Magazine article Tikkun

The Gap God Opens

Magazine article Tikkun

The Gap God Opens

Article excerpt

GOD AS A HIGHEST BEING- A STEADY HAND AT THE WHEEL of the universe, ordering all things to good purpose, the spanning providential eye o'erseeing all- has had a good run. But in our postmodern condition we acknowledge the instability of traditional foundations, the ambiguities of the old absolutes, the complexity of endlessly linking systems without closure (the "Internet" is very postmodern). The world is neither a neat, divinely run cosmos nor pure chaos, but rather what James Joyce called so prophetically "chaosmos," a dance of probabilities sometimes producing improbable results.

That fits with biblical creation: in the beginning, at the time God was creating the world, the elements were already there, as old as God. The Bible begins with a "B" (bet, bereshit), not an A (aleph). The first is already invaded by the second (just as "deconstruction" would predict). The biblical elements were too feminine for the later ex nihilo theologians, who preferred a show of divine testosterone. The creator had to do the best he could with what he had to work with, then hope for the best, like the rest of us. Faith is not a safe harbor, but risky business. God is not a warranty for a well-run world, but the name of a promise, an unkept promise, where every promise is also a risk, a flicker of hope on a suffering planet.

I do not believe in the existence of God, but in God's insistence. I do not say God "exists," but that God calls, God calls upon us, like an unwelcome interruption, a quiet but insistent solicitation, which may or may not come true. …

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