I had a great conversation with an old friend last night that is doing some Philosophy at OU. He is one of the few people I know that takes philosophy seriously and maintains a reformed, or calvinistic, theology. It is one of the better conversation I have had in a long time. But, you knew it was coming, one thing jumped out at me that he kept saying that I have a serious issue with. Namely the phrases that start like, "God likes. . ." or "God wants. . ." or any other statement that makes any sort of assertion about God's actual desires/wants/intentions/actions/etc. These kinds of statements make me ill with contempt.
The first reason for this is simply that any statement of this nature is completely unassailable. When someone says, "God told me X" or "God wants X" then the only response to this is, "No He didn't" or "No She doesn't". Beyond this the conversation breaks down completely. It is no wonder that people use these sorts of phrases as ultimate justification for whatever it is that people happen to want to do. If God has indeed said all of the things that are attributed to him, even in scripture, then God is the most capricious of all beings and does not deserve the slightest bit of respect or attention.
The second and more important reason for my contempt of these sorts of phrases is one of epistemological concern. This concern extends to all of the things ever said about God. If God is indeed a spritual being then I am hard pressed to concieve of a way in which God would communicate with us. Not just any way but a way that is clearly understood and applicable. Let's take for example the commonly heard saying that, "God spoke to my heart". This is bull-shit and should never be uttered by anyone. To speak involves the physiological necessity of having vocal chords by which one could create sound waves that enter into an ear canal and are then interpreted by the persons brain in a certain way depending on language, culture, economic standing, emotional state, and many other things. Hearts pump blood, they do not hear anything. Vocal chords require bodies which God cannot have being non-corporeal. I am sympathetic to the Greeks in their idea that God is ultimate rationality because I think this is a conceivable and accessable given our human capabilities. I am not in agreement with the Greeks in this entire agenda, I am simply sympathetic to the attempt.
I am a Christian because I think that Christ, as we see him in the gospel, has the best vision for this world. I am not a Christian because somebody claimed they knew what God wanted or said and now I should be submissive to that agenda. I think that to be a Christian for the reason of submitting to God because someone figured out what God wanted is not only irresponsible but it over-steps the bounds that are conceivably capable by human endeavors.