Tuesday, 20 June 2017
The Evolution of God
Lorna and I have arrived at our cottage in P.E.I. and have settled in, hopefully for the summer. It is a beautiful early summer day so I will have to think about actually getting out to enjoy the beauties of this corner of God’s world—which I don’t do often enough. We had a relatively uneventful trip and were able t visit some friends on the way and almost visited a few more; unfortunately a miss communication prevented it.
It is rather an adjustment getting to a different place and settling in for a while. Lorna and I seem to have two somewhat different lives—one in Parkhill and one in P.E.I. There are different church communities in each place as well as different residences. We have different neighbours and different routines. However, despite these differences there are many aspects of both lives that are similar. I am still writing my News and Views on Monday morning and Lorna is out gardening—although she does a lot more of that here than in Parkhill. She just popped in to the bunkie which is my retreat to say hello. It says a lot that I need a retreat from the cottage. But it is nice to have my space—don’t even suggest I should call it a “man cave”. It is completely different.
One question which comes to mind this morning arises from these similarities and differences. IS there a different God in each of these places? On one level the obvious answer is, “Of course not”. However, we have different worship services here—we use exclusively the Book of Common Prayer with the traditional liturgy and music. But that is really no indicator. I think that the environment—in the broadest sense does influence how we perceive God and the image that we have of God.
I am currently reading A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren. He was one of the presenters at the Haden Dream and Spirituality Conference which I attended before coming to the cottage. He presents some very thoughtful ideas about how to understand the bible. I think they are very good ideas but then they articulate much of how I think about the bible.
McLaren proposes that we should look at the bible as a story of God’s people which had an evolving and maturing understanding of God, “I begin to see how our ancestors’ image and understanding of God continually changed, evolved, and matured over the centuries. God, it seemed, kept initiating this evolution” (99). He compares the danger of freezing our understanding of God as presented in printed word i.e. books, texts and concepts with the idea of freezing our concept of God in graven images. Books houses in seminaries, images and books but our understanding of God cannot be frozen and stop at that.
It makes sense to me that if God intended that nature should evolve, which I believe is God’s intention, that our understanding of God will also evolve as we have evolved. God’ revelation did not stop at the book of Revelation. The human race along with all of God’s creation can continue to reveal what God’s intention for us is; unless we destroy ourselves in our hubris.
In closing I would hope that you will keep yourself open to what God is revealing to you of God’s intention for you.
Blessings on your journey.