Who? What? Where?


With apologies to Barry @Another Spectrum, I “stole” the following quote from one of his blog posts. Apparently, it was a statement made in December 2021 by the pastor (Rev. Dawn Hutchings) of a New Zealand church.

When God is no longer a person up there in the sky, where is God? When God is no longer personified in ways which can be controlled and manipulated by the powerful, who is God? When we stop creating images of God which are mere projections of ourselves, what is God?

Of course, Barry shared personal commentary related to this quote on his own blog, but I saw the words from a much different perspective (most likely even different than the pastor intended) and decided to share my own point of view.

Let’s take it question by question:

  • Where is God? It’s a common perception among Christians that their revered entity lives somewhere “up there.” Yet Pastor Dawn seems to ask … what if this is not the case? Where, then, would one find God? Believers will inevitably answer that God lives “in their hearts,” but is this not a cop-out? If God is as powerful as legend persists, one can’t help but wonder why “he” chooses to stay hidden within the human body?
  • Who is God? This is a great question … and one that has never been satisfactorily answered. Many have tried to personify God in an effort to explain his identity, but since there is essentially no agreement on characteristics, an acceptable-by-all response has never been formulated. And of course, God doesn’t provide much descriptive assistance.
  • What is God? As Pastor Dawn (and the bible) notes, humans were created in God’s image. Wouldn’t that inherently mean that God is nothing more than a metaphysical version of us? And if this is so, is it not reasonable to expect “him” to act and respond in ways in which humans are familiar? Or, as the pastor asks, in ways that are projections of ourselves? Yet many are not content with this perspective and instead prefer to formulate a supernatural being with non-definable powers and “out-of-this-world” qualities.

So, from my perspective, the Who, What, and Where questions as related to God remain unanswered. Perhaps someone reading this post can provide some insight — preferably outside of the popular constructs?

59 thoughts on “Who? What? Where?

  1. I’ll take a stab and try to think what the religious might believe, even though I’m not. This is probably not what you want, but…

    As to where…I’d think not a thing that looks like a person, but more an ethereal force field made up of the basic elements in the universe(s)..not a specific gender of even a form made of matter..more like energy, that is everywhere in a sense.

    The “who” is sorta the same thing…this force that can self create and then create more..

    The “what” is sort of like the “who.”

    The real question, to me, is the “why.” Why did this force self create and then create other things or are they the same? And either way, why? Amusement, loneliness (that seems too human to me), curiosity of the possibilities that might come up, boredom(again too human) or simply once a force(for lack of a better word) self creates, the process just keeps going without really a “why”, as it’s just mechanical; it just multiplies on and on ad infinitum.

    Where the logic fails, is why this force would become personal for only one infinitely tiny obscure little planet out of zagillions of others? Religious people have scaled something that might be infinitely huge, down to an image of a fatherly type, complete with robe and cane, taking care of his flock, like sheep..

    Makes no sense…

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Where… On someones toast. I’ve seen him on a pack of rolling papers. Plaster. Pancakes. A cheese pizza. Occaisionally found in cloud formations. People who believe find them everywhere. Sometimes people rolling a doobie see him on the rolling paper case. (Zig Zag.)

    Who… Apparently the who god is, is one evil S.O.B. at least from I’ve read in the autobiography or biography, depending on how you look at it. Otherwise known as the babble.

    What… God is that place in our heads, where simple people who simply cannot fathom science based reality, put everything they can’t understand. Then they try to convince everyone else they are right.

    Sorry Nan. I just don’t have any good answers. 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I’ll offer my own learn-ned insights Nan having attended 3.5 years Seminary and 11-yrs within the popular Evangelical-Fundamental Protestant Movement in America as a deacon, missionary (of 6-yrs), and Director of our Singles Ministry:

    Where is God? — lost in the Bronze Age.

    Who is God? — Depends on who you ask. Their definitions or descriptions are all different and NOT unanimously aligned in Christendom.

    What is God? — Humanity’s imaginary friend and a Friend that suites their own preferences. It isn’t up to God who He/She/It is or wants to be. 😉

    Liked by 7 people

  4. That the ground of being is some kind of entity is a fundamental mistake. There may be something underneath it all but it is not a being, it IS being. It is the way things grow or become—no-thing knows how it is done or that it is doing it. Like, how you grow your hair or heal a cut. You just do it never knowing how. This is god, if there is such a thing, which I just explained is not a thing.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. IMHO, each and EVERY religion is man-invented and therefore has no credibility or validity as a basis for proclaiming “Who? What? Where? God?” is. Perhaps the late French author Jules Renard nailed it down most deductively in the fewest words:”God does not believe in our God.’

    Liked by 7 people

    • This is not fair, Nan. You have given us the task of providing the who, what, and where of a non-entity, proving a negative, as it were.

      Most philosophers having their early education in religion, conclude that the only true reasoning is that which concludes that God or gods exist. Mostly, they mean the Christian God of the papacy.

