Sunday, 20 September 2015

God of the Gaps

Richard Dawkins was very holy this morning. His first thought, as the day dawned, was to pour out praise in the manner of the Psalmist or the author of Job, to God: comparing him to the little, bodgy, cut-and-shut God of the Gaps and asking "what other God is there?"
To which, in the ancient Beaker catechism which he is clearly quoting, the response comes:

There is only God, and that God is not a God of the gaps.
The heavens themselves are too small for God to take as a dwelling
The earth too small to be God's footstool.
What God could fit in anything so small as to be a gap?

Some say what about the fine tuning of the universal constants?
Do not these prove the existence of God, since each is set in its place,
From the beginning of time to prove that God has designed them?

If the constants are as they are, let us seek to know why.
Could they be different? In other universes are they different?
Can we imagine how another world might be if they changed?
But do not look for God here. This is a gap. It is too small.

Others may say - what of before the Big Bang?
What brought it into being?
Who set a singularity in place, that it might fill the void?
Is God not found there?

If there is mystery there, let us unravel it.
Let us do the maths [here Americans may say "math" if they really must]
Let us peek beyond if we can - but do not look for God here.
This is a gap. It is much too small.

Or we may look at consciousness and wonder
Are we touching the presence of the soul?
Is this gift so great it comes from God
Is God not found here?

It is  a gift and a great wonder
So let us understand it, analyse it
Find its biological basis and use it
To understand illnesses and explain behaviour
But do not look for God here.
This is a gap. It is too small.

Let us take metaphor and speak of God
As the one who throws thunderbolts and chucks down hail
Who takes the sky as a coat and shines with the sun's righteousness
Who brings us into the world and breathes life.
If in him we live and move and have our being
Then the whole logic of the universe is the grammar of the Word that spoke it
The meaning of this world is written on the surface of Meaning
And hope is filled with the universal Hope even as the world burns to an end.
Then the Spirit works with our spirits to a hope we cannot dream.
In the end there is no God of the Gaps
Because there are no gaps.

As a matter of fact, it's all Gap.


  1. Brilliant! I must write a service on the God of the Gaps - may I use this liturgy in it?

  2. We used to call a tramp that hung around Bank station "the God of the gap" - no?, I guess you had to be there..


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