordeal and of the danger being faced) that were destined to open the closed human “circuits” to wider “circuits,” and through which it was possible to generate unusual and apparently miraculous effects.”

        We do not seek miracles. We do not revere the Divine Realm. Why should miraculous events bless Modern man who so scorns Tradition in all its forms? Man is spiritually void, closed off to the power of the Divine. Even among Christians, how many supposed ‘priests’ have said things to the effect of “I wonder every day if God doesn’t exist.” and “I don’t believe in the Resurrection or the Virgin Birth.” Are these really the lightbearers of religion we expect to act as channels for the miraculous, for the supernatural to make itself known to us in ways that shock and awe? It’s like trying to send water down a pipe filled with glue.

        One of the biggest challenges for Christianity today, in all its forms, is getting real priests who have conviction in what they believe.

      • nathan: I agree with you about the general spiritual barrenness of the West. The situation is not as bad in the US, as the level of Christian profession remains greater there than in, say, Australia or the UK. However, I don’t believe that the notion of ecclesia as a substantial public institution, parallel to the secular civic institutions, was ever a factor in the US. Religious commitment was privatised, and I think that the more intimate scale of Church in the US may partly account for the greater tenacity of Christian belief there.

        While other anglophone countries seem to be utterly post-Christian, surveys of belief still turn up remarkable (and inconsistent) levels of belief in such things as Heaven, Hell, spirits, angels, devils and the afterlife. Belief in spiritual realities in these countries has been recently privatised, outside the context of any coherent, particular, religious teaching, but belief in a greater reality it remains.

        Whilst the view from the secular heights suggests the total victory of hedonistic materialism, individual souls remain fertile, waiting for the seed.

        John Paul II spoke of a springtime of evangelisation early in this millennium. I believe he was correct. The most apparently impregnable institutions, exercising contemptuous control of the masses, have been known to collapse with startling rapidity. The ground is starting to tremble.

      • “However, I don’t believe that the notion of ecclesia as a substantial public institution, parallel to the secular civic institutions, was ever a factor in the US.”

        I’m not so sure about this. Catholic Emancipation and other disestablistmentarian phenomena did not occur in some American States until after they were settled back in Europe. State promotion of religion faded out of existence in the United States. A Christian Ethos has persisted, and gotten stronger at points, in American politics. It is not until the Obama Presidency that one could win an argument politically without some reference to the Scriptures (even if utterly bastardized). This might also come and go in phases as well. None of this is to defend the American Revolution or any of its associated ideals, but it was not as radical and the effects not as immediate or obvious as Old World revolutions have tended to be.

        “Religious commitment was privatised, and I think that the more intimate scale of Church in the US may partly account for the greater tenacity of Christian belief there.”

        I think the greater tenacity of Christian belief is the fact that it has not been utterly privatized and isolation. This mostly occurs in isolated “Middle America” cities, towns, and hamlets across the country, but focused in the Southern “Bible Belt.” The village atheist in these places is a curiosity, and an obvious threat to the social order. It is interesting that in these places the very spirit in the air is often different than in the secular metropolises. The only reason Christianity is more prominent in American metropolises is because they aren’t as overrun by foreign immigrants as European cities. The affiliation there is as often a mere cultural relic as it is Europe, though, spirituality is more apparent in American metropolises more because of an ingrained anti-intellectualism in the public. The spirituality of the American metropolis is its own phenomena: It’s like a moderate form of the Santeria cult.

        “While other anglophone countries seem to be utterly post-Christian, surveys of belief still turn up remarkable (and inconsistent) levels of belief in such things as Heaven, Hell, spirits, angels, devils and the afterlife. Belief in spiritual realities in these countries has been recently privatised, outside the context of any coherent, particular, religious teaching, but belief in a greater reality it remains.”

        Religion is very persistent in man’s consciousness because, let’s face it, the alternative is utterly devoid of any real substance. It’s built on doubt. It’s not even the house built on sand of the parable. It’s a house built firmly in midair. Some might go along with the secular parade because they’ve been convinced through concerted peer pressure and occasional bouts of violence, but they aren’t going to stop believing in what is so obvious just because Richard Dawkins thinks they’re stupid.

