God as Creator

Thanks Russell for raising this important question. If divine and human creativity are the same thing as you suggest does this mean the idea of God is a product of human imagination and creativity, as Gordon Kaufmann and others explore? In this way humankind explains the mystery of all that exists including human consciousness and imagination. This in no way belittles God because God is at the heart of the mystery of why anything exists at all. However,it places an enormous responsibility on humankind and the theologians among us so that the God we create is worthy of the name and that everything else is relative to God, as Anselm states, “God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived.” For us, as Christians, we have the tradition that God is just, merciful and loving as we have seen preeminently in Jesus.

I think the biblical authors created God, unaware of what they were doing. We can see the evidence for this in the Hebrew Bible as God evolves from a family God, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, to a tribal God (God orders genocide) to the God of justice, righteousness and peace and of the nations. I agree that imagery of God needs to change if it is to have any meaning to the current generations. The idea of God needs to evolve as humankind discovers more about everything, including ourselves, our creativity, imagination and the construction of meaning in our lives.

This idea is not as alien as it may appear. Listening to people talk about God, when they feel free to do so without criticism, it becomes clear that they had constructed their idea of God as a mental image from the words of the Bible, hymns, songs they sing and sermons they have heard, discussions and so forth. They add this to their experience of life. We need up to date images that have meaning and make sense to current generations from which they can construct their God.


Our mission is to the world. So do we do the world any service by talking of God as creator?

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