“I think, therefore I’m an atheist!”
As I read the bumper sticker, I smiled. Not because I’d missed the inference. But it got me thinking…
In a strange way, I tended to agree… in part. If one’s apprehension of God is dependent upon one’s capacity to think, then no matter how high and lofty your thoughts may be, you’ll always end up with a god made in your own image. The Greeks long ago discovered the folly of this.
It’s the problem of finitude. We are finite beings trying to conceive the infinite. God – by definition – must surpass the limits of our imaginations, the breadth of our experience and the depth of our reason. God is the one being who by definition defies definition. Once you’ve captured him, you’ve lost him.
I’m not saying God has no appeal to our sensibilities. Indeed, thinking about him (theology) is a sheer delight. Trying to do so exhaustively though – is well – exhausting. If I were dependent upon reason alone to apprehend God, I might join that befuddled group called agnostics who resign themselves to the fact that we simply cannot know with any certainty. But to go further and say with absolute certainty that there is no God, that would require one to reach beyond the realm of empirical evidence available to us and step out in faith.
In that regard, perhaps Christians and atheists share more in common than we generally acknowledge. That band of Christians called the mystics remind us that mystery is to be embraced. Belief is the path to the gate of faith and mystery the “welcome” mat.
So there I was thinking about all these things, yet still a theist.