The season of Lent is full of opportunities to go deeper with Christ… deeper in worship, deeper in prayer, deeper in our capacity to recognize the glory of God. It is the last of these I would like to highlight by underscoring how we must not think about God. Toward this end, here are some examples from J.B. Phillips’ classic book, Your God is too Small:
1. The Grand old man God is thought to be old fashioned, one who can’t relate.
2. Meek and Mild Like a sentimental jellyfish. This error reduces the gospel to a hallow platitude of “love,” to the exclusion of any objective truth claims.
3. Resident Policeman An overly sensitive conscience. Mistakes our own cultural values for the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. Constantly live with burden of guilt upon one’s shoulders.
4. Managing director Answers prayers like an operator answering phone calls and gives commands like a supervisor in the workplace – in both instances he is aloof.
5. Perennial grievance God who lets us down… one to whom we go with our protests.
6. Pale Galilean Regards the Christian life as boring and colorless.
7. God on a leash At our beck and call. A manageable deity who is safe and predictable.
Over and against these erroneous conceptions, let us remember what the New Testament says concerning God’s self-disclosure: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:1-3).