God the assumption

As lent has started, I’ll start my Lenten discipline with a fairly general post about my faith.


Like many people, my faith comes (and goes) in cycles. There are times when I feel a real presence of God – in both good times and bad times. Then there are other times when God is more hypothetical. I’m not really the sort of person who has crises of faith or worries about the absence of God. Instead, the best way to describe the periods when God seems further away is that God becomes an assumption.


What do I mean by God as an assumption? It’s like an academic assumption, that I can engage with the idea of God and talk about God but it’s all based on the assumption rather than conviction of the reality of God. I can think and talk about what God is like, look at passages in the bible, even take part in corporate prayer as part of worship. All about/to this hypothetical God. I think that’s why I’m a big fan of sermons (more on that later!), because I can engage with and relate to their reasoning even if it’s not on an emotional/spiritual level.


Of course, it’s not always like that. There are times, lots of times, when God seems very real. When God is not an assumption but a reality. A loving presence, a guide, many more things. At the moment, I’m probably somewhere closer to this, after a weekend of worship and reflection with SCM.

8 thoughts on “God the assumption

  1. Are we going to get any reflections on “Liberating Gender”? I’d really like to know about the weekend.

  2. Thanks for a really helpful nugget of truth which I too recognise. ‘God as an assumption’ is an excellent observation and one I shall enjoy pondering during Lent.

  3. You’re on to a great way of describing the real experience of faith for very many people. As a “professional” Christian I sometimes worry about how easy it is to operate for quite long periods of time in the “God as an assumption” mode. I’m so thankful when these periods are interrupted by God’s reality breaking through, even though this is quite often linked to times of suffering or crisis.

  4. Congratulations for taking the Blogging plunge. I must say I can relate rather well to the first two posts I have read…. Maybe you will consign my scientist brain and it’s assumptions to the sub-tidal part of the world… I wait to see. Happy blogging!

  5. I often find “God as a construct” quite helpful too, though I’m not sure I can articulate why very intelligently. I think I like “assumption” though, it doesn’t sound quite so heretical!

  6. TG – I’ll try and get on to ‘Liberating Gender’, probably when I talk about my mother. (doesn’t that sounds Freudian…)

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