Originally posted by EILEEN:
I have doubts in a literal, supernatural God, but I do not believe that truth merely lies in the literal. Humans narrate--it's one of the remarkable and beautiful things about us. The stories that we tell are not factual, but they contain truths in the forms of themes, motifs, figures, archetypes, and other marvelous literary devices that I have the great pleasure to ponder regularly in my line of work. We have narrated into a sort of existence the idea of a loving God, an embracing being that creates and relates. While I doubt that there is anything that could ever be called "God matter," I fully appreciate the metaphor of God and the positive possibility that exists in it. The truth of God is not material, not concrete, not literal--if we try to make it so, try to force it to be, we will probably be disappointed. If we accept that the truth of God exists in some other way--intangible, abstract, metaphorical--then I think we've got a shot at optimizing meaningfulness in spiritual/religious experience. I like the idea of reading the world--and I have enough religious impulse in me to regard this as a holy task (I recognize that I bring that meaning to the table, and I like that I do). As I read the world, I can do so by what an early New Testament scholar called "the flesh"--I can even be amazed by the literal! But I will not stop there--I will read the world by the soul and spirit, too--for moral truths and abstract, spiritual, mystical truths. It is work--sometimes it's a difficult struggle, but it's the way that I feel that I can be in the world in a really full way.
So -- in response to your question about how I can give my heart over to a "false claim," the answer is this: While I doubt seriously that there is a literal God (whatever that could mean), I do not believe for a moment that the claim of God is false.