by Jean-Marie de Bourqueney
Translation Louise Thunin
My Western childhood lulled me with the image of a paternalistic God, or, rather, a grand-paternalistic one. That bearded fellow, seated on his cloud, directing the world with his mighty hands and his authoritative glare, no doubt forged the traditional image of the anthropomorphic God, a mixture of worker, French monarch and Greek deity. Yet how can we believe in this God person who is said to have made the world ? That God is no doubt one of the main sources of atheism, for he evokes the notion of « how. » How did he make the world ? How then do we reconcile scientific proof and Biblical mythology ? In short, how can we believe in him ?
Contrary to this anthropomorphic way of thinking, we can open up another pathway and devise another representation of God : that of an Energy God, rather than a person. Process philosophers and theologians attempt this pathway. For them, God does not have to do with causality (how did he create the world ?) but with finality (what meaning does God give to creation ?). Creation is a big mass of atoms and more or less complex structures that nature has made. Every moment, evoution is going on through successive events. Everything evolves, from a simple stone, at a very slow rhythm, to human life in all its intensity.
In this new framework of understanding, to affirm a creator God is to affirm that each event can have a meaning, « proposed » by this divine energy. Thus a human being is no longer the inevitable consequence of the events of his life but has at her disposal a new quality : the possibility to choose the orientation and the meaning, the sense, in a word, of his life. The creator God then becomes the warrantor of human liberty ! More complex than a mineral or an amoeba, a human being can benefit from this divine erergy of permanent (re)creation. God proposes and man disposes ! We could even call our journal : Creation and Liberty !