Evangelicals have a God of Small (and Mundane) Things?

by , under Emerging Church, Theology

Great piece in The Guardian today about trying to get God out of a funeral… and finding that ‘He’ (sic) turns up nonetheless.

She may not have wanted Him at her funeral, but she needed Him. My sister, born in England in 1949, a singer of hymns in her primary school, grew up with Him. She knew that He elevates. God is the man for the big occasion…We are not a religiously observant nation – except when it really counts.

It made me wonder (very quickly) about the place we leave for ‘God’ and whether the following was too broad a generalisation: ‘higher’ churches have emphasised God in the grand and the luminous, while ‘lower’ churches have tended to preach about God in the mundane – the everyday boring stuff of our lives some way below the great rites of passage.

In other words, in its attempt to be ‘relevant’ evangelicalism has reduced God to tinkering with the small things: whether I find a parking space, or what a particular verse might mean. In talking of a personal relationship with God it has become all cuddly, and in doing so it has abandoned something more serious.

 


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  1. acetate monkey

    Interesting thought. Where do you think in that typology would leave Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk, and those inspired by him Practising the Presence of God fit?

  2. Lori

    @acetate monkey – I’ve been asking this same question. Recently heard someone say, “When everything is worship, then nothing is worship (at least in a distinct way).” I think there’s something to this.
    On the other hand, this smacks of such a “high-minded” withdrawal from the gift that is this day, this place – the gift that Jesus gave by taking on flesh.
    If we model our lives on the Incarnation and its inherent valuation of the mundane, how do we simultaneously maintain a view of God as “grand and luminous”?