ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, January 17   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
4 years
How often do you read Evangelical Focus?






SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

God is not an idea

God is not an idea. Or concept. Or system of doctrines. Or force.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 26 AUGUST 2017 17:00 h GMT+1
Photo: Anthony Tori (Unsplash).

“The Word became flesh.” Ever heard that phrase? I wasn’t aware of how explosive it felt to the original readers of the Gospel of John until I did some digging recently.



For the Greeks, especially the Stoics, logos (word) was a loaded term. It was the divine principle that governed the world; the agent of creation and integrating personality that holds together a harmonious universe. A divine universe, actually, not in the sense of God as a person but as a force that pervades everything.



Take, for instance, the witness of two major stoics: Cicero and Marcus Aurelius.



Epicurus may even brag … but nothing is more perfect than the world… The world is a living being, equipped with conscience, intelligence and rationality… The world must be wise and the nature that holds everything together must excel in the perfection of reason [logos]; so the world is God and is held together by a divine nature.


You were born as a part. You’ll vanish into what generated you, or, you’ll be absorbed for transformation in its generating reason.


For the Stoics, then, the good life was life in harmony with logos, this divine rationality. Luc Ferry calls it an impersonal and anonymous doctrine of salvation: when we die, we become a fragment of the universe. Death is a transition of a state of personhood and conscience to a state where we lose all individuality.



Can you glimpse the scandal that John’s words brought to their first audiences?



The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


What? The logos is a person? More than that, he became man and lived among us? Luc Ferry, a major French philosopher, describes this seismic shift:



The logos, which for the Stoics coincided with the impersonal, harmonious and divine structure of the whole cosmos, for the Christians will coincide with a single person, Christ. An anonymous and blind doctrine of salvation gave way to the promise that we will be saved not only by a person, but by Christ as a person…


That’s a profound worldview shift. God becomes not an abstract force but a loving person; he is known not through knowledge (though it includes knowledge) but personal trust.



Love becomes therefore the supreme virtue; hope, to join the inclusive community of love God is forming around himself.



“The Word became flesh.” It’s a major challenge for those of us who would prefer a vague divinity we can shape and mold in our image and likeness.



According to the Christian faith, God is not an idea. Or concept. Or system of doctrines. Or a force. Or a body of knowledge. He’s a person who revealed himself.



He’s not an intellectual exercise but someone we can know and relate to.



How marvelous. How scary.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - God is not an idea
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
VIDEO Video
 
The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis

Jerry Root compares the search for meaning of C.S. Lewis with Saint Augustine's reflections.

 
The reliability of the Bible The reliability of the Bible

Jim Cecy, Senior Pastor, Campus Bible Church, answers the question Why is a defense of the reliability of the Bible important?

 
Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

 
That night That night

“No one came ot help that night, no nurse to numb the fright...”

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.