What leads you to a Panentheistic God rather than a traditional anthropomorphic God? Or perhaps I should ask what leads you away from that antrhopomorphic God? If you are a member of a traditional Christian Church, do you even attempt to reconcile the Trinity with panentheism?
If you come at panentheism from the atheist side what makes a Panentheist God more useful than no gods or humanism?
Please note this is not a discussion thread, in the sense of challenging statements. Questions are welcome for clarification, but please respect your fellow members as they try to articulate a relatively new theology.
I guess that for me it was the inability to answer the question, if there was nothing before God, what did God used to create the material world, if not Itself -either as divine thought, word, magic, Big Bang, or whatever. The second question was, if God is everywhere, how could it not be in me? As new discoveries in the field of quantum physics cross my way and the more I read about ancient religions and mystery schools, the more I am convinced about the panenthesit Divinity, in whom I exist, whose divine spark I share, but who is so much more than words can say...
Firstly, I would like to say that panentheism is not a new theology. It has been present as a way of understanding divinity in many belief systems since ancient times.
Having said that, I guess that I have always been a panentheist, but only in the past 10 years did I discover that there was a word for my belief that God is greater than the universe but also exists within me, as soul and consciousness for example.
I was raised in a traditional trinitarian Christian denomation but never quite understood the concept of the Trinity. God the father was an unpleasant tyrant in my view, and Jesus the man-god was raised to such a high place as to seem unreachable, not to mention unrealistic. The only part of the Trinity that spoke to me was the Holy Spirit, and today that is the only part that I still hold on to as deity.
The Holy Spirit is mystery. This aspect of God, from a trinitarian perspective, is Almighty...yet is with us (and within us, I would say). To me, that is panentheism.
After leaving the church I grew up in, I had a very brief (and disingenuous) stint as an atheist - but that did not work for me, because I don't feel that atheism holds enough space open for mystery, wonder and emotion and gives too much space to intelligence and observable, provable facts. Today, as a Unitarian Universalist, I feel very comfortable considering myself a panentheist, and I believe this helps me connect in some way to people of many different stripes, as there will be at least some shred of belief held in common between myself and others. What I mean to say, is that I find panentheism to be a good half-way point between people on opposite ends of the theological spectrum, and I'm happy sitting right here.
Lastly - I don't think that panentheism is exclusive to any particular view. In my opinion, one can hold both panentheism and trinitarianism as valid and true at the same time, as could one hold both panentheism and atheism valid and true at the same time. Panentheism, generally, means that whatever you believe is of greatest import, whether you call that 'god' or 'reality' is both bigger than the sum of us all and present within each of us. I suppose this could mean both an anthropomorphic God and no god at all - or, as for me, a god that is amorphic, mysterious...present within and embosoming all things
Thanks for your thoughtful and useful contribution to the board. Don't be discouraged about lack of participation here. Just look at the views. I bet you see a spike on this thread due to your comments.
As you know panentheism is a do, not talk about, religion.
J'Carlin If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.