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Reading Response#2

Prompt for Genesis
This passage seems very “supernatural theist.” God is literally creating a world that is other than
Godself. But how might a panentheist like Marcus Borg read this passage? How might Borg’s
discussion of “personification” (71) help?
Marcus Borg believes that God is not just “right here” but also “more than just here (P66). In
Genesis, it seems that God creates everything except for itself, but Borg may argue that God is
present within everything. God is out there and meanwhile right here. Therefore, God not only
creates a world but also itself. For Borg, the idea of supernatural theism can be problematic
because it claims to know mechanism for God-world relation. Human language is not sufficient
to name God because it is something beyond (P70). Thus, Genesis can be considered as one of
various human ways to name God. In the discussion of personification, Borg argues that
supernatural theist takes the personification of God literately. In Genesis, when God said, “Let
there be light”, it does not literally mean that God like a personal being orally “speaks”.
Therefore, when we understand that God creates a world, we should not simply see God as an
outsider up in the heaven but something more than literal meaning. As Buechner said, will of
God is not always direct but sometimes hard to decipher (P73).
In the discussion of two concept of God, Borg argues that, from the idea of supernatural theist,
God sometimes intervene and sometimes does not. Thus, it is hard for supernatural theist to
explain why God could intervene to stop horrible events but chooses not to. However, I raise the
same question for panentheism. In panentheism, God is present right here and beyond. Then,
how could God not know these horrible events? Did God witness all these events happen and
choose not to do anything? Or according to Borg’s discussion of personification, these events are
not direct will of God, and it takes time to understand God’s true meaning.