Dennis the Menace and the Mind of God

“It’s more fun changing channels than watching them.” 

I hate to be a menace (no “intention to inflict harm” though maybe “an annoying person”), but I have to side with Dennis.  He’s sitting with a friend on the couch holding the remote, delighting in pushing the buttons to surf from channel to channel.  I know my wife feels I’m a menace when I control the control.  I like to move fast, switching in a flash from 2 to 33 (the highest our tube goes) until something really interesting hits my eye.  Drives her crazy.  I suppose that other than the fact that I’m an info-junky and really enjoy seeing all the possibilities before alighting on something to give more attention, there really isn’t much worthy of the attention.  Ah, do you sense how this relates to religion, faith and theologism?

In college and seminary it was fun–at least our inquiring minds found it so–to dig deeper into “the things of God” dished out by the “great minds”  like Barth, Bultmann, Brunner and other Germanic B’s.  Tillich and Moltmann, Kung, Neibuhr. . .and on and on.  Big Names in God.  As “divinity” students we ate it up and re-gurgitated the “essentials” back to our mostly-liberalized professors who, to their credit, connected most of the god-lingo to the social dimension–fun things like Justice and Human Rights. 

Enough said on that.  Time to switch channels.  Now we see theologists of other religions, performing the same linguistic acrobatics in the realm of spirit. 

Now, let’s switch the tube off and pick up the funnies, the comics, and here’s Dennis with his friend, remote in hand but anything but remote in thought.  “It’s more fun changing channels than watching them,” he snickers.  The tube is a game, entertainment, a great distraction, in and of itself, regardless of what if anything is “worth watching” on the screen.  Look at the box–silent, dark, warm, artificial–a piece of technology glued together by human hands.  Some of those hands quite skillful, innovative; hands connected to people building remarkable inventions for widespread use, entertainment, and sometimes even a bit of education.

What is Theology?  Who are the Theologians/Theologists?   Words skillfully pieced together for. . .entertainment?  Indeed.  Education?  Sure.  Inspiration?  Of course.  Orthodox believing?  No doubt (double entendre there).  To “know the mind of God?”  Oh yes.  Theologians teach “the mind of God.”  Think about that.  Could you teach the thoughts, intentions, words of the Almighty Maker of the Universe?  Sure you could.  Just study God’s Diary, His/Her (privately public) Journal, for a number of years, mastering the holy language:  Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Sanskrit, Chinese. . .any or all of them revealing what the divine really thinks, says, wants, needs.  This is helpful since every student who learns the intimate thoughts of God is then authorized (degreed and ordained) to go out into all the world and pass along the authorized words. . .forever and ever amen.

Dennis?  Dennis, where are you?  We need your thoughtful, playful remote.  Flip some stations; change our view; let’s have fun pushing the buttons and not taking any of the momentary images too seriously.  Wait!  Stop!  Go Back.  What was that?  Was that God?  Is that one of the God Channels?  Oh, sorry, it’s only another channel with one of those “God-Talkers” telling us the Mind of the Maker.  Interesting.  Let’s watch for a few minutes. . .

OK, Dennis.  Hit the button. . .

Better yet, my friend, let’s go outside in the fresh air and see what a menace we can be!



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