      Descartes declared himself a thinking machine but finally admitted (probably so the church would allow him to publish his writing) that all his or any other person’s reasoning was false if they did not end with the god being. The point is that God or gods are the product of man’s thinking. They could not comprehend God if He Himself did not put that notion into their minds. Every civilization, it seems, has created its gods to suit their own understanding, and that in itself rules out the likelihood that anyone has ‘the true god.” However, I look at the images of the JWST, at the innumerable galaxies in the universe, and I cannot help but wonder how many civilizations may be out there, and if any of them have their own gods, also.

      Cogito, ergo Deus. Really?

      Who, what, where? I refer you to Mary’s comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Even the ‘believers’ have no answers.
    It’s man-made nonsense and those who adhere to such garbage are simply trying to find a way to justify their terminal, self-inflicted ignorance…. or stupidity?
    Worse, they love to include bullshit terms such as spirituality and other ‘Woo’ words.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Exactly..the “woo” is almost as bad. All this is an ultimate drive or need to feel there is more. An afterlife of some sort, be it heaven and hell, for the rest of the poor slobs who didn’t believe quite correctly or some ongoing consciousness spiritually cosmic mind physics BS. Bottom line it’s fear of death and non existence.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. It’s interesting to look at how the answers to those questions have changed over time.

    Where is god? God used to live “over there somewhere”. Up on top of a mountain. But then someone climbed the mountain and he wasn’t there. Or down in that cave, or he wasn’t actually there either. So they’ve had to come up with ever increasingly esoteric concepts to try to explain the fact that no one could actually find him/them.

    Who is god? That answer has changed greatly over time as well. Gods were pretty much like us, but with super powers. Think, oh, Superman but with a wicked temper and unbridled lust. That concept has changed over time, but for some reason, some how, god has still retained the worst of human traits – greed, angry, vengeance, jealousy, unbridled ego.

    We’re asking the wrong questions, really. We shouldn’t be asking who, what or why god is. We should be asking why we have so few friends that we have to come up with imaginary playmates to talk to like a lonely three year old

    Liked by 5 people

  8. The first two questions do not interest me. And the third needs to be expanded on, in my mind. As in, WHY does a perfect being not only need but demand to be worshipped? A perfect being would by definition have everything it needs or wants wi5hin itself, and therefore would demand nothing more of anyone else.
    Being as the Biblical God “demands” to be worshipped He proves He does not exist — which most of us that read your blog already know. Which is why the Who and Where questions do not interest me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • just like North Korea, the Religion of Slaves is For Our Own Good, dontcha know? And maybe that does reflect an inherent need for many/most/all human beings to obey, to worship. just look at the tearful protestations of Belief in Donald Trump. it is not nteredting thst trumpalos and Evangelicals are often overlapping classes.


      • Evangelical MAGAts are not a bit of a surprise. God and Trump are pretty much identical, requiring constant worship while being unworthy of anyone’s praise. And neither one being the god/person they purport to be…

        Liked by 1 person

        • that’s what is so shocking/hypocritical/weird about Evangelical MAGAs. Trump is utterly irreligious. The New York landlord/slumlord silver spoon son of a New York landlord. yet he is somehow the icon, the voice, of lower middle class/working class often Southern and midwestern America. of course….as tiledb would remind us…that is partly because the Victimhood Olympics modern left is so crazy in its own way.

          but seriously, how do you see God. How do you answer Ban’s original question, with Trump?


        • Trumpelstiltorangeskin is at least real in the sense he visually exists. People can see and hear him. And they look only at the surface, even as they look at their God. A deep dive into either one of them reveals numerous problems, so they are both made for people who see what they want to see. People tell me Trump is very charismatic. I don’t see it, but he has been conning people since he was a teenager, so obviously I am fortunately blind to his charms. Where Trump comes from is a protected priveleged upbringing, which I think a lot of his followers are jealous of. They worship the ground he walks upon because he gives his middle finger to the Democrat establishment, which is what many people wish they could do. Why they want to do this I do not understand. They should be thrusting those fingers up the noses of the Republicans, but somehow Trump and company have convinced them that the Repughs are the good guys when they are really the bad guys. The Repughs lie their heads off. Somehow that makes them respectable. Go figger!

          Liked by 2 people

  9. “I am ashamed to have been created in your image!” Job

    I’m somewhat surprised but then again, it’s New Zealand, a civilized part of the world: a “pastor” who knows that mere Man cannot know, cannot claim to know, cannot speak the mind of god. Is taking the lord’s name in vain.

