God is nothing, ... a strong statement. Now hold your reaction, and let me first lead off on two related developments.
First is "New Secularism" (sorry about that, another big word!). Along with its close cousin of "New Atheism", this is building a militant anti-faith attitude that pervades our society while failing even its implied principle of tolerate everything but intolerance.
Second is the increasing sense that "Christianity is either degenerating into a pathetic version of itself or, more significantly, Christianity is actively being colonized and displaced by quite a different religious faith". This essay captures it nicely, despite it's headline tending to hyperbole.
OK, so with the stage so set, let me return to my opener and complete it:
"God is nothing, if God is not definitive."
Think about that for a moment. It's a basic logical statement. God, by the popular definition and common use of the word, is perfect, complete, flawless, all knowing, all powerful, and beyond and above our universe. Something that is perfect is, by definition, definitive! If God is not definitive, he's not God.
It's hard to think of anything that's actually perfect. The closest I know to perfection is the object recently created as a potential new standard definition of a kilogram; a near perfect sphere of silicon. And note, its "near perfect", they are trying to reach perfection in order to define a standard. If it's not perfect, it cannot be a definitive reference.
So God, by definition, is definitive. And that also means unchanging, because if you change perfection, you no longer have a definition, you only have an approximation.
Yet this world, this culture, this post-modern and post-Christian society seems hell-bent (excuse the pun) on reducing God to an approximate definition. The purpose is, of course, to make space for our deviancies.
Our Christian culture is not inclined to talk about a perfect definition for fear we may offend someone.
We want to say "Oh, murder is wrong", "love is right", and "in between its all gray". But we really, really don't want to say where the boundaries are. Now I agree, some boundaries are fuzzy. I'm also passionate that we need to be compassionate; that we need to treat everyone with love, with sensitivity, and without (our) judgment, and be what we need to be to reach all for Christ.
But we run this one huge and massive risk; by not showing the sharp edge of God's definitiveness, we also tacitly endorse imperfection as acceptable. We become complicit in the secularization of Christianity, in turning its definitiveness into a muddy dilution that hides God's holiness behind a cover -- every time that we go silent and back away from a situation where we see the acceptance of compromising God's definition.
Its all very understandable, because if we're definitive then people think we're trying to make the definition in order to be their superior ... they think that because that's actually what everyone tries to do. We all want to be the definer of right and wrong. But by definition, God is the definer despite what I think about it.
So, if Christians keep silent about what God's perfection is when it comes to things like recreational sex, hedonistic materialism, late term abortion, or our pervasive apathies that abuse the poor, then we are tacitly endorsing all these as being ok. We convey a message of a pathetic version of an imperfect definition as being normal, that all this is part of the grand new Christianity for a new age.
And I fully understand this. I do it too. Because I am scared of hurting people, alienating people, and being seen to judge people.
Yet strangely, I'm also willing to be very definitive in so many other contexts. You say "climate change is a hoax" and I'll jump all over you for your contribution to unethical multi-generational consequences. But when you say "recreational sex is ok" then the chances are I'll duck behind some nonsensical muttering.
And this pervades all our "modern Christianity"; you say "I'm a loyal and faithful Christian and all religions lead to God", but the church pretends not to hear.
God wields a two edged sword; perfect love (which we are all so passionate about emphasizing) and perfect justice (which we all energetically run away from). It cleaves perfection from mud and defines the edges. It does not purposely destroy, but draws a line between the perfect and imperfect; it says "this is God-nature, and that is not."
Can I stand back and in the same breath say the sky is red, up is down, and I'm a Christian? And a more difficult question: when do I speak up about the real boundaries, and when do I keep silent?
UPDATE: Now also go and read this essay.