God Ain’t The Dude’s Rug

Here’s a quote I culled from a post by a Catholic blogger trying to figure out how he is a Catholic (HT: Andrew Sullivan):

“My current crisis extends beyond my holding hands with uncertainty. While I’ve not given up on religion in general or Catholicism in particular, I have said farewell to a specific conception of God, namely God as explanation, and in so doing have joined hands with the atheists and agnostics, if not for the whole of life’s journey, at least for a section of the walk. To clarify, I continue to call God creator and savior, but for me God is not the solution to riddle or a formula. God’s not an answer to scientific inquiry or the end result of metaphysical speculation. God is wholly other than all these lines of human reasoning, all these constructions fashioned to explain the world. My need for God is not the need of a student seeking to explain a mathematical theorem, or the need of an ethicist looking for a basis for good behavior, or someone searching for the last piece to a grand puzzle. The divine isn’t the intellectual rope that ties the whole system together. God ain’t the Dude’s rug.”

I’m really deeply ambivalent about this. On the one hand, it seems like any kind of worthwhile deity must be the underpinning of all other reality, the ground of being or whatever you want to say. But on the other hand, I think that Cupp touches on our tendency to make God into a nice little part of own man-made systems. It’s useful to remind ourselves that our systems of philosophy or theology, no matter how God-honouring one may attempt to make them, are at best merely as icons pointing to God, if we venerate the icons, demand that God be more like the icons, then they are idols.