        “The most apparently impregnable institutions, exercising contemptuous control of the masses, have been known to collapse with startling rapidity. The ground is starting to tremble.”

        I agree. I think we are rapidly heading for a showdown in the West, possibly the World. More and more people wake up everyday to the reality that our cultures have been thoroughly undermined and betrayed by the liberals we have elected to office without reprieve for several decades. If one of the insurgent right-wing parties in Europe wins an election, it could trigger a very nasty series of events.

      • It would appear that Viktor Orban will continue to stave off the rise of Jobbik in Hungary, though Orban is turning a thoroughly anti-liberal corner himself.

        Greece is the one to watch. Golden Dawn were expected by many to lose significant support since the last election. They lost a couple of percentage decimal points and remain the third largest party in Greece in spite of a media blackout and their leaders being jailed under farcical charges.

        Now the ‘radical left’ Syriza party is in power, with the mainstream parties thoroughly discredited. Even Greek leftists are saying that if Syriza fails then Golden Dawn will not be stopped. And Syriza are already making fools of themselves, demanding war reparations from Germany!

    • Are you and Evola basically saying magic worked back then, to a certain extent?

      I am not sure if you are serious, but on the fantasy/fiction literature level, this is the theme of many novels. That once upon a time magic worked, but modern skepticism made it disappear. However, these novels don’t really have a Christian theme – more like a theme centered around precisely that kind of wizardy that Christianity tends to forbid as something Pagan. (Does anyone know why?)

      One excellent example is the novel Lammas Night. A so plausible-sounding, so plastic description of magic that I almost believe this could work.

  5. Pingback: Where is Now Thy God? | Reaction Times

  6. The way I read Psalm 42, the issue for the Psalmist is not the big philosophical question of whether there is a God, but the more prosaic problem that God seems to have temporarily forsaken the Psalmist/David.

    When his enemies deride him, they are saying, “God is not with you now. Where is thy God?” perhaps meaning that the Psalmist must have done something to merit God’s indifference (cf. Job) or perhaps meaning that the Psalmist is being mocked for worshipping the wrong God (cf. Elijah vs. the Priests of Baal). In either event, the Psalmist (David) asserts his faith that God will deliver him from his enemies.

    The issue here is the argument from un-design. Things aren’t going as expected. Something has gone wrong, at least temporarily.

    Back to the big philosophical question, I have been reading in an English translation Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel, The Master and Margarita, inspired by the Goethe’s Faust and set in the atheistic Soviet Union. The Mephistopheles figure in the novel, delighted to find himself in an atheistic land, dismisses five classical proofs of the existence of God plus Kant’s proof, the sixth, and produces his own astonishing seventh proof. You can find the novel, unavailable in its day, on line.

    • The “argument from un-design” – that’s a good one, Leo.

      Agreed totally about the first order meaning of the Psalm. But note that if it were true that God really was indifferent to the Psalmist, or that in worshipping YHWH the Psalmist was worshipping the wrong god, then *YHWH would not exist.* Not, at least, as the sort of being that David had always taken him to be. He would be then, rather, some mere local god, or angel. Not God at all, that is, properly speaking. And then David would be lost.

      I’ve worked on that Psalm, and sung it, for decades. The line about meat has always torn me up. The Psalmist, it has seemed to me since I was a little, little boy, is saying, “they tell me that you my God do not exist; they beat in my teeth with the challenge; but I know you are there, LORD, and that you shall triumph in the end.”

      Don’t keep me on tenterhooks: what’s Bulgakov’s 7th Way?

      • Additionally, the taunts of David’s enemies reflect, I think, first an attack by Satan, not wholly unlike the taunts of the crowd at the foot of the cross:

        “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Matthew 27.

        And second, man who suppresses the truth — but who knows it (as discussed above) — demands that *if* God exists he must be some sort of Genie who will grant all your wishes and be at your beck and call. It’s the same sort attitude that we see in churches of today which promote the Cross of Glory: become a Christian and God will bless you and make of this (material) world a wonderful boon to you. And if your life sucks, it’s because you don’t have enough faith and God is even punishing you. (Our suffering for our sins is not punishment, any more than putting our hands in the fire and being burned is God’s punishment. Jesus took our punishment, as Kristor noted: the bill is paid.)

