My new book TOLKIEN'S OVERTURE is coming soon!

I'll check it out later.


Concerning Hidden Realities and Human Destiny

Hidden Realities #2: God from Down the Street

John Carswell | Friday, August 11, 2017

"I believe in God...and in Jesus Christ..."
- The Apostles' Creed
"We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ . . . True God . . . Through him all things were made. . . [He] became man."
- The Nicene Creed

Last time around, I talked about God as Being Itself vs. many of the ways in which we typically conceive of God as an ultra-powerful deity with human features. It was important to start there, because we need to be clear that, when we think about the God that really is, our imaginations just aren't up to snuff. That's not a defect in us, that's the just the nature of God. I mean, try to imagine the size of the universe compared to yourself, or counting all the grains of sand on all of the beaches in the world. I imagine that all of the human beings in all of history would not be able to do that. And then guess what? God is infinitely vaster than that, even vast beyond vastness!

Now, having said that, there is a good reason that we tend to imagine God as one of the guys...and that's because of Jesus Christ. You see, Being Itself, for some reason, decided that it wasn't satisfied with remaining hidden from our senses. Christians believe that Being Itself became one of us while remaining God all the same. Thus, the human race has gone from only knowing God as Being Itself (completely beyond our comprehension) to knowing God as Josh, that quirky Jewish kid that used to live next door. Being Itself has become our neighbor, and in dying for us, He made us part of His family.

Christ in the House of His Parent by John Everett Millais

"Christ in the House of His Parents" by John Everett Millais

Your mind should now be blown, if it wasn't already.

Now, I admit this can lead to some confusion. How can Josh from down the street possibly be Being Itself, aka God Almighty? I know Josh. He eats and sleeps like the rest of us. I've seen him cry. Heck, I even heard about this one time he ran away from his folks for a few days! It's plainly a contradiction that Josh could be both God AND Joe and Mary’s boy, right?

And just to make it even weirder, if God is Josh, then Josh is God. Think about it. Josh, that kid down the street, knows if there is any alien life in the universe, and if there is, he created it. He knows what really happened with JFK. He knows what the top news stories are going to be tomorrow, next year, and ten years from now. He knows when you'll die, the worst thing you've ever done, and every secret you never want anyone to know about yourself. Josh knows more about Middle-earth than Tolkien, more about a Galaxy Far, Far Away than George Lucas, and could give both primary reality if he so chose. He can also do all the things Chuck Norris can do, only infinitely better.

Chuck Norris doesn't turn on the shower. He stares at it until it starts to cry.

Also, Chuck Norris can swim through land. Just FYI...

So, Christians contend that Being Itself has gone and made a mess of things by becoming our neighbor. This makes it hard to resist the impulse to now "imagine" God as a powerful man. But in becoming one of us, Jesus did not forsake what being God means either.

Which leads us to the next topic: One God / Three Persons. What’s that all about? Find out next week!

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Hi - I'm John. Welcome to TrueMyths, where I explore music, Christianity, literature, and culture. I'm co-host of The Tolkien Road podcast, and am the author of Tolkien's Requiem. You can learn more about TrueMyths here.

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