Conceiving of God

It’s not uncommon in the philosophy/theology/philosophy of religion world to come across the phrase, ‘how we conceive of God’ or ‘our conception of God’, or any number of variances on that theme. Is God, however, someone we simply conceive of? Is God someone we arrive at in thought?

I go back and forth on this issue – broadly it’s basically debate over the validity of natural theology. Can we get by reason from nature or the world to God? I generally lean towards a no – because I don’t think that God is something that we approach via our intellect alone, though one cannot be a Christian and deny the place of human reason.

I would say that no, God is not someone we conceive of – if our god is a god that we conceive of and not a God who makes Himself known to us then what have is not God but simply our own construct.

Insofar as we genuinely seek God, He will meet us along any road we travel as we seek Him – if we seek Him on the road of science, He will meet us there. If we seek Him on another road, He will meet us there – but we must genuinely seek. This is the ‘burden of seeking’ that Christianity has, as well as the promise it gives. One cannot simply treat God as an intellectual exercise.

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