The God of the Blazing Bush

Jusepe de Ribera painted his Portrait of the Philosopher in the 1630s. See the rough clothes worn by the man uninterested in worldly glory. Note his dog-eared leather book, the ancient wisdom within illuminating his face, distinguishing it from the dark background.

In the early years of Christianity, there was some dispute regarding the relationship between philosophy and the gospel. Were the Greek greats- Socrates, Plato et al, heralds of the gospel, men seeing God through the thick fog of their ignorant times? Thomas Aquinas, for example, was obsessed with Aristotle, using him to demonstrate Catholic dogma. Many of them certainly accepted the existence of the spiritual dimension, even of one great deity. Yet human wisdom can only go so far. Human intellect, though impressive, is unable to reach God and discern more than the basic tenets of truth. The philosopher’s lit face will soon revert to darkness as his pride and ignorance suppress what little light he perceived.

Stop believing in a God of your intellect, whose characteristics you merely imagine, whose dim and spluttering light fills your life. Rather, approach the dazzling glare of the burning bush, meet the God of revelation, the God who has a name, the God who hears the groans of suffering and determines to unleash righteous judgement.

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am. 

Exodus 3:13-14

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay