Our understanding of God is affected by the environment we find ourselves in or to put it differently, all theology is local. We just can’t escape that. To have a shot at a more accurate view of God we need to make a distinction between God and our understanding of God. The moment we make our understanding of God an absolute, we’ve turned it into an idol.
Although we’re in a postmodern era, our cosmology is still, in most part, a modern one. We still operate under the many categories of the enlightenment. Newton’s mathematical explanations for the behavior of the physical reality gave rise to the hope that we can predict and therefore control our reality. This led to the development of the modern Sciences by which people were trying to understand the inner workings (laws) of our world SO AS TO be able to predict it and in turn, gain control of it. Order was the quintessential dynamic everything was believed to be based on. Hence the development of a natural order philosophy. In the centuries that followed, the reasoning muscle has been exercised and built so much that people were thinking (and some still are): since what is real can be explained rationally, what can’t be explained rationally must not be real. Order was the lens through which everything was looked at.
The advent of the modern Science and many of the recent technological achievements have pointed to an undeniable measure of order in our universe and many things can, indeed, be predicted pretty accurately. There’s no question that we benefit from order. But can order be found in everything? Is order the adequate response to everything?
How could God be in control, we say, without a predictable order? How can I relate to God without an understanding of the divine order? We want to be in control, to know what we’re doing and order seems to be the answer. As a result we project that unto God. A chaotic God is unpredictable, cannot be figured out and so cannot be trusted. We have effectively forced God to fit our categories. God has to be a totally orderly God or He can’t be God.
We need to expand our horizons if we are to let God be God and get a better glimpse of Him. We need to learn to embrace chaos, which takes us to our next Monday post.
How do you describe order?
Why is it that we’re so attracted to it?