It’s a simple question, right, who is God? We often hear these sorts of answer: God is love, God is the creator of the world, God is the lover of our souls. These are all correct statements about God – but who exactly is God? Here is a great line from one of my favorite theologians, Robert Jenson:
“God is whoever raised Jesus from the dead, having before raised Israel from Egypt.”
This line is so genius because it encompasses all of those other statements about God. Sure, God is love, but we know this only because God rescues us from death. Sure, God is the creator, but we know this only because God has mastery over creation in the parting of the Red Sea and in the resurrection of Jesus. Sure, God is the lover of our souls, but we know this only because God has relegated death to the past in the emptying of Jesus’ tomb and the promise of life that extends to us.
Plus, this line speaks to God’s glory and might. In fact, we cannot even utter God’s name for it is passed down to us only as “I am who I am.” Unlike all the other gods that humanity has sought after (Zeus, Molech, Baal, to name a few), God has no name that can pass our lips. In speaking of “God,” we are speaking only of the Divine’s attributes. God is far too “awe-full” for us to know the name.
God is not a whatever, but a whoever…