Monday, September 15, 2008
In my last bit of downtime before school kicks into full gear, I've been reading a lot on the internet. I've been following the presidential race fairly intently, and recently I've been getting quite a bit of amusement out of the attacks back and forth. Each new TV ad or speech gives the opposing party a whole new set of ammunition. The more one side says, the more opportunities there are for the other side to point out faults.
It turns out that it's a really good thing that I don't have any opponents ripping apart my every sentence. If I were to be rhetorically torn limb from limb, two things would become aparent very quickly: (1) I am probably a blabbering idiot and (2) it is likely that my glasses aren't strong enough because I seem to have some serious vision problems. The first of those revelations may or may not be true, but there's nothing I can do about it either way so I'll just let it be. The second one, however, is really what I want to get at.
With all my talk about God's latency* (i.e., God being hidden and uncertain), it would be a very reasonable thing to ask whether I can really see straight. Throughout my life I have met a good number of people who know God is there and have seen God act in their lives. I've met many people who talk about God as though God is as concrete as a desk or a car. For them, God is not followed by a question mark but by a period.
And they would be right to question my vision. After all, the entire concept of a latent God is centered around my inability to see. Although this criticism does not come as a surprise to me (heck, it's basically built in), it still makes me uneasy from time to time.
I know that God is not so clear for everyone. I've met many people (even Christians!) who readily admit that they don't see God. Nonetheless, I sometimes fear that the fact that I can't see means that there is something wrong with me.
Perhaps I'm blind....
*[Since it's been a while, here's a quick refresher: To say that God is latent is to say that God exists as potential. It's the idea that God seems about to burst into the world with unmistakable power—but that it hasn't happened yet and there is no way to prove anything one way or the other. The latency of God is what makes people doubt and what causes people to believe (as opposed to know). It means that we are forced to live in this strange almost-but-not-quite world where God is hidden from view.]