WHAT is God?
For me to think your faith holds any credibility, you need to have read and digested something like this:
Why Does God Hate Amputees?
It’s a scathing critique of theism, and as crass as it sounds, it makes some extremely good points.
God apparently does not answer our prayers. At least, not ones that involve healing amputees. Not ones that involve big obvious moves on his part. And yet we claim that he did these very things in the past. Always in the past.
We hold up thousands of examples of “answered prayers”, and yet all of these “answers” occur only when they are non-impossible things. Only when they are things that could happen without our prayers.
The author of the linked website poses a “Standard Model of God”, and proceeds to show that this model of God cannot represent something that really exists.
<blockquote>Prayer is extremely important. People believe that we can pray to God (or Jesus) (sometimes even Mary and certain saints) and God hears our prayers. People believe that God reaches down into our world and uses his infinite power and love to answer our prayers. God will intervene to cure diseases. God can save our lives in emergency situations. God will protect us from danger. God can solve a wide range of personal problems and make our lives better through prayer. Hundreds of millions of people pray to God daily, and they believe that God hears their prayers. According to many people, God is answering millions of prayers on earth every day.
I agree with the author that the above-described God does not exist, cannot exist. An all-loving, infinitely powerful God that can (and does) intervene any time he wants, yet chooses to ignore amputees, September 11th, millions of victims of various sorts, etc…does not make sense. Something is wrong in that equation.
If you don’t understand why, read the above-mentioned website. Now, I have addressed The Problem of Evil already. But my answer points the way to a different understanding of what God is. The conventional answers to The Problem of Evil typically hold up a view of God which is notably dated, to - say - the 19th century. Much of modern Christianity labors under a view of God which is neither current nor ancient - which derives neither from modern insights to the universe, nor from biblical revelation.
Such a viewpoint may be great for establishing churches and such, but it is not great for coming to a better understanding of our place in the universe, or for making sense out of our religious teachings.
So WHAT is God?
Is he an alien being in space? A deistic watchmaker outside of space and time? A force pervading the universe and binding us all together? A being living in a parallel dimensionality? A cartoonish old man in the clouds?
You tell me.