TEXAS FAITH: How do you view God?

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TEXAS FAITH: How do you view God?
Nov 09, 2010 | Dallas Morning News

William McKenzie/ Editorial Columnist

In their new book, America’s Four Gods, Baylor professors Paul Froese and Christopher Bader claim that America’s cultural diversity goes back to our competing views of God. There is the engaged, judging Authoritative God; the loving, supportive Benevolent God; the observant but not punishing Critical God; and the stand-apart Distant God.

In essence, we are at war over who God is, which leads to this week’s question:.

How do you view God?

Do you fit into one of those four categories? A blend of them? Something quite different than these categories? Or do you not see God at all?

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, DallasHas God created us in his image or have we created God in our own image? This new paradigm is gaining currency and it is worth looking into.
There are nearly seven billion of us and each one of has his or her own idea of God on a personal level. We have given gender to that elusive creator and we have come to believe he is one, many or none.
The new paradigm incorporates different perceptions of that creator, and we are limited by our references in terms of our senses and imagination. Having journeyed through atheism and agnosticism to Islamic pluralism, I have come to believe that God is not an entity, nor is it a being, and as such I have hard time collapsing God in to a word, an image or even to describe it conclusively.
I am closer to the idea of a stand-apart distant God and here is my reason. No matter which theory we subscribe to — evolution, creation or the big bang theory — the fact is that we exist and are real. When it all began two major things came out of it: Matter and Life.
Matter was programmed to find its own balance and every piece of matter in the universe has its own built-in balance. Whether it is Jupiter, Mars, Earth or the Moon, each one is hung precisely and runs its course on a pre-designed program.
When the question of life arises, we were not put on a trajectory nor were we placed on a pre-determined course. Instead we were given the free will to find our own balance. Our model is the Universe where each item respects other items’ space and existence, and if we can replicate that model, we will be in peace and balance.
God is energy to me, a distant stand-apart God is my perception and we have the responsibility to attain that balance, and it comes from internalizing the social norms of an equilibrimic society. God is about finding balance for oneself and what surrounds one; life and environment.

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About Mike Ghouse

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a public speaker and the Executive Director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/