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The hiddenness of god

In many ways God reveals Himself to us - through Creation, through Scripture, through Jesus etc.  But many times we can wonder - why doesn't God make Himself more obvious to us?  If God made himself more obvious - wouldn't more people believe in Him?  That is not necessarily so. 

In the story of the Rich man and Lazarus, the rich man begged Abraham to raise Lazarus from death and send him back to warn his brothers.  Abraham replied: 'They have Moses and the Prophets, let them listen to him'.  Then the rich man said ' No father abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'  But Abraham said:  'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'  (Luke 16:27-31)

In a lecture I listened to recently, Dallas Willard said:

'But this current situation (ie our current world) is one in which God is not obvious. And that is because he is interested in the will. And this theme - deus absconditus, to use the Latin; everyone needs a little Latin - is an old one in the history of the church. Because God doesn't overwhelm you. God comes in ways that are gentle. And the reason for that is because, if we - if God didn't hide from us, we couldn't hide from him.

So the basic idea here is that God hides to permit us to hide from him, if we want to. See he's so big, that if he didn't hide, we couldn't hide. So that you may need to think about that some. Now that's why there is a divine conspiracy. A conspiracy is something that is hidden. God does not overwhelm us. He does not jump down our throats. He remains hidden and available to those who seek him.'

What do you think? 

David Wanstall, 22/05/2008