When studying Theology, Christian theology in particular, the professors teach that there are a couple of prerequisite thoughts. First, God exists. Second, God has chosen to reveal himself to his creation. Third, humans (his creation) can apprehend this (his) revelation.
The professor mentioned that he uses “apprehend” because “comprehend” could be interpreted to mean fully understand the revelation, and that’s just not the case. We are incapable of fully understanding God, he says. He then mentioned he isn’t in love with “apprehend” and is open to suggestions.
My suggestion? “Conceive”. A necessary component of theology, then, is that humans are able to “conceive” of God’s self-revelation to them.
I like this word because it acknowledges that humans are the ones who create the concept of God. Some may fear admitting that humans “create” God, but I stick with St. Anselm whose irritating ontological proof of God goes something like this: “Things exist in one of two realities. Things are ideas or things exist. If God is the most powerful Being, then a God that exists is necessarily more powerful than a God that is just an idea. Therefore, God exists.”
So you heathens have before you two options. Given that you are aware of the concept of “God” or an “ultimate reality” of sorts, you have to choose between two options. One option is that God is an idea conceived by humans bent on deceptively obtaining power over other humans; the other option is that God is an idea conceived by humans because God, in fact, exists and seeks relationship with his creation–in other words, God wasn’t conceived by humans but revealed himself to his creation.
For me, the “created for deceptively obtaining power” conception of God is a little too “black helicopter/Illuminati”. I’ve been a part of some very well-funded, very intelligent organizations and the simple fact is we’re all just people making our way along the journey of life. Nobody is secretly controlling shit. Who has time for that?
Ergo, God–or an ultimate reality if you’re anti-the-word-God–exists.
The next question is, “What is his character?”