Is God Mean, Indulgent … Or What?


I’ve decided to declare a universal decree for the world. Are you ready for it?

Here it is: if you are 60 years old or more, you can repeat yourself and no one can say anything about it.

Today, I’m going to invoke my universal rule and repeat a statement that I read which comes from one of the darlings of the new atheists, Richard Dawkins. It’s already been in Coffee Stains once.

Dawkins in his book, God Delusion tries to mock God: “Such a bandwidth! God, who may not have a brain made of neurons, or a CPU made of silicon, but if he has the powers attributed to him he must have something far more elaborately and non-randomly constructed than the largest brain or the largest computer we know.”

You know, if you’re going to make fun of someone you’ve got to do better than that. God fills the universe but He’s there when the smallest baby screams, “hello,” to the world.

Mr. Dawkins, God is so much more than that.

What is God like anyway? We say, “all-powerful, everywhere present, all-knowing and eternal.” That’s a good start but it’s not enough. Imagine someone like that with the personality of Adolph Hitler. We’d be in big trouble.

So there’s something else about Him that’s vital to our well-being: He’s good, completely good.

I’m not sure we preachers clear things up for people either. Some read parts of the Bible and preach a scary God. It’s true we must fear (respect) the Lord, but He’s more than simply a far away God waiting to zap your slightest failing that some would have you believe in.

Others major on God’s mercy but the God they come up with is more like an over-year indulgent parent: “Now, you should stop that sweetheart or I’ll have to tell your dad and he might try to make you eat your green beans.”

Honestly, I’ve read so many opinions of God that I’m sometimes a bit confused. It’s impossible to reduce humans to one single characteristic and in a sense it’s the same with God. Continue reading