Thursday, August 23, 2007

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue.

I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

Does it really matter what we call God?


Beyond Words said...

Wow! Great question. I think the confusion about what to call God comes from an impoverished view of God's Trinitarian nature. Of course God transcends Father language, Son language and Spirit language, but God IS three persons who are mutually distinct, mutually dependent and mutually honoring.

IMO we seem refer to God the Father generically as a stand-alone entity divorced from the Godhead. We tend to worship The Father and Son separately, sequentially and hierarchically, occassionally invoking the Spirit as an agent of some sort at our beckon call.

If we came to a richer understanding of the communion of the Trinity, it might help us in our language of God.

I must give credit to Jon Case, professor at Houghton College, for his seminars that helped me gain a deeper understanding of the Trinity.

Greg said...

Thanks bw. Excellent thoughts. Distilling what you've said, would you go along with - Divine Community?

Beyond Words said...


I've been struggling a bit with the news about Mother Teresa's journals of her dark night of the soul. And I wonder if she was suffering from an absence of Divine Community--because she was always serving and never being served. She had little mutuality, reciprocity or celebration in her life. What do you think?

Greg said...

Not sure about MT, but that can happen when over-serving.

John said...

Hey guys,
I'm back after a crazy week of rearranging my life. Moving and such. But anyways...great question Greg.

I don't think it matters what we call God as long as it is consistent with His nature and we are not impoverishing who He is. I also think that you can tell a lot about a person's view of God by how they address God in their prayers and such. That might be a little judgmental, but I've seen it hold true.

Many people here in Evangelical America only talk about Jesus. Jesus, obviously, is a very important part of the Trinity, but honestly I don't believe He is any more important than the other two parts, because all three compose one, and the one is three. Leaving any part of the Trinity out, at least by not acknowledging that part, is definitely not good.

I try to make it a point to address God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three play vitally different roles in our lives.

Greg said...

Thanks John. I think God has something like twenty-nine names in the Scripture, but the divine community is usually referred to by one of the three you mention.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been blogging or looking lately, but I looked today, and found your question.
I think as long as we are talking about God, it doesn't matter a lot.
However, I am not too keen on the recent idea to call God Allah. The God of the Bible is not the god of the Muslims. There is a distinct difference.

I am very comfortable with any of the names that God has given to us!
Abba, Father, Yahweh, Jehovah (and all its added parts) God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, the list keeps going, and I am comfortable with all those!

Greg said...

Good response. Thanks.