Tyrant or Trinity?

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The late Christopher Hitchens, author of the book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything . . . said in an interview: “I think it would be rather awful if it was true, if there was a permanent, total, round-the-clock divine supervision and invigilation of everything you did. You’d never have a waking or sleeping moment when you weren’t being watched or controlled and supervised by some celestial entity from the moment of your conception to the moment of your death. It would be like living in North Korea.”

Mr. Hitchens presents a good case! However, it is most helpful to note how he describes the deity in whom he does not believe: an all controlling Divine Despot who is keeping tabs on everyone—the Heavenly Policeman.

To be honest, I find myself in hearty agreement with Hitchens on this point because, quite frankly, I don’t believe in that god either. Who would want to be a worshipper of such a god?

Such a deity, in fact, does not exist.

The God revealed in Christ shows Himself to be not a self- centered dictator but an other-centered fountain of goodness. He is not a tyrant, but a Triune community of love.

And that makes all the difference.

J. O. Schulz,
What Jesus Wished People Knew About God

Confronted With Beauty

Lin YutangLin Yutang died in 1976. He was one of the greatest scholars and authors in China. He became a Confucius convert and wrote many books. His most famous is The Importance of Living, which became a runaway best seller. He wrote in it the chapter Why I Am a Pagan. He spent his last decade in New York and one Sunday his wife persuaded him to go to Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. He was overwhelmed by the beauty of the teachings of Jesus. He wrote, “God as Jesus revealed him, is so different from what men thought him to be. There is a totally new order of love and compassion in Jesus’ prayer from the cross, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ That voice, unknown in history before, reveals God as forgiving, not in theory, but visibly forgiving as revealed in Christ. No other teacher said with such meaning, ‘In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ The ‘me’ in this context is God sitting on the Day of Judgment with a first concern for the downtrodden poor, the humble widow, the crippled orphan. There, I said to myself, Jesus speaks as the Teacher who is Master over both life and death. In him, the message of love and gentleness and compassion becomes incarnate. That, I say, is why men have turned to him, not merely in respect but in adoration. That is why the light which blinded St. Paul on the road to Damascus with such a sudden impact continues to shine unobscured and unobscurably through the centuries.”

–Glenn Pease