ADVERTISING
 
Friday, February 23   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
Is the sexual exploitation of women an issue in your city?




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
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
A marriage story A marriage story

The  great love story for everyone.

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
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.