“God is not a part of creation that can be studied and observed and managed.”

christplaysFrom Eugene H. Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places:

For biblical people, God is not an idea for philosophers to discuss or a force for priests to manipulate. God is not a part of creation that can be studied and observed and managed. God is a person — a person to be worshiped or defied, believed or rejected, loved or hated, in time and place. That is why the biblical revelation is so profuse with names and dates, places and events. God meets us in the ordinary and extraordinary occurrences that make up the stuff of our daily lives. It never seemed to have occurred to our biblical ancestors that they could deal better with God by escaping from history, “getting away from it all” as we say. History is the medium in which God works salvation, just as paint and canvas is the medium in which Rembrandt made works of art. We cannot get closer to God by distancing ourselves from the mess of history.

But most of us have a difficult time understanding history with God as the major and definitive presence. We have grown up getting our sense of history from so-called historians, scholars, and journalists for whom God is not germane or present in what they study and write. We are thoroughly trained by our schools, daily newspapers, and telecasts to read history solely in terms of politics and economics, human interest and environmental conditions, military operations and diplomatic intrigue. If we have a mind for it, we can go ahead and fit God in somewhere or other. But the biblical writers do it the other way around; they fit us into the history in which God is the primary reality.

so what do you think?

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