August 14, 2010

The Immobile God

If God is thought to be everywhere, then God can safely be nowhere.  A God who is never in any particular place is much safer than a God who confronts you in some place where you happen to be.  A God who is merely "everywhere" seems unlikely to show up - because if God is already here, how can he ever arrive?

It seems to me that (perhaps) the more people view God in being fixed in this ultimate way, the less they accept him as a God who can move.  Christians talk sometimes about the Spirit as mobile, but God seems to be nearly always immobile.  A mobile God would be one who comes and goes, one who does, one who acts - and who acted within History. An immobile God would seem restricted to merely passive activities, such as watching, judging, and waiting expectantly.

This may be one more reason why Liberal Christendom blossomed almost entirely from within Protestant traditions.  It's not just that Martin Luther paved the way for the enlightenment.  It's (perhaps) also that Calvin's theological grandchildren spent so many centuries with an Immobile God, that many of them naturally stopped believing in the God of the Bible - the One who acts, the One who speaks, the One who builds up, the One who destroys...

If we think God is always immobile and passive, perhaps the Biblical actions of God should be taken as pure fantasy.

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