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The God Mystery A Personal Reflection.

938 words - 4 pages

To borrow the title of a classic radio show, "I Love a Mystery!" That's because when you boil it down, themystery genre has one simple concept: trying to find all the answers. What really grabs me and keeps myattention is trying to stay one step ahead of the detective, to see through the deceptions and come up withthe answers. Then comes the climax, containing the mystery in a tidy explanation.As a mystery fan, I accept three assumptions:That such a thing as the truth exists.That it is desirable to find out what the truth is.That it is possible to find out what the truth is.Coming up with the truth is very satisfying for a mystery lover. But it is in the search itself that you find the most joy. You may want to know all the answers, but skipping to the back of the book would be cheating. This seems paradoxical, but the whole mystery genre is based on paradox - the unknown becomes known.I get a feeling of futility whenever I talk about the mystery of God. Right from the outset, only two of my assumptions bear weight. For while I believe that such a truth as God exists and desire to find out what that truth is, it is not possible to know what the truth is. It is the ultimate paradox: within the mystery of God lie all life's answers, yet this is a mystery that is impossible to solve.I risk failure right from the start by using limited human language to describe the unlimited God. Flynn sums it up: "God is inexpressible mystery about whom we believe many things. Our beliefs, however, are affected by the limits of our finitude."(1) Still, I believe it is important to make the attempt to express who God is. Though I will undoubtedly fall short in my exercise, I can find joy in the journey of discovery itself.I grew up with metaphors for God based on strength and power, together with an exclusively male pronoun. Not surprising, since I grew up with a church view built on patriarchy. Yet, I have learned in my search that God is beyond gender, and indeed, beyond all names.To understand the futility of naming God, it is useful to know what a name actually meant to people around the Mediterranean in those days. To name someone or something gave you control over them. In Genesis, when Adam and Eve are given the power to name all the creatures of the Earth, they are given power over those creatures.(2) So when Moses asks for God's name on Mount Sinai, perhaps he was trying to solve the mystery and gain control over God. God's response, "I am" (Ex 3:14) tells me the name of God is not a noun, but a verb! Therefore, God is not...

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