Russ Dean grew up a Southern Baptist P.K. (preacher’s kid) in South Carolina. His dad and mine were in seminary together, and we got to know each other in seminary ourselves. He has just recently started a blog in which he seeks to celebrate God and his Christian faith in conversation with the truths of the quantam world in which we live. His passion lies in discovering the insights the truths of our world offer into the Truth of God and the energy present when the Truth of God is found to resonate with the truths of our world. His is a vibrant, questing, questioning, Scripturally grounded, intellectually curious, emotionally faithful faith, and I invite you to join him in his searching. It will be well worth the time you invest.
Recently he shared some thoughts on the creative power of our words about God. What we say about God creates an image of God that may or may not correspond to the truth of God transcendent that lies beyond our ability to know or name.
Frederick Buechner wrote “In Hebrew the term dabar means both “word” and “deed.” Thus to say something is to do something.” Russ suggests that what was true for God in the beginning (God spoke, and it was), is true for us as well.
The great risk lies in the unfolding truth of the parallel, for while when God spoke us, we were created in God’s image, when we speak of God, we create God in our image. Though parallel, the one truth is an ever expanding one, the other a necessarily limiting one. Also an inescapable one (the alternative being silence—which makes for an interesting reflection on the advice, “be still and know that I am God!”—Psalm 46:10).
So how do we speak with confidence of God? There’s that whole three legged stool idea: we speak in accord with Scripture, Tradition and Reason (or Experience). There’s value to that, though scripture, tradition and reason (or experience) have, individually and collectively, certainly all led people astray. So, again, how do we speak with confidence of God?
Because, I believe, God continues to speak. Because the image of God in which I am created continues to work in and through me speaking images of God. I confess the limitations of my words. I confess the limitations of me. But a transcendent yearning not only keeps me thinking—imagining—imaging—speaking, but is, I believe, made manifest in and through my speaking. And sometimes, it is the consistency of the struggle to speak that speaks most honestly … I think.