To Say That God Exists*

To say that God exists, in its literal
interpretation, means that at some
time God did not exist, because that
is what exist means — here now, not then.

To say that God does not exist,
taken metaphorically, means that
God is beyond not existing —

kind of like two negatives making a positive.

Theologians tried that but didn’t explain it very
well and it certainly didn’t go over very well
to the literal mindset — the place where most
of us live most of the time, unfortunately,
if for no other reason than it’s kind of boring.

Some said God is dead. Really poor choice of words.
It has some shock value but shock leads to fear and
fear to anger and…well, we know the history of literal
interpretations.

They could have said something like “The old, literal,
tribal god used by factions to their own
own ends which usually end in violence — this
literal god is dead. However, the mysterious,
metaphorical Formless Presence is being revealed
especially to those of us in university divinity
schools.”

They would have been lucky to make it out-of-town alive.

*idea from a meditation by Frederick Buechner
and the phrase “Formless Presence” was used by
Richard Rohr in a meditation

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