So clearly there are a ton of biblical texts, the most famous being the second commandment against Idols. So given what we know about the nature of our brains today, I have a serious question:
Is belief in God an idol carved out of neurons in between your ears? John Calvin has a famous definition of faith. It starts off:
Faith is ultimately a firm and certain knowledge..
If we have a "firm and certain" belief in God, this constitutes a series of connection in our brain and cannot possibly capture the totality of the infinite divine mystery. If we carve out boundaries between what is and is not God, are we essentially carving out an idol in our brain? Is it hubris to think that we can find certainty on such a topic?
I frequently think of Psalm 139:17-18
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.
(interesting side, that "you" at the end is a feminine second person pronoun in the Hebrew... pointing at God while in the previous verse it is masculine. I often think if these kind of moves in the text are the author trying to break your conception of God by switching up the gender used to refer to God).
So if any belief we can form and articulate is an idol crafted in neurons between our ears, then isn't it appropriate to always refrain from maintaining or expressing belief in God? I mean, never allowing yourself to believe. This is not a call to anti-theism or anti-christian atheism.
This does not mean, to me, to stop being Christian, but to transform what that means from something based in idolatrous belief. Should we stop "worshiping God" (which is always our conception of God)? Since our bible translations ignore the tetragrammaton, we miss out on the action of non-idolatry that Jewish readers achieve when they say "adonai" (Lord) whenever reading the name of God. By just replacing this with LORD in all our translations, we miss the ACT of non-formation of the concept.
It seems to me that we have a ton of denominations running around with their own set of beliefs about God that constitute an array of idols.
It seems that the statement "God exists" is somehow broken. Isn't God the source for existence? But that statement seems broken too... Isn't God the source of the concept of source? God is not the source. God does not exist. But this in no way refutes Gods. Isn't God the basis in which refutations can occur? Or is God just some thing within and defined by all these concepts? If so, then doesn't source/exist/refute all pre-exist or co-exist with God? If God is founded upon these concepts, then what are those things founded upon?
I'm getting that feeling about the grains of sand from Psalm 139. There is something righteously Christian in non-belief as I see it.
I know this could seem inflammatory, but I think this is a very important question and I'd like to work through some serious thoughts on it. I hope I have made clear my care for the topic and that responses will be framed in that care.