“The Experience of God” (Part 4)

Eclectic Orthodoxy

How do we move from knowing god to knowing God? It is a movement, David Hart explains, from power to impotence:

The gods are enfolded within nature and enter human thought at the most exalted expressions of its power; they emerge from the magnificent energy of the physical order. God, however, is first glimpsed within nature’s still greater powerlessness—its transitoriness and contingency and explanatory poverty. He is known or imagined or hoped for as that reality that lies beyond the awful shadow of potential nothingness that falls across all finite things, the gods included. (pp. 94-95)

God is glimpsed, suggests Hart, in a moment of wonderment, of ontological surprise. How is it that that which I see and hear and touch actually exists? From whence did it all come? Whither does it go? How could it be? Why is there something, anything, everything rather than nothing? Hart becomes virtually rhapsodic…

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