Thursday, 2 June 2016

Our Own God(s)?

(Quimper Cathedral, interior.)

When Gratillonius, a soldier, admires Christ's manliness, Bishop Corentinus responds:

"'We each of us see our own Christ...'"
-Poul and Karen Anderson, The Dog And The Wolf, Chapter XV, section 5, p. 296.

But that would mean that Christ was not real! We do not each of us see our own Baraka Obama or Donald Trump because those guys exist independently of us. Granted that how we see them is largely down to our own presuppositions but not entirely. If Obama says that he backs the European Union, then my views on the EU do not change what I hear him say. They just affect what I think about it. Christ is reported to have spoken on some issues but not on others. And what did he say? Are the poor blessed, the poor in spirit blessed or both?

When people imagine a deity, do they merely project their own qualities or ideals onto a celestial humanoid form, one like a (son of) man in the heavens? Certainly Rapture bigots confidently expect Christ to be exactly like themselves, sharing their contempt for liberals, infidels etc. More intelligent Christians are less complacent. As Corentinus says, we each see our own Christ.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I fear I have to disagree with Corentinus here, at least in part. I belief Christ to be God and Man regardless of how I and others might "see" Him. But I can see how Gratillonius came to have faith in Him. And I've also thought of how the story of Christ and the centurion would strike a chord in a Roman soldier like Gratillonius.