Tradition Part II

Reactions to my last post in various forums have been interesting. Mostly the assumption has been that I was making a point about the English language and approporaite grammar. My metaphor was obviously a little too subtle. Someone who responded to my thoughts made the comment that as god was a name applied to "the being" God it is appropriate to give him/her a capital. They went on to say "what is the big deal?" and "that's an easy one." I offered the following reflection in response:

Your thoughts and question have helped me reflect more on my own thoughts, which - as always - is a gift. Thank you.

Maybe I can use your thoughts, without undermining them in any way, to offer a little more of the backgound to my thoughts.

a) In your comments you refer to 'proper names,''there is God,''out of respect' and 'Him (Her).'

b) The view that these terms reflect (and don't in any way hear me say this is wrong, as that would defeat my argument) is a theistic view of god. It expresses an understanding of god as "a being" Not "being" in a broader sense but "a being" as I might look at you, another person, and understand the term "being."

c) Taking that view of god - a personification of god - means that I can give god a name "God" - that that name is a proper noun and that according to the rules of English, should hence be capitalised.

d) Under these views and assumptions, the answer is, as you say "an easy one."


f) I increasingly speak to people who are energised by the mystery behind Christian faith but who seek a broader definition of "being" or think of God beyond any definition of "being" and are reluctant to apply personifications.

g) So this "capital g/small g" thing is not so much a reflection on capitalisation at all as it is a metaphor (a very bad one, I am sure).

h) Hence what I am concerned about is the argument that takes place like this:

"God is a being named God" (the capital G person)

"I am not sure I see it that way" (the small g person)

"But it just is that way. Our faith demands it"

....and so on....

As such we can become definitive about something which is a mystery. Our finger pointing to the moon becomes our moon .....and our field of vision becomes a little narrower.

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