Tuesday, December 13, 2011

God in the gaps or gaps in the God?

Christians have been guilty over the centuries of looking for the 'God in the gaps' - meaning that we look for anything that is beyond the reach of current scientific understanding and say that God is responsible.  As an example, in medieval times sincere Christians would look at something unexplainable like lightning and would write God into the causation.

That is . . . until Ben Franklin rolled around.

See, the problem with the God in the gaps idea is that Christians marry themselves to a certain explanation of God and then have to backtrack when science catches up and provides a better (and non-spiritual) answer.  It is bad for Christianity because not only do Christians have to backtrack, but the backwards energy makes it seem like the idea of God is evaporating when it is really just errant Christian thinking that is evaporating.

Well what I have noticed lately is that the God in the gaps fallacy can be reversed - there are those skeptics that look for the gaps in the God.  This is the problem of agnostics or atheists in which they find something about God that is either unexplainable or unable to comport with our sense of right and wrong and they dismiss it outright.

An example of this is the seeming brutality of God from the Old Testament.  Since it doesn't match our expectations of what a God should act like we find fault and walk away from this God.  Yet how could we expect this God to be expressed in any other way than by an ancient people who routinely found themselves in border skirmishes? 

Before we are too quick to dismiss God, we need to check whether we are really asking the question about who God is or whether we are only seeking the God we expect to find.

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