Mike has been off for several days and has been doing a lot of reading, as well as organizing his thinking into some written pieces. I convinced him to let me post these thoughts:
The title subject of who God is has obviously had volumes of books written, sermons preached and just plain topics of discussion over the centuries. So to attempt to answer the question in an e-mail would be inadequate to say the least. Yet it is a question that every human being needs to consider because it has eternal implications. So how do we grapple with such a weighty subject without getting lost in the discussion?
After thinking about this it seems like a good place to start might be to realize who God is not. In our day and in our society especially, the idea of who God is has become a very cloudy concept in peoples' thinking. We should understand that the god of this world (Satan) has to be the author of much of that confusion. And we must take credit for some of it ourselves as we just don't spend too much time pondering it. But let's look at some of the external forces that influence our thinking.
One thing God is not is what He is advertised as being. You don't have to look far in our present surroundings to see (or hear) proclamations about God. Well-meaning evangelical Christianity often reduces the eternal God of creation to someone (or something) that we merely need to add to our existence to make us whole (or at least happy). It is astounding to see things written on billboards or tee shirts or even church signs that say things like "Try Jesus" or "Got Jesus?" or some trite phrase that sounds like a beer commercial. These are nothing more that futile attempts to make God more palatable to people so as to give them the sense of security of knowing Him. The truth is that God Himself must reveal Himself to individuals before they can know Him. I saw Newt Gingrich this past weekend while he was campaigning in Anderson. I knew who he was, but I still don't know him because he has never introduced himself to me. And we have not had a personal conversation. Likewise, Satan himself knows who God is (probably better than most humans), but the scriptures say that he (Satan) trembles because he knows who God is. How many of us tremble because we know who God is?
So what is the big deal if we don't know God personally? Won't He sort all of that out in the end anyway? There is an infinite amount of truth to be conveyed on the subject of God and our relationship to Him. As was stated above, a person can know who God is and even be a scholar on the subject. But it is impossible to know God unless He reveals Himself to you.