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Metaphorical gods vs. Reality/God: Part 1
I recently received an email from a woman who came to one of my programs, purchased some of our materials, and later had a few of her family members listen to a recording of a sermon of mine. She wrote:
"I wonder if you can answer a question. I had my son and at another time my son-in-law listen to your presentation and they came to the same conclusion: they both said that you reduced God down to a metaphor. Can you tell me that is not so?"
My response: Yes, this is not so! But the fact that two young men had pretty much the same reaction to my sermon suggests to me that either,
- A. I'm not very good yet at assisting people in distinguishing imaginary gods from the real Creator, or
- B. We as a species have a long way to go before we truly get the difference between trivial and realistic notions of the divine.
My hunch is that both of these are the case.
To make matters even more interesting...
Yesterday I received an email from a man who had read my book, reported that he enjoyed it, and offered the opposite criticism. He suggested that, in my section dealing with evolutionary psychology and evolutionary brain science, I should have spent more time showing...
how 'man' conjured up gods, angels, devils and such. 'Man' developed the idea of god; god did not develop the idea of man."
Both these emails point to the same misperception: the failure to appreciate the difference between the objectively real answer to the question "How did everything come into being?" and anything we might try to say about 'the Creator', or 'Ulitimate Reality', which necessarily will be metaphorical. More on this in my next blog post.