        David understands, as did Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” This is why verses 14 and 15 are so glorious a testimony to God’s goodness and David’s absolute trust, however bleak the picture. Psalms 32 and 51 both speak of our sinfulness and God’s gracious compassion.

      • The belief that there is a primal battle between good and evil is so widespread as to be almost universal. That is worth pondering.

        Re Bulgakov’s 7th proof:

        Without saying so in so many words, the Devil demonstrates God’s existence by an astonishing demonstration of his own impressive power. It all comes crashing down by the end of the novel, but like the novels of Charles Williams, this work is a metaphysical thriller, as well as being a satire of the Soviet State. One of the book’s key concepts is the relationship between good and evil with the existence of evil and the devil implying the existence of good and God, though in a mad and unorthodox fashion. The book thus turns an argument from un-design on its head. The demonstration is not a mathematical proof, but it is absolutely and terrifyingly convincing to the novel’s characters nonetheless.

    • The idea that God is everywhere is distinct from panentheism, which is the idea that god is in everything. Panentheism is where we get garbage like the idea that there is a “divine spark” in each one of us (meaning we all have the capacity to be “like God”). Panentheism is pantheism with a somewhat more transcendent god because, while he is the universe, he goes beyond it too.

      • Well, but God *is* in everything. This is entailed in his ubiquity. If God is everywhere, then he *must* be in everything. But also everything is in God; it is because everything is in God that God is in everything. This is actually the most common usage of “panentheism,” as indicating that “in him we live, move and have our being.” We are inside him, just as we are inside the sky; he is the context and ground of our being, and all being exists in virtue of its participation in his being. That does not mean we are the same thing as he is, any more than the fact that we float along in the sky as a feature thereof means that we are identical with it; but we are indeed a part of the sky, and of him.

        “Panentheism” intends all that, and intends *not pantheism.* Panentheists think pantheism false.

        Marcus Borg was not liberal on account of his panentheism. I’m a panentheist, and I’m about as orthodox and conservative as they come, I suppose. To say “I’m a panentheist,” is no more than to say, “I believe that God is utterly transcendent; and, therefore, ipso facto, immanent.”

        So, panentheism is just Christian Platonism for those who have lost the categories of Platonism.

        The notion of the divine spark is Gnostic. But we have to be careful. It is also orthodox, as may be seen from the notion of the logos spermatokos of St. Justin Martyr.

      • Kristor, I must respectfully say that this simply is not what Panentheism entails, at least not the same type of panentheism as might be believed by mystic liberals. Panentheism of that sort implies an identification of the universe and all that is with God. It is not the same thing as the Christian (indeed, Abrahamic Monotheism) idea of God’s omnipresence. Otherwise, there is no distinction between traditional theism and panentheism. They would be mere synonyms. However, it is most useful as a term to describe the middle ground between traditional theism and pantheism, namely that the universe is identified with god, but that he goes beyond it. Yes, they think pantheism false, and the god of the panentheist can be personal while the pantheistic god must be impersonal, but the panentheist goes much beyond the traditional theist in his identification of the universe itself with god’s being.

        For us traditional theists, God creates and maintains the universe. His will, power, and energy are what prevent the universe from falling apart at the seems, as it were, but He is not in any way identified with that universe. He is in it, and everywhere, but He is always distinct from His creations.

      • Nathan, rearranging your statements somewhat:

        Panentheism of that sort as might be believed by mystic liberals implies an identification of the universe and all that is with God. It is not the same thing as the Christian (indeed, Abrahamic Monotheism) idea of God’s omnipresence.

        Totally agree. Sloppy thinkers will make of panentheism – or Christianity – something that suits their preferences. Usually what suits their preferences is a big mush in which no proposition is definitively true or false, so that no decisions are bad, and no icky discriminations or judgements are needed. But panentheist philosophers and theologians – the ones whose usage must be taken as normative – are not so stupid as to think that the universe *just is* a part of God, the way that an arc of a circle is a part of the circle. Such thinkers are quite clear that God is different from creatures.

