God: In a Build Your Own Deity Age

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Today’s popular culture is a preacher and a teacher.

Publisher Weekly’s Phyliss Tickle says: “more theology is conveyed in, and probably retained from one hour of popular television, than from all the sermons that are also delivered on any given weekend in America’s synagogues, churches and mosques combined.”

Unfortunately most of popular culture’s proclamations about God are eclectic delusions about God, not reliable insights into the God who actually exists.

David Kinnamon of Barna Research observes, “Americans are “cutting and pasting religious views from¢â‚¬¦television, movies, conversations with their friends. Popular culture’s general approach is this: you can probably put together a philosophy of life for yourself that is just as accurate, just as helpful as any particular faith might provide, so just do it!”

I call this the “Build-a-Deity” approach to God¢â‚¬¦

Today, people construct God like they would a doll at a Build-A-Bear store, creating a mix-and-match deity designed to their own liking.

To paraphrase Francis Schaeffer, we need to discover the “God who is there,” not the God of our own making.

The Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that God exists and has revealed himself to us in a variety of ways. We divide these into general revelations and special revelations.

General revelation refers to insights about God gained through: nature (the heavens are telling the glory of God); or through our conscience (our universal sense of right and wrong); or through artists (thoughtful creatives like the pagan poets quoted by Paul, who had insights about God they themselves didn’t understand.)

General revelations about God should be measured by God’s special revelation, which the writer of Hebrews describes this way: “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.”

The good news is that in the confusion of today’s delusional views of God portrayed in popular culture, the one true God not only exists,but has revealed Himself in the written word and in the living word, his son, Jesus.

Cutting through the clutter of today’s build-a-god approach requires biblical literacy and a healthy relationship with Jesus, the living word

The thoughtful creative for whom God is of central importance seeks the God who is—not the deity of our own making.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in May 7, 2007 by | No Comments »

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