    I am sure she appreciates that …

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I was raised Roman Catholic & I was NEVER told that God was “up there”. I mean, NEVER. I was told that God was everywhere, most importantly, in our hearts & our souls. I don’t know where the idea of God “up there” came from but it was probably from the Protestant literal reading of the Bible, which the Catholics do not do (or aren’t supposed to do). I know that there is a lot of artwork that shows God & Jesus & the Holy Mother & all the angels hanging out on clouds but this is ART, which is METAPHOR … not the real thing. Of course ordinary people being as stupid as they are can’t understand metaphor (like the metaphors in the Bible) but that’s the way it is. God is everywhere, s/he is all around us, within & without us, imminent & transcendent. We are, in fact, the face of God, all of us. God is everywhere we look, every blade of grass, every flower, every rock, every piece of shit, every cloud, rain, snow, sleet, sunshine, cats, dogs, horses, cows, snakes, mosquitoes, every fucking thing. It isn’t hard to get once you get it.


  11. The where- in our hearts is a good answer. In fact, it is the best answer. That is, if gods are created by us. They would not be anywhere else.
    The who and what can be treated together- and it would be indefinite. Since we create gods, the what we create us indeterminate especially given we use our imagination to create. And there is no limit to the products of our imagination.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. God? Who and What: God is an imaginary personage similar to Santa Claus, but unlike Santa, no one really knows what God looks like. Where? God exists in the same place as Santa Claus. It is the truly delusional who believe that their God “exists” outside of their imagination. GROG

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Part of a little something I wrote some time ago, There are no “gods”, only fairy tales.

    Fantasies to explain away the dark, justify sex with young children, and profit. You really don’t think the witch doctor really believes that tossing a virgin in a volcano will make it rain, do you? Nooo… tossing a virgin in a volcano keeps him in his cushy witch doctor gig, with the additional perk of spending a few quality end of life hours with the virgin – what…!? you thought the virgin, stoned to the bone on Ambien, Prozac, and Viagra and smiling all the way to the bottom, was still a virgin when the witch doctor tossed ‘em in? I’ve got some property to sell. Ocean-front. Cheap. Cash only, in small bills please. You’ll love Idaho!

    Recalling that in all legend lay a kernel of fact, reading the fabrications koran, bible, and torah in larger, historical context with other fabrications lain down in stone it is in fact quite easy to afford “Intelligent Design” a measure of credibility. When chariots with wheels of fire flitting about, vast arks propelling the seeds of life across vast empty spaces, and fathers asking of their wives “be this my son, or that of a “giant?” are lain aside the physical record it isn’t all that far fetched to supposit that at some point in the past half-million years extra-terrestrial travelers – for whatever reason: pure science, sheer boredom, desperate survival, or profit – genetically interfered with the development of the proto-humans they found roaming the savannahs of Northern and Western Africa. Not only are we but fleas agitating the hide of a far greater organism, but some bastard’s abandoned science project, if not cattle (or pigs, as it may be), as well. Wrap the twelve percent of your brain you use around that.

    This notion that the bastard is going to come back and rescue us …

    Far the more likely thousands upon thousands of cavernous spacecraft, vast slaughterhouses piloted by ravenous vaguely reptilian creatures, replete with horns and folked tail, intent not as benevolent overseers of the demise of this world and our current iteration in human evolution and our children’s evolution onto the next iteration of humanity but as ravenous reptilian creatures… you know, hungry lizards.

    We did, afterall, invite them to “Come Eat!”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I was raised Roman Catholic & even though the first prayer I learned was the “Our Father” (who art in heaven), I was expressly told that God is everywhere. Not up in the sky. He is most importantly, in our hearts.

    Now I pray “Our Mother who is everywhere”. I like that better.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pastor Dawn was the Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church; a small progressive Christian community just north of Toronto in the town of Newmarket. She retired at the end of 2021, and she’s Canadian. You might want to correct that.

    My take on religion is that religiosity/spirituality is a result of human evolution into a social animal. It had a social cohesiveness that proved to be advantageous. I don’t think that “instinct” will ever go away, although clearly many people do not seem to have it, or perhaps it has been repelled by the excesses of organised religion.

    I’m persuaded that deities, “higher powers”, supernatural realms etc are entirely a product of the human mind. There is nothing “out there” in any shape or form. Period. From reading the last paragraph of your sticky post, I get the feeling that for you there might be “something” in addition to a purely physical universe? If so you’re more “spiritual” than I am 🙂

    Sir Lloyd Geering defines religion as “A total mode of the interpreting and living of life“. In that sense I am religious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Barry! Thank you for joining my blog. I hope we’ll see more of you. 🙂

      Re: Rev. Dawn’s location — not sure where I got the info? Nevertheless, you have made the correction and I appreciate that.

      I think we all have our personal ideas about God and spirituality (with some being more adamant about it than others 😄). That’s why I think it tends to be a worthy topic to address every now and again so blog visitors can share their thoughts.

      As for my own thoughts related to “something”? Absolutely not! If I gave that impression, it was in error. In my book, I talked about a “Universal Presence,” but that is far, far different than a supernatural being that many know as “God.” For me, it relates more to the feeling of awe that many (most?) of us have when we consider our place in the universe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My apologies for my misinterpretation, although on re-reading I still come to that conclusion. One of my “special talents” is getting hold of the wrong end of the stick, and today I seem to be doing exceedingly well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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