On God - Objections

I started reading On God: An Uncommon Conversation by Norman Mailer with Michael Lennon. It was buried in an unorganized stack of books at a strange little book shop. I've found quite a few hidden theological treasures in places like that. I know I will sound like my mom saying this (which is not a bad thing) but the Holy Spirit leads me right to them. 

I know next to nothing about Normal Mailer except that he was an American novelist. I hear so much from Christians who all say the same things, I get very curious to hear different points of view. There are no sides or right and wrong, just human beings seeking truth. I believe Jesus Christ is the truth and that he is the Way for us to connect with God. Others feel differently, but I can still learn from them. God has given me the ability to think and reason and make judgements, but only the Holy Spirit can see the true interior of a soul. I feel more humans have sought and will seek after God that we will ever know. They may not do it like we do or believe how we do, but in the end, that may not matter as much as we think it does.

My first thoughts from the introduction...Mailer says, "It took me a good number of years to recognize that I did believe in God-that is, believed there is a divine presence in existence. On occasion, I even contemplated the philosophical need to approach what might be the characteristics of such an enigma. Whenever I tried, however, to advance my notions by reading in theology, I was repelled. The works were studies, for the most part, of the unstated but dictatorial injunction to have faith. They were undernourished in their appetite for inquiry, and full of ideological dicta."

Mailer's objections to the representation of the God he encountered in theological readings seems to be a common response. I'm confused as to why that is when God's Word is the good news of unconditional love and restoration. I understand God's way means obedience, sacrifice, denial of self, and the promise of persecution and suffering. People are not exactly waiting in line to sign up for that. A child will push against the boundaries when they are young but hopefully will one day be grateful for the protection and guidance of a loving parent. 

I think more seekers would come to the same conclusion if not for the misrepresentations of God they encounter through people who claim to know him best. Mailer's comments remind me that we like to make God in our own image rather than God making us in his. Christians can do the same, making God out to be a dictatorial lawgiver rather than first and foremost a loving father. Maybe we define God through our own experiences. 

Mailer seems to be building a philosophical enigma he can call God on the foundation of his own experiences. Maybe some believers are failing to counter that approach with the evidence and authenticity of a personal, living and transformational relationship with God built on the foundation of self-denial.

More to come...

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