A theologian reacts.

What’s a theologian? Someone quipped that a theologian studies anyone with the name “Theo” in it like “Theodore” or “Theophilus.” The guy was right about studying but wrong about the subject. A theologian studies whatever can be studied about “theos,” God.

Well, all reality–virtual, artificial, actual–can be theologically addressed and processed in reference to God. Whatever he is, whatever that is, there’s nothing that is not theological. Like in the movies, right? We are watching the shapers of culture, virtues, and verbiage–those makers of language. Right now in tragic comedy or comedic tragedy, in love and thunder.

At the 21st century, the third decade, we’re trying to live without reference to God and he keeps sneaking into our conscience, in imagination, fantasy and creation from earth to space and cosmic spanning fantasy, sci-fi, and in circumstances which we pursue inner peace. The problem is that the theological deficiency of the movie should not take over us. That God seems distant and calloused and selfish. I sympathize with God’s reaction. That kind of God needs to die. He is worthy of death. Let’s kill him.

However, I want you to consider a fallacy in which we may fall. It’s called logic: tactic one, the You Too fallacy. It is possible that in the movie we blame him because we are just that way in retort. Yes, we are distant from him, so we accuse him of being distant from us. Like in prayer, we want him to act the way we want and timing and guess what? He does not do that. And therefore, we accuse him of being distant.

Or, we’re angry with him for that lack of response. Our failed attempts to get him to perform shows that he’s angry with us. We blame him for not relating to us in the way we want him to relate to us when he wants us to relate to him in the way he wants us to relate to him.

Now what about God’s callousness? He’s not only distant and selfish, he seems uncaring, apathetic toward our needs. And since we are selfish to the core, we charge him with selfishness. He seems to be using us for his own egotistical and hedonistic needs.

You see, my friend, your heart is not only a god factory–creating, manufacturing gods for your purposes of whatever ways you want in whatever forms you want–but a god butchery: you kill God for not performing the ways you want him to perform for the reasons you created him.

Instead, what if God was not distant? What if indeed there was a God who is always present? Who reaches out to us across the essential distance. He is infinite and finite across the mortal distance. Beyond our lostness, he looks at us and says I want to rescue you. Can that actually distant God be present to us? This patently callous God come down to us tiny creatures? This seemingly selfish God save us from our anger toward him and his anger toward us?

I’ve got good news for you. There’s one such person. I’d like to point you to a phrase in the English language, which is both a given name and a nickname. It’s the phrase “God with us.” God with us, across the distance, caring for us, unselfishly, because he loved us. That’s the name which was given to Jesus.

He appeased the anger of God against the human race when we clenched our fists and practiced the You Too fallacy. We suppressed what we knew about God in our god factories, in our god butcheries.

Here is the theological reaction: this God cared for you, gave himself up for you, he sent his only Son for you, so we can have eternal salvation.

In a reversal, the sad twist, even this God was killed by us; he died at human hands. But fortunately, not in sci-fi, fantasy Marvel but in historical time [and] geographical space. He rose from the dead to show us that God loved us and that we can love him and that we can love our neighbor as we love ourselves.