Is our God too small?

Back in 1986 Peter Gabriel released the song, Big Time. Part of the lyric reads, “And I will pray to a big god, as I kneel in the big church.” Now, as I understand it the song was primarily about someone getting out of a small town. But, the words reveal something about how people view the Christian God. This God is small. This God cannot do anything about the hurt and evil in the world. This God has small, narrow-minded followers. This God cannot put up a substantive defense, so it’s necessary for the small, narrow-minded followers to defend God’s honor. And, for sure this God cannot handle the intellect of people who challenge the published words  that the churches that bear God’s name adhere to.
This morning as I was praying, I considered a discussion with some people I know. People who love and desire to serve and worship God. They are, however, locked into a way of believing that has no room for the discussion of science, the authority of scripture, or anything other than a ‘simple reading’ of that scripture. The Bible must be taken literally or not at all. Then, I remembered something I read about John Calvin, the hero of reformed theology. When confronted with the discovery of the size of Saturn, the church became a tad perplexed. If God created a greater light, the sun, and a lesser light, the moon, then what was this ‘other’ light that was larger than the lesser light? This apparently rocked their theology. Calvin’s response? Well, the ancient writers used the knowledge they had at that time to render their conclusions. Now, we know better and that’s ok. Wow! We should have that mindset.
Anyhow, my mind immediately wandered off to consider the vastness of God, the creator and sustainer of all things. What can a finite mind discover about the infinite? How can it even touch or consider it? God, in God’s infinite grace, gives glimpses. Only as much as can be tolerated by our smallness. I received one of those glimpses. I began to realize that our arguments about what/who God is are intolerably small. We need to understand that God is not threatened by our discussions about science and evolution. Shoot! God created the human mind that has developed these! God is not concerned about our arguments about sola scriptura and inerrancy. God’s Word transcends whatever we can possibly understand. Yes, these are important to how we live our lives in this finite cosmos. It is proper that we discuss and argue and strive to understand our world, ourselves and how this all relates to an infinite God. But, we also need to remember that the Infinite will not condescend to fit our mold; we must be willing to fit into the Infinite. After all, we already have a BIG GOD!


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