How does one make sense of large scale suffering, like that of global disasters, Auschwitz, or even cyclical poverty? Is that God’s not-so-fine handiwork?

This TED Talk by Rev. Tom Honey, introduces a different idea about God that is well-known in intellectual theological circles, but not so well known outside of this.

Rev. Honey challenges the traditional conception of God as a “male boss”… a “celestial controller, a rule maker, a policeman in the sky who orders everything, and causes everything to happen.”


Honey poses some interesting questions:

  • Is God “‘The wind and waves obey Him.’ Do they?”  … “Is God in control?” … “if God can or will do these things — intervene to change the flow of events — then surely he could have stopped the tsunami.”???
  • Does God demand loyalty, like any medieval tyrant?  A God who looks after His own, so that Christians are OK, while everyone else perishes? A cosmic us and them, and a God who is guilty of the worst kind of favoritism?… Such a God would be morally inferior to the highest ideals of humanity.”
  • “But what if God doesn’t act? What if God doesn’t do things at all? What if God is in things? The loving soul of the universe. An in-dwelling compassionate presence, underpinning and sustaining all things. What if God is in things? … In presence and in absence. In simplicity and complexity. In change and development and growth.”
  • “Isn’t it ironic that Christians who claim to believe in an infinite, unknowable being then tie God down in closed systems and rigid doctrines?” Could ‘I don’t know’ “be the most profoundly religious statement of all”?

I think this notion of God is sweet like honey 😉