The Norman Transcript

Religion

February 27, 2014

Does God resemble us?

NORMAN — The Bible says we are created in God’s image, but how could he be something we resemble?

The Rev. Duke Tufty, Unity Temple On the Plaza: I believe the image of God put forth in religious books is a fabrication from the mind of man. A wise old man with long hair and beard sitting on a throne somewhere in the far off reaches of the clouds is quite a compelling image.

Especially when lightening is coming out of his fingers. What greater image could there be to watch over and protect one when on the battlefield. I don’t believe we were created in the image of God. Quite the opposite. God was created by men in their image because their imaginations could stretch no further.

There is an everywhere present energy or spirit throughout the universe. This spirit is the source of all life and the essence of our being. It provides for our needs. Its only physical manifestation is through that which it has created, yet there is no place where God is not. The closest definition of God that we can arrive at is, “God is it all.”

How does one deepen his or her relationship with God? By deepening his or her relationship with “it all.”

Rabbi Avi Weinstein, Hyman Brand Academy: What is the difference between an image and an essence? The two may be worlds apart, but the image still has a profound connection to the Creator’s essence.

How does this manifest? Are there ways that we truly reflect the essence of the Divine?

Rabbi Yehuda Loew of Prague, a great 16th-century philosopher and mystic, offered a possible explanation. There is a significant distinction between a commandment and an act of loving kindness, which is not obligatory.

We are obliged to tithe our income for the sake of the poor and communal institutions. It’s a lovely thing to do, but it is imposed from scripture. Believers do not have a choice but to do what is required of them.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Religion
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tests of a living faith

    We recently started a study on Wednesday nights of the letter James wrote to the church. This Bible book is a practical guide to Christian living, but more than that, it really forces one to think honestly about their faith. Is your faith ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Which Bible bit is most misinterpreted?

    The Rev. Scott Gordon, Claycomo Baptist Church: Many passages vie for consideration, but the first “bit” that came to mind we find in Matthew 7:1-6 and Romans 2:1-5....

    July 24, 2014

  • CAIR-OK plans day of service

    The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will join Mercy Youth Club and IST Youth at the fourth annual Ramadan Day of Service Saturday....

    July 18, 2014

  • Guest preacher and author to speak

    The Reverend Dr. James White will preach, as well as discuss, his new book, “Brief Christian Histories: Getting a Sense of Our Long Story,” this Sunday at First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster. White will preach at both 8:40 and 10:45 ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Life on earth is a vapor

    The last of the baby boomers turn 50 this year. This generation of Americans, born from 1946-1964, is named after the post-World War II “baby boom.” I am a baby boomer and as one of the “late boomers,” one of the last to turn 50 — ...

    July 17, 2014

  • What does a bird ‘alone on a housetop’ mean

    Reassurance of God’s mercy The Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, Ebenezer A.M.E. Church: This verse, Psalm 102:7, has a notation in the New Living Translation, “A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Hillsboro resident’s first CD will benefit Haiti missions

    When Angie Sawyer's son passed away at age 5 she tried several ways to deal with her grief. But none of them worked, she said, until she turned to God. So to tell her story, she recently recorded her first CD, “On The Right Track.” All ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Anti-bias order creates rift

    In the intensifying debate over religious liberty, President Barack Obama faces pressure from opposite flanks as he prepares to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Is anything really free?

    We have just celebrated the nation’s 238th birthday. We are extremely proud of and attached to freedom. The Founding Fathers wrote into the founding documents practical truths that make those freedoms attainable. I love the fact that they ...

    July 10, 2014