Over on Undeception, Steve reacts to a Focus on the Family video in which one Del Tackett paints a picture of Creation inside a box and God existing completely outside the box, poking his finger in to move things along. Steve's reaction is to consider panentheism as a better possible model of God's relation to the universe. (For the uninitiated, panentheism claims that the universe is a part of God but that God extends infinitely beyond its confines as opposed to pantheism which claims that God and the universe and co-equal or that God is animating spirit of the universe).
Now I am reluctant to attack Christians directly. I don't want to be THAT kind of atheist. However, The Outsider Test can be a powerful tool to refining our thinking. I seem to have anointed myself The Outsider Test Crusader! Or is it the Hyphenated Avenger (See below)? In either case, if the job comes with a cape, I'll take it :)
As The Outsider, I must say that discussion of pantheism, panentheism and outside-the-boxism strikes me as an angels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussion. While the selected view point may make sense of an individual's definition of God's nature, the matter is as immune to examination as invisible angels doing the hokey-pokey. Each theory produces the same set of results: the sun comes up and goes down, humans do bad things to each other, cries for deliverance from an indifferent universe rise up to the heavens. The position from which the creator hears these cries seems to have no impact on his or her or its response. Is there even a God? That is a separate question but spinning these bizzaro theories in order to save a concept based on personal preference and vapor makes you look irrelevant at best and kooky at worst.
Just to prove that I hold myself to the Outsider Test, I plan to give Tackett's critique of Carl Sagan's box - "The cosmos is all there is, or was, or ever will be." - a good think today.