“It all begins with God — what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves and those around us and our world. It begins with God. What is our “narrative” of God? What are the narratives that hinder our perception and life in God?”
These were the opening words of a blog post I read recently. Thinking about those initial five words, “It all begins with God” stuck with me during some of my other readings and writing. They prompted me in several ways: Whose God, the God of the OT or the NT (and many make a distinction), Jesus as God or God himself, the God of the Bible or the god we hear preached about on Sundays, the Christian god or the pagan god, and so it went.
When I hear people talk about God I want to know what God they are talking about. When I hear people refer to God as a God of love, I wonder how jealousy fits in to that equation or how vengeance or even monotheism fits. I wonder if the God I believe in is simply a product of what I want God to be like or an accurate representation of how God IS according to scripture.
It’s my belief that God is. However, the picture of him as reflected in the Old Testament is often separate from what we see in the NT and I’ll confess I find that hard to reconcile at times. Did God change so that now he is represented through the son and that representation is what God is like now? When Jesus says “you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” does that mean he is equal to God in every way?
The idea of righteousness as described in both testaments has a great deal to do with God. Is righteousness possible as we relate to God? Is it only through Christ that one is righteous and if so, what does that say about those who did not have that medium called Christ? Was the second plan for righteousness better than the original plan?
Yes, “it begins with God.” More than that, it begins with an accurate understanding of God. If we do not understand our “narrative of God” than I suspect a right relationship to him is a misnomer.