Reconstructing Faith: Who or What Is God Anyway?

What do we mean by “God” and why does it matter?

Eric Sentell
Backyard Church
Published in
5 min readJun 18, 2024

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Photo by Calvin Craig on Unsplash

What does your “mind’s eye” see when you read the word “God”?

Most people think of an old man with a flowing white beard and rippling muscles that Chris Hemsworth would envy. That’s how Michelangelo depicted God in the most famous panel of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Our mental image of God matters for our faith. Some conceptions of God limit Him, and science can upend those ideas and the faiths built on them.

Other views of God expand our thinking about the divine and enable fresh faith in the face of challenges.

God and the Universe

What do we mean by “God” when we talk about the creator of an unimaginably massive, mysterious universe?

Pete Enns addresses the question in his theological memoir, “Curveball”:

The cosmos is incomprehensibly large and largely empty, and inside this cosmos are incomprehensibly large galaxies that are incomprehensibly far apart from each other, and each one contains an incomprehensible number of stars. So here is my point: this information stuns me into silence when I try to ‘explain’ God to myself. … What do I even mean by ‘God’ and where — or what — God ‘is’?

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