Governor Huckabee: A Second Generation Evangelical Politician

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 23 January 2008 0 Comments
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You mentioned the problem of miracles and the hand of God in prayer, but even men and women have power to affect the world. In what sense do you believe that God has such power?


It is easier to document how human beings affect the world than it is how God does. That is because human beings can experience God but they cannot define God. I do not understand the reluctance of human beings to understand that simple truth. The human mind cannot embrace what it means to be God. We cannot view the world from God's perspective. We cannot show where God's intervention was decisive.

If we could do that, we would presumably be able to explain why God does not always intervene. If God can be quoted or appealed to on one side of that ledger then we must also raise the other side.

Can God stop a hurricane from barreling down on New Orleans? Can God stop a tsunami before it kills 300,000 people in the Indian Ocean? Can God stop the inevitable progress of an incurable disease? If God can do that, why does not God do so?

What is easier to see is how God might enable a person to be more attuned to the world and thus more sensitive to its evils and more dedicated to committing human energy to eradicate these evils.

I am convinced that we must stop seeing God as a being like us, but without human limits, and begin seeing God as a permeating presence, a life force, the power of love or even what my favorite theologian, Paul Tillich, called the "ground of being." If we could do that, I might begin to be able to answer your question. Until that shift takes place, your question will always perplex human beings.

John Shelby Spong




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