Graven images

Last night, I gave a talk to a group of people from my parish on ‘Creation and evolution’. The reading I have been doing over the last little while has really got me wondering about our attachment to our intellectual constructions of who God is.

Obviously we need to use images. We need some handle. But I think sometimes we mistaken our intellectual constructions for God Godself.

Those who operate in spirituality circles will say – yes, yes, we know about operational and theoretical images of God. But the point I am trying to make here is a operates at a different level. For example, the way in which we understand what happened when Jesus died on that cross and rose again are deeply embedded in Ancient Greek cosmology.

What happens to our understanding if we look at the same event, with the same Biblical texts, but from our current cosmology – do we come up with a slightly different construction?

Marcus Borg wrote

‘The Bible is filled with images of God, metaphors for the sacred. The biblical commandment to make no graven images of God obviously did not mean avoiding word-images. But it does mean that no one of these should be “carved in stone”—that is, made absolute.’

Are some of our intellectual constructions graven images? Who is the God we discover through a different cosmological lens?

3 thoughts on “Graven images

  1. Great thoughts Mags! My construct of God has changed as my relationship with God has grown deeper and I have matured in my thinking. I believe this occurs with humankind in general. This reminds me of Teilhard de Chardin’s noosphere as well. Thanks for your thought on this.

  2. Mags is it possible to get a copy of your talk as we have had quite an interesting discussion in Canada about science versus religion resulting from comments made by our Governor General.

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