        How then does panentheism differ from classical theism? My impression, from reading lots of books by panentheists, is that they have not yet realized that their panentheism is really *not* different from classical theology, especially classical mystical theology. I have not read what Kallistos Ware has said about the congruence of panentheism and Orthodox theology, but I am not surprised to hear that he believes there is such a congruence.

      • I’ve normally seen panentheism associated with Process Theology. I’ve also seen some references to similarities in Orthodox Theology. However, the way some Orthodox and it seems, you, Kristor want to use the term is that it leaves us without a unique term for describing the middle ground between pantheism and classical theism: that the universe is part of god, but he goes beyond it. This is my trouble with using it to describe classical theistic beliefs about God’s omnipresence and Creation’s dependence on Him.

      • Is there in fact a middle ground between pantheism and classical theism? I don’t see that there is. Panentheism collapses either into pantheism or theism proper.

        Panentheists have two alternatives: God is either infinite, or finite.

        If he is finite, then he is not God, properly speaking, but rather only the set of things that exist – included among them our cosmos and the rest of God – taken as a whole, and perhaps integrated into a monad or something. That’s pantheism. It amounts to atheism.

        If on the other hand the panentheist believes God is infinite – which, by definition, he is – then God cannot be coterminous with the set of things that exist, because that set, being comprised of finities, is not itself infinite. That’s classical theism.

    • Kristor, this is beautiful. Thank you.

      Scott, I wrote the following passage on my site a few years ago in response to a thread on View from the Right:

      Auster replies by noting how Baba’s teaching differs from pantheism:

      However, Baba’s scheme is not pantheism. He does not say there is anything divine in matter. To the contrary, he says that the material universe, and all the living forms through which the soul passes, are God’s dream–a dream God experiences (in the form of evolving souls) in order to come to full consciousness. Also, the soul as he describes it not immanent in nature. To the contrary, the soul is beyond nature, beyond not only the physical body, but the astral and mental bodies. The soul, which he describes as an individualized drop in the infinite ocean which is God, takes on bodies and has experiences through them, but is beyond all bodies. The main point of Meher Baba’s teaching is that only God (and the soul which is a part of God) are real. The universe and all its phenomena and experiences are a dream or illusion through which the soul must past in order to come to the truth.

      This is what you would expect from Ammonius were he to become a Hegelian. I suppose that we see something similar with Teilhard de Chardin, who seems to be a Hegelian Empedocles, though perhaps such is a bit redundant.

      Anyway, Auster and Wood’s brief Babasque discussion reminds me of a quick note that I sent [my friend] Andrew a few months ago:

      When I first started delving into metaphysics and theology at college, I remember reading about panentheism. I think that [Bishop Timothy Kallistos] Ware brings it up as a possible Orthodox position. However, I recently realized that non-Platonists are incapable of understanding the transcendent/immanent relation of God to the world. For them, “panentheism” is how they interpret what we believe. They do not have the necessary metaphysical categories in their own world views. As such, non-Platonist Christians accuse us of paganism, which is what panentheism would imply, though perhaps the very best form of paganism. It’s another example of the flatland principle.

      As hypothetical two dimensional intelligent beings would have much difficulty comprehending three dimensional reality, folks with a flat metaphysical horizon have trouble understanding any view that denies that God is a being among beings. Just ask John W. Robbins.

  7. An edit: I should have stated above, to avoid confusion, the “Theology of Glory” versus the Theology of the Cross. “Cross of Glory” doesn’t sound right to my ear as to my intended meaning.

  8. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/01/30) | The Reactivity Place

  9. No offense meant but the Psalms of David, or as they are known in Judaism, Sefer Tehilim- become almost unrecognizable in translation. Hebrew is like granite, very dense- and expressions have a different feel, like a telegram or an algebraic equation- which requires extensive paraphrasing – especially when translating into Western European languages. What the Psalms gain in exposition and description, they lose in conciseness and impact.


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