What about the trees? They clap their hands...

"What do I love when I love my God? Not physical beauty, or the splendour of time; not the radiance of earthly light, so pleasant to our eyes; not the sweet melodies of harmony and song; not the fragrant smell of flowers, perfumes, and spices; not manna or honey; not limbs such as the flesh delights to embrace. These are not the things I love when I love my God.

And yet, when I love him, I do indeed love a certain kind of light, a voice, a fragrance, a food, an embrace; but this love takes place in my inner person, where my soul is bathed in light that is not bound by space; when it listens to sound that time never takes away; when it breathes in a fragrance which no breeze carries away; when it tastes food which no eating can diminish; when it clings to an embrace which is not broken by desire fulfilled. This is what I love when I love my God."

(Confessions 10.6)

I must state that there are many things that Augustine was very misguided on. However, I think that these words hold a strong validity. In the book For All God's Worth, by N.T. Wright, he deals with the subject of Christian worship. If the God of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures is the one God and Lord of all creation, then we are surrounded by the signposts that point to him. Can God be known in a fragrance, or a sunset, or a relationship? The Christian answer is, of course, no. However, God makes himself known through physical vehicles such as these. This is most adamently displayed in the physical being of Jesus the Messiah, and in the Christian practice of the Eucharist (the Lord's supper). Paul points to this in his emphasis of the physical body and the physical resurrection. The Christian God is a god who loves the physical world so much that he was willing to die for the sake of the entire cosmos. To rid, once and for all, through His resurrection, this world of the curse of futility and decay.

The signposts are all around us. In music, movies, books, art, science, math, philosophy, the sky, the sun, our relationships, and on and on. This is not a new concept, but it is one that is horribly overlooked today. The Western view of (g)od is that of a "distant, remote being. We can't and don't know very much about this being. He may or may not have made the world, though if we say he did we have an uncomfortable feeling that scientists are going to challenge us (despite people like John Polkinghorne in Cambridge, one of the finest scientists of our generation and also a leading Christian theologian). This god may or may not intervene from time to time in the world, though he usually doesn't. He has, in fact, left us to muddle through as best we can; which usually means looking after our own interests, carving up the world, and perhaps each other, in our own way" (Wright, 26).

We must rediscover the God of the Scriptures if we are to confront and challenge with powerful authority the postmodern Western god who is distant, cold, and harsh. The Christian God is Isaiah's God who "has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance... The nations are like a drop in a bucket, like dust on the scales" (40). He is John's God who "began to wash his disciples feet" (Jn 13:5). He is both Servant and King. He is Ruler and Lover. He is Just and Righteous. He is the only god, who loved His creation so much that he took on the suffering of creation to save it. He is the only god who is GOD, and all the pagan god(s) will be brought to nothing. So look for the signs of Him now in the physical. Because HE IS THERE! And if you don't take my word for it, take these:

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his chambers,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat."

Psalm 19:1-6

deludedgod's picture

I;m not sure what exactly

I;m not sure what exactly your sum point is, but you are talking sense about the notion of God (and I dont even believe in God)

Having studied cognitive neuroscience, I would argue that books, paintings, art, music etc are the product of the same part of the brain that creates the God concept. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.


Books about atheism

cognitive neuroscience and existence

This was actually a blog that I posted on myspace just for Christians to think about. I just thought I would throw it up here also to see if and how anyone would respond. So thank you for taking the time to read it. My ultimate point is that Christianity is about God redeeming the whole physical cosmos. It is a point to debate the mainstream Christian ideas about heaven and spirituality.
I wanted to comment on your response now as well. I do not think that just because the brain has certain functions behind our beliefs and ideas that we assume that our beliefs are false. It also does not mean we assume they are true.