Stanley Hauerwas (Duke University) has written a fine article on who God is – or the limits by which we know Him as Christians. I studied under Hauerwas when I was a grad student at Duke and have often found him clarifying on things that should be clear (but often are not). In the article he quotes the Lutheran Theologian Robert Jensen who is also an acquaintance and a theologian of substance.
It is all too common that our culture uses the word “God” and thinks it knows what it means. Hauerwas does an excellent job of demonstrating what that name means for Christians and how it should be used carefully. There are many “gods” within our culture, all referred to be the same name. Christians only believe in one of them – the God manifest to us in Jesus Christ. This is not the same thing as the “God of my understanding,” much less the “God of the philosophers.” To know the one true God as He has truly made Himself known, is to be changed. He is a God who saves me – I do not save Him. His name is not a place-marker for certain cultural values – such gods are but mere idols.
O God make speed to save us, O Lord make haste to help us!
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