so what do you want then?
October 29, 2008
Been thinking about experiencing God recently. First things first: The best book I’ve read on this ever was Jesus Today by Albert Nolan, so go read it. Yes, God is just a word, and yes, other words could also refer to the reality which we generally call God. But the tradition behind using the word God (theos for Greek, a bit more complex for Hebrew) holds a lot of richness which we might loose if we rather opt for a different word.
So, back to experiencing God. What do we mean with this? Is it not to be aware of the presence of God on more-than-rational level? We expect experiencing God to refer to what we call divine intervention usually links with our senses (I heard God speak, almost audibly; I saw the face of God, almost visibly; I felt God touch me, physically).
It was a visit to a mental hospital which possibly first got me to wonder about the strong emphasis we tend to place on these kinds of experiences. Face it, it really sometimes look quite similar to what we saw in the mental hospital. Hearing voices and seeing faces. It looks quite similar to the Jonathan Edward’s and Marietha Theunisen’s. Maybe we really need to listen more to those who talk about experiencing trancendence (God) in art and music, in beauty and nature, and stop putting this on a kind of “second level” to those who talk about “supernatural experiences”.